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Meditation is a mind-body practice that’s existed for thousands of years, yet it still attracts people looking for solace, healing and spiritual enlightenment today.
Verna Sausman of Louisville was among those who gathered at a recent meditation session at Wellness 360 studio in St. Matthews. She sat in a chair with her eyes closed and her legs crossed beneath her as Dr. Peter Buecker guided a small group through a meditation session.
“This is my healing; it works for me,” said Sausman, who was using the 45-minute session to cope with the loss of a loved one.
Though some people think they can’t quiet their mind enough to meditate, “anyone can learn to meditate,” said Buecker, the studio’s owner. “… The quiet or calm mind is the product of meditation, not the prerequisite for it.”
There are many different kinds of meditation, but most have some common threads, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. People usually meditate in a quiet place in a specific posture, such as lying or sitting down, with an open attitude and a focused mind, the center says.
The Rev. Joe Mitchell, a priest and meditation teacher who is executive director of the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center on Newburg Road, explains meditation this way:
“Meditation is cultivating a steady and focused awareness by letting go of thoughts and desires to abide in a place of stillness and silence.”
Mitchell, who teaches mindfulness meditation from the Christian and Buddhist perspectives, said, “It’s about turning down the volume of the inner chatter in the mind.”
Buecker, an orthopedic surgeon, opened Wellness 360 in January to offer meditation and a variety of other mind-body services, after realizing that “a pill, or an injection, or a procedure isn’t always the answer” for patients going through personal crises, such as parenting, spousal and care-giving issues.
Many times, people are caught in a vicious cycle of stress that leads to tension and pain, then to the need for “more and more medicines at higher and higher doses,” Buecker said, but meditation helps give them basic skills to get their life back into control.