Peace at the park

Summerside woman or­ga­nizes group med­i­ta­tion for un­der­uti­lized park

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE PROVINCE -

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.

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