Focus On: Meagan Wilson
The Focus On series is all about sharing the diversity of meditation journeys and experiences. An opportunity to come together and share stories, practices, and insights .. to listen and learn from each other.
Intuition. Synchronicity. Divine Guidance. The Universe. All of these speak to me at different times .. and I have learned over time to honor these messages.
A couple of weeks ago I happened to be circling the block (for the second time) trying for that elusive car park. Once I finally parked and got myself together, I spotted this sweet new wellness space, captured by the sheer curtains floating in the sunshine and the beautiful green pot plant on the doorstep. After quickly googling ‘The Bridge Space’ .. I felt strongly that I had to make contact .. and recently I met with the founder of The Bridge Space, Meagan Wilson, at her sweet studio where we managed to talk about all things wellness, meditation, travel, children, community.
I am so happy that Meagan was open to sharing about her journey with meditation for my Focus On Series .. how she came to teaching yoga nidra and meditation, her fascinating PhD studies, and her very special interest in supporting those dealing with chronic illness, and those moving through the dying process. Thank you Meagan!
Name: Meagan Wilson
Special Interest: Yoga Nidra
The Bridge Space is small-scale community effort geared toward chronic illness prevention, a tiny drop in the ocean of health promotion. It’s a cosy, welcoming and nurturing space, where people can be supported to maintain their existing wellness or improve symptoms of chronic illness. We use ancient therapeutic tools adapted to modern life, that are supported by science.
1. Meagan, tell us about your special interest
My particular interest is Yoga Nidra, which is a meditative practice that historically, has tantric origins. As a teacher, I guide people into a state of deep relaxation, using my voice as a tool to support them to reach a state of consciousness that sits between sleeping and waking. In this state, there are enormous benefits for the mind and body and research supports the benefits of Yoga Nidra for specific illnesses.
Yoga Nidra involves connecting more deeply with the body, whilst softening the mind. We hold stress, tension and stagnant energy in the body. In Nidra, we peel away layers of tension in the body and create space to make it easier for us to just ‘be’.
2. How long have you been practicing, or working in this area? Tell us about your ‘journey’ to this point.
I did my first yoga nidra class over 30 years ago as an 11-year-old with my mum and have had many different teachers and mentors over the years. I’ve learned different traditions and techniques: vipassana, trakata, walking meditation, yoga nidra, tonglen.
Meditation generally has always supported me to work through traumatic times in life
I really only began professionally working with meditation in 2012 after living with asylum seekers from Myanmar in Thailand, many who were dying from AIDS. I did my doctorate on emotional trauma in this setting and learned a lot about trauma, dying and the body and how to be with suffering. Meditation is a wonderful tool to support us in being with everyday suffering. I am now moving into the field of ‘Being with Dying’ under the guidance of Zen priest, Roshi Joan Halifax in order to better support terminally ill people through the dying process.
3. Do you have a regular practice – daily, weekly, other?
Daily: a dedicated seated practice at home and time sitting in nature at least once a day. I usually teach a class a day at the moment and so share meditation with others daily.
4. What inspires you to keep meditating .. returning to your practice?
It the gift that keeps on giving. Always more to learn about yourself in every moment. Unless I return, the layers of tension build and I don’t see clearly.
When I meditate, my senses are more heightened and I experience life with clearer intention
5. Why do you meditate?
I think it makes me a better person than I would be if I didn’t meditate. It strips back the layers of junk so that I can work toward the most authentic sense of being. I can engage with the world in a more compassionate way.
6. Do you have a particular technique(s) that you have found most suitable for you?
I combine all the techniques I have learned drawing on the elements as my guide. Do I need air, earth, water, fire or space in my life right now in this given moment?
7. AM or PM? .. Chair, cushion, stool?
AM or PM or both, whatever works. Cushion or straight on the earth.
8. Have you a dedicated space for your practice? Where do you meditate?
I have a meditation studio for work practice, bedroom floor at home and a few special places at the beach and favorite park.
9. Any favorite books/CDs/Resources that you might share with others?
Roshi Joan Halifax is a wonderful wise woman and teacher (Being with Dying book), any of Clarisa Pinkola Estes works, Peter Levine (trauma). In terms of Yoga Nidra, the Yoga Nidra Network has some great resources online. There is also Richard Millers iRest trademarked program, a more generic Yoga Nidra originally designed for use with ex-servicemen in the US.
10. Any wise words to share with those who are new to meditation?
Be kind to yourself and if you find that difficult, work at moving toward that intention, just nudging yourself in that general direction.
11. 7 Random things about you?
* Technologically delayed
* Vivid dreamer (lucid dreams)
* Love to sleep (to dream!)
* Have been named ‘the onion’ (my layers) by more than one person, so the name must hold some legitimacy
* Soft on the surface but not afraid to call on my inner Crone/wild woman when needed
* Love to paint
* Owner of Burmese cats, they’re the best!
Meagan offers a range of different classes in this nurturing, small group setting including:
*Therapeutic Nidra Meditation; ideal for those living with a chronic illness
*Eco Therapy; from the field of eco-psychology.
JOIN ME at The Bridge Space
Upcoming workshops and classes