by Staff


By Nina McDermott

Hello, My name is Nina McDermott and I am a new practitioner here at Asian Healing Traditions. I help people transform and heal by working with energy. I work with various tools; Reiki, visualization, sound, vibration, tarot and through teaching the practice of meditation. Today I would like to share with you a bit about meditation.

When I was in my 20’s I saw a documentary about a meditation technique that was experimentally taught in one of India’s most violent prisons. This meditation technique is called Vipassana, and the teaching happens in a 10 day silent retreat. It was both terrifying and exciting to consider going to a retreat, as I had never meditated even once in my life, but I couldn’t help the strong desire to experience the transformations I witnessed in this documentary. I knew I must push fear aside and try it for myself so I signed up.

Those 10 days, meditating for 14 hours a day, were more difficult and rewarding then I could have imagined. I wouldn't suggest this introduction for everyone, but am eternally grateful for that first course which set me up for a life filled with meditation. I completed 3 more of these Vipassana courses (as taught by S.N. Goenka) but have studied and practiced many forms of mediation in the 30+ years since I first saw that film.

When I ask clients struggling with issues such as anxiety, trouble sleeping, or overactive thinking, whether they’ve tried meditation, I often hear the same kinds of responses,

“I’ve tried but I’m not sure I’m doing it right.”

“It doesn’t work for me”

“I don’t think I can do it”

Often it seems like they feel guilt because they think meditation is something they “should” be doing. Without an understanding of how or why it's difficult to make a true connection to this form of healing.

I believe the biggest misconception is that meditation itself is a state of peace and calm. That's a high bar for the beginning mediator. Ideally, when you are able to sit quietly in stillness, there is the opportunity for your body/mind to relax, but often the mind will race and distract. You’ll be thinking about what to have for dinner or a song you just heard or your mind will become impatient and anxious, thinking only of when you’ll be done. The body will try to distract you as well, offering up feelings of discomfort and pain.

Meditation is like working out. It’s hard and you have to fight and push to train so that you are strong, not only during the meditation but AFTER. When you work hard in your meditation, the reward is the state of mind you experience as a result.

I will be teaching a 45 min meditation class for ALL those who want to joyfully explore meditation. It is designed to introduce the experience of turning inward and quieting the mind to the novice or as a practice space for the more experienced. Because it has been my experience that true meditation is a state of awareness that can be practiced in so many wonderful ways, we will explore ways to build the muscles of meditation by quietly sitting and in guided practices. There will be time for questions and sharing. Come join me in this no-judgment environment to learn, explore and share the benefits of true self care!

For those who feel that a class environment is too overwhelming, I am also available for private instruction.