{Guest Column} Meditation: No beliefs required

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By Stefanie Nielsen
Special to the Herald Times
RBC | When I first started practicing meditation I was hesitant because I didn’t necessarily have a belief system that coincided with the origins of meditation. At the time, I was religious, and looking for a way to alleviate my uncontrollable emotions and outbursts with my children.
To my surprise, after consistently practicing, it started working. I noticed that I was more aware of my emotions, able to mitigate my outbursts more regularly, and was quicker to apologize when I did slip into an outburst.
Since beginning meditation more than 10 years ago, my beliefs have changed quite dramatically. I’ve gone from being religious, to having no religion at all. But my practice of meditation has been able to withstand the shift in my beliefs because it transcends them.
Meditation is about strengthening our mental attention and awareness. It does for your mind what weight lifting does for your body. As you practice meditation your mental strength gains more stamina. This enables us to have more conscious direction of our minds. And with more conscious direction of our minds comes less time spent stuck in unwanted habitual patterns.
What I’ve learned through my practice is that whether you consider yourself Christian, Buddhist, atheist, religious, spiritual or nothing in particular (like myself); there are no beliefs required to practice meditation. All are welcome and able to enjoy the benefits that meditation can bring to your life experience.
The incredible thing about building your own meditation practice is that it is yours, and no one else’s. You get to do what works for you and your current belief system. A great way to get started is through guided meditations. All you have to do is show up, settle in, and enjoy, no experience necessary!
Join me Nov. 14 and Dec. 5 and 12 for guided meditation sessions from 6:30-7:15 p.m. at 592 Main St. Suite 1 ($5 per class). Come a few minutes early and enjoy a warm cup of tea.
If you’re ready to start or deepen your own meditation practice, sign up for the Nov. 18 Meditation Workshop (1-4 p.m.). For more information or to reserve your spot for the workshop, email strengthdiscovered@gmail.com or send a message on facebook: facebook.com/strengthdiscovered. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot.
Happy Meditating!

Stefanie Nielson

Stefanie Nielsen is a certified Transformation Meditation Teacher and has been practicing meditation for more than 10 years.