New meditation group emerges in Haliburton
By Angelica Ingram
Everyone meditates for their own reason.
That’s the message Lynda Shadbolt and Peter Smith want to promote when talking about a new meditation group in Haliburton.
The pair are two of the organizers behind the group, which started this past January and runs on a weekly basis.
The idea for a local meditation initiative came about through experiences Shadbolt has had and conversations that took place around Christmastime.
A yoga instructor, Shadbolt was connecting with other members of the community who were interested in starting a group, and so they did.
“There are a lot of people who are meditating in this community,” said Shadbolt. “It’s just been one of those things that people have been talking about in various circles for a while and finally we thought we’d give it a try.”
The format is simple; anyone is welcome to attend the group, regardless of age, ability or experience.
The group meets weekly, currently at Blue Sky Yoga Studio on Dysart Avenue, for an hour. Meditation typically goes for half an hour.
It’s up to the individual to meditate in whatever posture he or she prefers, whether it’s sitting on a chair, standing, or lying down.
“What I think is really great about it is when we said we’re going to do it, it’s all based on people volunteering their time, which is actually the Buddhist tradition,” said Shadbolt. “So far we’ve been having something every week, but it’s all been through volunteers. It’s very low-key and everybody’s welcome.”
Because it is run by volunteers, the group is free of charge. The format starts with everyone getting settled, a bit of preamble, 30 minutes of silence and then a bit of follow-up chatter.
Each group leader facilitates in his or her own way, whether it be to incorporate sound or a reading into the meeting.
A longtime meditator, Shadbolt finds many benefits to the practice.
“I like the whole idea of just very carefully attending to this moment,” she said. “I think in our busy lives where we’re all multi-tasking all the time, I love to just make my life really simple and really quiet for a couple of days ... it’s hard at times, it’s hard to be with yourself. I’ve learned a lot about myself.”
Although Smith is relatively new to the meditation practice, he is embracing it, having just gone on his first weekend retreat.
It was a workshop offered through the Haliburton School of Art and Design that gave Smith his first taste of meditation.
“For me it’s just the awareness of being aware,” he said. “You know you’re busy, and you’ve got a lot of things ... it sounds really simple but it’s just the awareness. The neat part is kids are doing it, Trillium Lakelands is introducing meditation and using it for conflict resolution. I think it’s a positive thing.”
The group usually draws about 10 to 15 people each week. Chairs and cushions are provided.
The possibilities of the group are endless, say Shadbolt.
“Eventually I would like to do a half-day or even some full-days with some people, you know to just take that time and pause,” she said. “I like the simplicity of it ... we just want to keep it very simple and easy to access and everybody is welcome. That’s our big thing.”
For more information on the group, visit www.haliburtonyoga.com or email Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.