Life, even in a town the size of Antigonish can be busy – there’s often a lot of moving around going on.
For those who wish to learn how to slow down and still their minds from the endless hum-drum of the average week, there will be something later this month to help do just that.
Pathways to Meditation will serve as a major resource for people who are curious about meditation, and Fran Wittgens hopes it will bring awareness of the many forms of interdenominational meditation available in Antigonish.
“For many, meditation is something they reach out for because they need it. Their life might feel too full, and that there is too much in their head. They could be dealing with stress or medical issues,” Wittgens said. “People want to get away from their hectic lives, and there are many ways to do that”
Pathways to Meditation will take place June 14 and 15 at the St. James United Church. On Friday, the event will run from 7 -9 p.m. and on Saturday, the event will run from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wittgens noted that the weekend isn’t specifically focused on teaching meditation, per se, as much as it is about making people aware of the many forms in which it’s available, and how meditation is “a wonderful gift to the human being, to the soul and to your life.”
For a small community, Wittgens noted, there are quite a few traditions of meditation being practiced.
“Our group is one of them, and about to hit 25 years,” she said, describing the milestone for the local Christian Meditation group of which she is a member.
The event will feature experts discussing the history and philosophy of the various meditation traditions available in Antigonish.
The event, over the course of two days, will feature a film, discussion and talks about the origin, nature and practice of meditation.
There will also be an interval of meditation on Saturday, led by Yvonne Macor.
“Yvonne has an interesting take on yoga as part of meditation. In India, yoga was used to develop capacity to be still,” Wittgens said. “In the west, we’ve got laughing-yoga, contortions and stuff, and she’s saying the west has changed yoga a whole lot, by making about fitness beauty upscale. That’s not the purpose of yoga.”
Other speakers include Adella Sandness and Sr. Phyllis O’Donnell.
“Sister Phyllis originally taught mindfulness classes and had a mindfulness space in Wilkie’s Court. She’ll be talking about that,” Wittgens said. “Doctor Sandness is from St. F.X. and has training in India. She’ll be having a Q&A session for anyone curious about any of the practices.”
“There are others out there,” Wittgens said, referring to mindfulness groups, Quakers, Buddhists and Bethany’s centering prayer group.”
“Even though we have an event coming up for quite a few years, we’re looking to shine a light on how many different pathways there are to meditation.”