Mindful Options for Meditation in Charlotte
Charlotte Meditation founder Ranjit Deora teaches a mindfulness meditation seminar at Discovery PlaceCredit: Courtesy Charlotte Meditation
by Kimberly Lawson
Americans work more than anyone else in the industrialized world, and that’s certainly no different in Charlotte. Thanks to the constant bombardment of emails, phone calls and meetings, it doesn’t take long to become stressed, unhappy and ultimately unproductive. But through meditation and mindfulness, a person can become more aware of what’s driving them, and that can especially be beneficial to an employer.
“Oftentimes, we’re not aware of how fast and furious our thoughts are coming at us,” says Angela Gala, an instructor at Charlotte Meditation.
Charlotte Meditation is just one meditation studio in the area that offers wellness programming geared toward employee mental health. The corporate wellness programs are customizable and vary depending on a company’s needs. Some examples include a Mindful Peak Performance Seminar, which focuses on boosting energy on demand; a Mindful Team Recharge, which offers meditation workshops for better work performance; and Lunch and Learn seminars, offering a glimpse into the benefits of mindfulness. Seminars vary in length from a single 45-minute workshop to an eight-week series.
Instructors with Charlotte Meditation have worked with employees from AIG, Presbyterian Hospital, The Shaw Group and more. In one testimonial, a senior vice president at Bank of America wrote in part, “As a leader in one of the best companies in the world, change is expected. One of the keys to managing through it is to maintain one’s focus. I appreciate [founder] Ranjit Deora’s helping me understand how to do so.”
While meditation has its roots in religion, the practice that Charlotte Meditation offers is completely secular. “It’s simply a tool for stress relief, relief of anxiety and fear,” Gala says. “When we’re not under the influence of those, all sorts of possibilities open up.”
Another local resource for meditation is Insight Meditation Community of Charlotte, an educational nonprofit whose goal, according to its website, is to “study and practice mindfulness with the intention of integrating wisdom and manifesting compassion in all aspects of our lives.”
“Meditation actually helps you concentrate your mind so you can be more mindful,” says Clyde Alexander, one of Insight Meditation’s instructors and board chair. “As you go through your day, it helps reduce stress, gets you centered and helps you be less reactive to things that arise during the day.”
For individuals interested in testing out the meditative waters, Insight Meditation offers two free classes that include guided instruction, a silent meditation and the opportunity to ask questions afterward. On Tuesdays, people with some free time during their lunch hour can head over to Park Road Baptist Church. A brief instruction lasts from 12 p.m. to 12:15 p.m., and then for 30 minutes, practitioners can work to re-center themselves in silence and then stay and ask questions afterward if needed.
Wednesday evenings offer an opportunity to get a little more involved, as the meeting starts at 7 p.m. and includes a guest speaker.
Like Charlotte Meditation, the practice at Insight Meditation is open and non-religious. “Anyone from any background can benefit from calming their mind, reducing stress in their lives and being more mindful,” Alexander says.
Charlotte Meditation is located at 725 Providence Rd., Ste. 300. Call 704- 277-6049 or visit CharlotteMeditation.com for more information. Insight Mediation of Charlotte meets at Park Road Baptist Church, 3900 Park Rd., in the Milford Chapel. Visit InsightMeditationCharlotte.org for more information.