By Lethbridge Herald on August 3, 2020.
Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens has been offering a series of meditation classes with meditation teacher Aaron Roth for the summer, for people to connect with their inner-self and relax.
With the first sessions starting in July, and continuing through August and September, Roth and the Gardens are offering experiences through the different styles and teachings of meditation such as Zazen meditation, Shikantaza meditation, body scan and guided imagery.
“I started teaching about 15 years ago, it’s been off and on, but in the last few years I have taken a little more of a serious approach to it and been holding some events since,” says Roth.
“I try to give a sample to everybody about the different types of meditation, mindfulness mediation, breath work, we are doing guided imagery, body scan mediation, so different schools. And in August we will be doing some mediation out of Buddhist tradition from the western tradition, so we try to provide a good cross of different types of meditation and schools.”
Wanting to take his teachings further and offer more unique experiences, Roth thought this year would be a good time to bring meditation to Japanese Gardens as the space allows for many different experiences in all of the areas in the facility.
“I thought about this about a year ago and I hadn’t initiated it and I thought this year would be a really good time to do it. It has been a great experience,” says Roth.
“It is nice because you can almost have mini-experiences in the different places at the Garden’s, you can have the water or the breeze, you can have very quiet areas as well as sun and shade spots, so it allows us to bring different textures to the meditation.”
Meditation not only is a good way to relax the body and mind from the chaos of the world, but has also been proven to have medical benefits. Roth says that the sessions he is holding at the Japanese Gardens are a good exploration of meditation for all levels.
“It is a really good opportunity for people who want to try out meditation, it is a good sampler opportunity, and we will be having some more sessions throughout August and working on something for early September as well,” says Roth.
“Over the years, there have been documented medical benefits from meditation, but it is primarily a mental exercise as it can aid in stress, anxiety, it can help with concentration and focus. It has its physical benefits, too, as it has been shown to help with heart rate and blood pressure, but really meditation is about getting back in touch with yourself and that is what I try to bring into each class, is a reminder of that”
The next meditation class at Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens will be Aug. 22, and will be focusing around Lectio Divina, the teaching of Buddha. There is limited space for each session, and tickets must be purchased in advance.
For more information, visit nikkayuko.com or their Facebook page for all updates and programs at the Gardens.
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