Peace at the park
Summerside woman organizes group meditation for underutilized park
Peggy Miles sat on a mat in Summerside’s Schurman Park with her eyes closed and her hands resting on her knees.
Her spine was straight, her breathing measured and even.
Birds chirped in the background, mosquitoes buzzed, and some boys played basketball nearby.
Overall, it was a peaceful scene.
It’s impossible to know exactly what was going on in her mind as she sat there looking relaxed, but some clues might be found in the instructions she’d given her fellow sitters, five of whom sat in a semi-circle around her, a few minutes prior.
“Don’t turn away from your thoughts,” she’d advised.
Negative thoughts are normal, she added, but they must be acknowledged and set aside every once in a while for overall mental health.
Which is why Miles set up this little gathering Monday night.
The Summerside resident has personally experimented with meditation over the years and she put out a call on social media to see if a few other interested people would like to get together to learn more about the practice.
“It’s a great way to relieve stress, get your day started or unwind at the end of a day,” she said.
It’s also a great way to use public spaces like parks, she said, especially underutilized ones like Schurman Park (next to the Queen Elizabeth Park ball fields).
“This is my neighbourhood and I guess I do have a strong affinity for public spaces and the parks in general, so I just wanted to see this little park, which maybe isn’t as widely used as some of the other parks ... but is all the same a great. I just wanted to see people using it.”
For now Monday’s group meditation will remain a one-off, but if other people show interest, it might be something they could organize again in the future, she added. Anyone interested in participating in future such events should keep an eye out on social media and local events listings.