United’s Residents Find Silence in Meditation
“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” – Buddha.
The benefits of meditation have long been recognized as a way to release stress and improve overall health, and it has become a mainstream practice. Some large companies offer it to employees, doctors recommend it and schools offer it to students, so when residents of United’s Fish Creek community asked about meditation during one of the weekly yoga classes, program staff quickly brought in a program for those interested.
Enter meditation instructor Jane Sponiar. “I find that it’s often much easier for older adults to learn a meditation technique than young people. They aren’t as restless and can sit for longer periods and ultimately meditate longer.”
Jane’s introduces several meditation methods, and residents choose the form that suits them best. She comes in twice a month, with residents practicing on their own the rest of the time.
“Anxiety and its resulting impact on a good night’s sleep can affect all of us from time to time. Meditation has been shown to have a positive effect on many of these experiences,” she said.
Getting better sleep was one of the reasons resident Linda Bolton began meditating. “I heard they were starting a meditation program. It sounded interesting so I wanted to check it out. It’s been about six months now and I’m definitely seeing the benefit. I’m more relaxed and my sleep has improved.”
Jane points to a number of studies have found that meditation can reduce depression and benefit those with Alzheimers,
“The mind can be like a wild horse,” she said. “Taming it takes time and patience. In the beginning the horse tries to control you, but as meditation progresses, eventually the horse is tamed. This process strengthens the mind so you can take a more positive approach to life’.”
“At United, we follow the International Council on Active Aging’s Seven Dimensions of Wellness, which includes a spiritual or meditative side of living,” said Kim Coulter, Fish Creek’s program coordinator. “We regularly survey residents and get their feedback on the programs we offer. The meditation program arose from that feedback.”
“The goal is to find peace from the inside, and not rely on events or things on the outside to bring you peace,” said Jane.
Photos by United Active Living, Jane Sponiar, Pixabay. Video by Sherana Productions.
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To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.