‘Many people have the perception that meditating is difficult,’ says Louise Charman-James, who teaches beginner’s meditation at Govinda Valley Retreat Centre in Otford. ‘But at heart it is simply taking a few moments to let go of your cares and worries, so that your brain and your body have a chance to slow down and relax.’
As a mother of two young children, Louise understands the challenge of finding time to simply slow down and let go of the ‘to do’ list. But she also knows that by taking a short time to centre herself at the start of the day, her day flows much more smoothly and she is able to be less reactive with her children.
‘I have an active mind and I find that movement, sound and breathing practices are good to start with to bring my attention into my body, and then I am better able to sit quietly and be still,’ she says. ‘I’m also a big fan of guided meditations and visualisations which allow you to completely let go and relax into the process.’
Louise believes that everyone can find a meditation practice they enjoy. This is why she created her six week ‘Heart of Meditation’ beginner’s course, where participants experiment with a variety of simple meditation techniques and choose what works for them. Whether it is deep breathing, movement, singing, doing a visualisation as you shower or simply having a ‘mindful’ cup of tea, participants discover that just a few minutes a day can really make a difference to their state of mind.
‘In the last course, one person discovered that they could easily integrate a walking meditation into their work as they worked outside and were constantly moving about. Another found that she loved using her voice to sing simple chants and that listening to them also helped her to study for her exams. Her children really enjoyed them too!’
Many of the techniques are indeed so simple that children can do them. Learning how to calm yourself and teaching that to your children is such a gift. In a busy, noisy world, the ability to stay centred in yourself, despite what is going on around you, is priceless.
The next Heart of Meditation beginners course starts October 28.
[phone]0417 244 978[/phone]