Finding focus in a world of distraction

Dave Mathieson
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Susan Ball (right) led a group through the second session of the weekly ‘Guided Meditation Series' Tuesday night in Amherst. 

AMHERST - Screaming kids, ringing phones, tight deadlines and busy schedules can keep a person in a state of panic. One way to escape a stressful lifestyle is to meditate.

"A number of us find our minds are so busy all the time," said Tammy Allen, who was a participant at last night's meditation session. "It's go, go, go, and we never stop to think about things, and people want to find a way to slow things down and find direction instead of running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

"We have jobs, kids, husbands, and a busy life, so this is a bit of an escape."

Life and Business coach Susan Ball is leading groups through Guided Meditation every Tuesday night at 7 to 8 p.m. until the end of April at the JTW Natural Health and Guidance Centre on Victoria Street in Amherst.

"People say they don't have time to meditate but it doesn't take a lot of time," said Ball. "It doesn't take two hours. You can do it in 10 minutes. Once you know how to do it you can change your state from stress to calm really quickly."

Guided meditation is where Ball speaks and people in the group focus on what she says.

"Last week the topic was healing, and this week it's self esteem," said Ball. "We will meditate and focus on everything that is good about us because many of us spend the day in a negative frame of mind.

"We start with deep breathing. Most people who are stressed out forget to breath," added Ball. "It takes about half an hour for the actual meditation and about 15 minutes afterwards to make sure they are alert when they leave."

Elizabeth Snowden-Roberts said it is soothing.

"Life is so hectic now. People have so many things on the go. You're trying to keep your kids active, and you're working and staying active yourself, and this is a way to relax. It's me time," she said.

Pam Gould was at last night's session. She had never meditated before.

"I hope it will clear my mind from distractions and negativity," she said.

Tammy Rogers has been meditating off and on for 10 years and she was at last night's session as well.

"I got away from it for a while and I need to bring my blood pressure down so I started up again," said Rogers. "Years ago, when I used to meditate a lot, I was able to bring my heart rate down to 50 beats a minute."

"Some Yogis can go into a coma-like state," she added.

"We won't be doing that tonight," said Gould with a laugh.

Ball said the response to the Meditation Series has been very positive.

Next week they will focus on the authentic self, with other sessions the following three Tuesdays of the month.

"The response has been great so we might extend it," said Ball.

For more information on the series call Ball at 664-4144.


Organizations: JTW Natural Health, Meditation Series

Geographic location: AMHERST, Victoria Street

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