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  • Writer's pictureClaire Dean

The Positive Power of Meditation

Updated: Jun 6

Gentle Mindful Breathing and Loving Kindness Meditation

(Metta Bhavana)

The Power of Meditation

By now, just about everyone has heard of Meditation and its benefits yet most of us (myself included) still feel a reluctance to sit down and do the work. Is it because becoming still in what feels like a fast moving and constantly changing world seems so counterintuitive to what we feel it means to live life? The generational motto, "you only live once" or yolo as it is affectionately termed has infiltrated our modus operandi and drives us to fill life with constant activity. Is it any wonder then that the idea of being still: sitting, breathing and watching fills us with dread when everything around us is a call to action, adventure and movement.

And yet, the real irony is that practicing meditation and breathwork is essential to a full life, dare we say it a sense of being fulfilled. Fulfilment is after all the thing we are chasing when we are running full steam ahead towards the ideas of what living a "real" life looks like. Not many of us consider real life the same as awareness and presence in the here and now, rather we focus on what is past and lost or what is future and needs to be gained. How can we see the real world when our focus is behind or to the front but not here, not where we are. It is this embodying of presence, sitting in the self that truly allows life to blossom.

It is simple work, but it is work and like all work there are rewards to be reaped: peace, calm, clarity. The most difficult thing to do is to do nothing at all but it is when we are quiet that we can hear, when we are present that we can see, when we are aware that we can feel, when we savour that we can taste, when we are open that we can smell and then every moment is filled naturally and the need to search for "real life" subsides because we allow the wisdom of the present to prove it is all around us, in every moment.

We sat down with Anupa Panjabi to talk about her classes utilising meditation and breathwork: why it is important, how she came to use it in her life and what it really means to meditate.

Anupa, what does meditation mean for you and have you established your own philosophy around meditation?

Meditation for me is my way of reconnecting with myself while calming my mind. When you sit to meditate, in any way, we take that time to disconnect from the noise and responsibilities around us; we observe our thoughts, acknowledge them then allow them to pass; you begin to enjoy the space between thoughts, then no thoughts. Each session results in freshness, clarity and balance.

What are the benefits of Metta Bhavana?

I just LOVE the Metta Bhavana (Loving Kindness) meditation. It is a meditation increasing empathy and compassion first to yourself, then your loved ones, then your not-so loved ones and then growing that feeling towards strangers. It is calming and your heart expands with love and forgiveness.

How did you as a practitioner get into meditation, breathing and healing?

I qualified as a Reiki practitioner in 1998 after suffering career burn out. I began healing as a professional in 2016 and witnessed my clients benefit from some of the meditations I did with them. I then learned how to meditate with transcendental meditation and then with chanting and experienced my own mental, emotional and energetic shift. This lead me to want to learn more so that I might share these beautiful modalities with my clients. As for breathwork - it's simply necessary, full stop.

What can participants in the workshop expect the workshop to look like? (sitting on the floor? etc)

You may sit on the floor on cushions or be comfortable on a seat with your feet flat and stable on the ground. It's a relaxed environment, with calming music, my voice guiding you through gentle breathwork and the Metta Bhavana.

Please take some time out on Sunday Mornings and fall back into presence, fall back into love.

'Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom'

- James Allen

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