Thinking about learning how to meditate?
The Meditation Centre Director Annette Ainsworth Brooke talks us trough where you can start
Walking in the grounds of a yoga ashram in Europe almost 20 years ago, I witnessed a man sitting under a tree in full lotus position - legs crossed, back straight, hands resting upturned in his lap, eyes closed... and I remember thinking: 'What on earth would my media industry colleagues think if they saw me now?!'
Meditation - even in the early days of the new millennium - was viewed as a 'tree-huggy' exercise largely practiced by bangle-wearing, baggy bottomed hippies.
Thankfully those days are over and a daily practice of meditation is now known to be one of the most effective natural methods to combat stress and anxiety... and it also gifts a whole host of other benefits which help people mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Most importantly giving yourself permission to spend at least 20 minutes in stillness - as simple as that might sound - can literally become a life-saver.
But where to learn? And how to practice?
There are scores of different 'App's' out there which will teach you how to meditate... and many teachers too.
Living in Holmfirth, my own personal journey started with learning a Buddhist technique in the Quaker Meeting House at High Flatts near Penistone.
I then went on to visit that Ananda Yoga Ashram in Italy and learned a classical yoga meditation before embarking on meditation teacher training programmes in India, the UK and the US.
I switched career and for several years have been running a Meditation Centre in the Yorkshire Dales.
Normally you would be very welcome to come and visit but sadly our doors are currently closed because of Covid-19.
We have, however switched our Learn To Meditate days online so if you are curious, please do take a look at our website and book yourself onto a course: http://www.meditationcentre.
We teach a very simple technique which is easy to learn and incredibly powerful if practised.
The Centre also offers a Meditation Teacher Training programme to anyone who wants to develop further and share meditation within their community.
Two people who have completed the programme are now teaching in the Holme Valley: Jacqui Paynton runs regular meditation courses and groups at Cocoon in Holmfirth and Val Cortese works from the Holme Valley Wellbeing Centre in Hinchliffe Mill.
Please do get in touch if you want to learn more - or are interested in joining our weekly online meditation group - by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
A daily meditation practice is life-transforming... a gift to yourself which will keep on giving. If you haven't tried it already, reach out and find out how it can help you … or your friends and family... particularly in these unusual and challenging times that we all find ourselves in.
Annette Ainsworth Brooke
The Meditation Centre
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