Sport & Fitness

  • Written by Tess Sanders Lazarus

There is a lot of talk about meditation at the moment, but stillness meditation seems to be thing everyone wants to try. 


Experts agree that meditation brings a range of good outcomes.  These may include reduction of nervous tension, reduction of anxiety, depression and the stress reaction, assistance with pain management, regulation of blood pressure and increased immune function. While the list of benefits of meditation is long and well researched, for some reason meditation hasn't become a mainstream topic until quite recent times.  


Yet for many, meditation per se can feel inaccessible and unclear or shrouded in exotic methodologies and mysticism.


My personal experience of intense agoraphobia and panic attacks gives me confidence in meditation – but absolute confidence in Stillness Meditation!  In my own search for overcoming anxiety I remember trying many different approaches to help myself – psychologists, doctors, alternative therapists – and none of these worked to bring relief. I was left feeling confused and lost, unsure of where to go or how to proceed.  Today’s hype around meditation did not exist at the time.  But one remarkable Melbourne psychiatrist was already paving the way.  An innovator, not a follower, Dr Ainslie Meares created a natural form of meditation, guaranteed to bring results.  I was fortunate to discover him in my time of need – with the outcome of my book, In Stillness Conquer Fear – and my work as a psychotherapist, specialising in Stillness Meditation Therapy.  


Today, many forms of meditation are recognised.  Perhaps mindfulness, a derivative of Buddhism is currently the most well known.  However, within all traditional meditative practices there are techniques to be learnt and followed.  These involve the use of the cognitive mind, placing purpose upon personal or spiritual growth and the aim of wellbeing.  Some approaches may also include movement, chanting or mastering particular physical postures.


Stillness Meditation Therapy, (or SMT™), is different.  To clarify the concept – this is Western style meditation, free of the constraints of technique.  This style of meditation is aimed solely at achieving peace of mind and wellness by relieving anxiety, tension and pain through effortless mental rest. Stillness of mind means the experience of “atavistic regression” ... that is, a state of being that doesn’t involve the intellect.  


Furthermore, Stillness Meditation means resting without focus or trying to achieve any outcome or insight.  This stillness is significant as it leads to a complete absence of disturbance and a point where the mind does not register discomfort, emotion or reactivity of any kind. It is this natural, clinical approach within SMT that sets it apart from other types of meditation.   


Stillness Meditation offers another unique feature.  It is experienced with the assistance of a specialist teacher who is suitably trained to include a distinctive style of therapeutic touch to be brought in to the meditative experience. The presence of such a professional ensures that people are supported on their journey towards better health.


For many, this makes SMT the new go-to form of meditation.  For those with mental health issues, the physiological and medical foundation of SMT makes it a safe and reliable option. 


For those looking to reduce anxiety and improve their quality of life, Stillness Meditation provides a therapeutic method that is long proven to produce good results.  With so many people affected by stress, busy schedules, trauma, upset, challenges and other difficulties, it is easy to see why Stillness Meditation is becoming recognised as the ‘go to’ form of meditation.   


Pauline McKinnon is a best-selling author, internationally known for her signature book, In Stillness Conquer Fear.  She is a practising psychotherapist and the Founding Director of the Stillness Meditation Therapy Centre in Melbourne.


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