The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

March 28, 2013

Health benefits from meditation

Each month YWCA members and volunteers are featured highlighting the many facets of our community in which they’re a part. This month, Marcia Flory shares information about meditation classes offered at the YWCA.

I have witnessed a lot of miracles in the last seven years of teaching at our local YWCA. Many have occurred from teaching meditation to hundreds of community members. It is so rewarding to see a positive transformation in a student’s outlook on life. Establishing a daily meditative practice also has resulted in their improved physical health and emotional well-being.

Sandi Sills joined my meditation class last fall. Sills reports she is much more focused now and her daily practice has reduced her arthritic pain, lessened her ADHD episodes and helped to heal her grief.

“I lost my sister and aunt a year ago. I was so sad inside. I now can remember the good times,” she said. “I focus on being grateful to have had them in my life rather than being remorseful.”

Meditating with a group creates a sense of belonging and a willingness to embrace an important truth that pertains to everyone’s life purpose, remembering to be kind. When we remember to be kind, we release judgment and expectations of another. In meditation, we also learn the importance of extending that same kindness and tolerance to ourselves. Students find that meditation opens new doors for them on their spiritual journey. Gerald Eckrich says, “Practicing the meditation techniques I learned in this class brings me a peace I couldn’t get by just sitting quiet or listening to music.”

Being mindful builds patience, acceptance and an understanding of life’s challenges. I teach that challenges are simply learning opportunities being gifted to us to spiritually evolve. Nothing is ever done to us but for us. This provides each of us countless times to master the art of forgiveness and compassion. In class we also learn to forgive ourselves. Everyone is deserving of love. When a person is trapped in the confusion of anger or fear, they are searching for the clarity that only love can offer.

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