IF YOU have never experienced meditation, finding a moment to take that first step can be difficult. To make it easy people in our community to discover the benefits of meditation, IWC holds two free sessions each week which are open to all.
The first free meditation session is fully facilitated and held each Thursday, from 11.50am to around 12.30pm. It began three years ago, initiated by IWC Director and Senior Cultural Advisor Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian.
The second free session is held after-hours, 4.50pm every Tuesday at the IWC Complex. This takes a different format, offering a grounding in general spirituality and how to draw on the energies of the universe.
“At the Thursday session, people are provided with a mat to sit or lie on as they reflect on their inner feelings through the words delivered by the facilitator,” said Aunty Cheri, who is an Aboriginal Elder and ThetaHealing Practitioner.
“At the end of the session they can take away a copy of my meditations to inspire further reflection in their personal environment.
“There is a need within us all to reach inside and find the inner strength that can transform our lives, and that of those around us. Meditation can build your sense of self, your sense of BEING.”
IWC is Aboriginal community-controlled and a registered charity, offering health and wellbeing services to all – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – across Bundaberg and the Wide Bay Burnett. The meditation sessions sit within its holistic, whole-of-person model of care.
Michelle Hodson, who leads the Thursday sessions, said: “The purpose of meditation is to resolve inner anxieties, which can bring a life-changing shift in perspective. Anxiety stops you from making decisions, and that means you can find yourself leaving them to others to make.
“Meditation keeps me grounded every day, and can help you find direction in your life. It also frees you to manifest your goals. Manifesting is when you have a want or a need and meditate on it, asking for help and opening yourself to the idea of its fruition.”
The Tuesday evening sessions are led by Leanne Connors, and include a guided meditation where participants follow a narrative.
“The mind has something to focus on, which enables it and the body to relax,” Leanne said.
Each session begins with an intuitive spiritual learning session which can involve activities including drumming, or understanding crystals, cards and moon phases.
According to a study by the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, mindfulness meditation can lower cortisol levels in individuals. Cortisol produces many of the harmful effects of stress, and the research showed that reducing its levels can aid sleep, decrease depression and anxiety, improve blood pressure and reduce fatigue.
Both sessions are free, and there is no need to book, All welcome. Please arrive at the IWC Health & Wellbeing Complex, 184 Barolin St by 11.50am on Thursdays to participate in the sessions led by Michelle, or by 4.45pm on Tuesdays to join Leanne’s sessions. Please note that there will not be any admissions after these times.