- a place of stillness and protection that allows great transformation
- shelter or refuge one can turn to for help, relief or escape
- a source of aid or comfort in times of difficulty
Mayu is an Asian-inspired meditation center open to those of all traditions, beliefs and experience levels.
We welcome everyone on the inner journey: those new to meditation, experienced practitioners, and anyone facing critical life challenges.
At Mayu, we know meditation. All of our staff and teachers are committed meditation practitioners. Our advice and recommendations come from our own experience and what we’ve learned from our teachers and our fellow meditators.
We believe meditation is way of life, rather than a hobby or a trend. We're delighted at all of the attention mindfulness is getting in the media today, but we know that the benefits of meditation really come with patience, dedication, and community. That's where we come in.
Visit our Start Here page for common questions about Mayu.
Denver Post's Interview with Mayu owner Cierra Imig McNamara
How did you get involved in this business?
I’ve been a professional massage therapist for the past 14 years and I’ve always loved the transformation that happens in people when they have permission to slow down and get quiet. Several years ago I began wondering if I could offer a type of retreat space that encourages people to slow down and listen to their inner wisdom without needing an external influence like massage. About that same time my personal meditation practice was growing and I could see the natural compatability of a quiet, peaceful sanctuary with contemplative practices like meditation.
What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category?
The fact that our meditation center is not affiliated with any lineage or tradition is one thing that sets us apart. We can offer a wider range of products and classes because we welcome practitioners of all backgrounds. Also, having drop-in meditation throughout the week is rare. Most meditation centers offer sitting times one or two days a week, and only for a few hours. Because everyone is so busy it can be difficult to conform your schedule to that type of calendar. With our drop-in hours most people are able to find time to come in throughout the week.
What do you like best about your line of work?
I really love seeing the change in people from the time they step inside to the time they leave. Many people come in a little frazzled, a little wound up, but after 20 or 30 minutes they settle into themselves. By the time they walk out they’re moving slower, they’re talking softer, they’re saying things like “I haven’t felt this peaceful since before I lost my job.” Of course many visitors are already quite content – we certainly attract people with a strong meditation practice – but even they walk out with a renewed sense of gratitude or centeredness.
What is your business' biggest challenge?
The fact that our business model is so unique can be challenging. No one knows what you’re talking about when you say “drop-in meditation center.” It takes more than a 30 second elevator pitch to describe what we’re about, so education and explanation are always part of our marketing. Additionally, we’re fighting a lot of societal assumptions. Many people don’t give their mental well-being the same priority as their physical well-being. And we have a lot of visitors who say “I’d love to start meditating but my mind is just too noisy.” Once people learn that that a calm mind is a skill one learns, not a prerequisite for meditation, and once they value meditation as much as diet, exercise and psychotherapy, then our Mayu community will grow even quicker.
What is something peple might be surprised to learn about you or your business?
To my knowledge we’re the only unaffiliated drop-in meditation center in the U.S. I spent three years developing the business plan, looking around the country for a similar business we could emulate, or a comparable model we could improve upon, but I never found one. So we’re not just at the leading edge of an emerging industry, on some level we’re breaking new ground entirely. While that can be overwhelming at times, I also love the freedom it brings. I’ve been able to fashion a livelihood simply by asking, What do you want to create in the world? How can you best use your life? How far can you push yourself? What is important to you? What pleases me most is not that Mayu stretches industry parameters, but that it requires I stay true to myself and this bold vision.
Meet Cierra Imig McNamara, owner of Mayu
Cierra McNamara was introduced to the importance of meditation and the mind-body connection through a 14 year career as a massage therapist. As an oncology massage therapist and in working with patients in hospice, she saw first-hand that mental well-being is the greatest factor in overall health, yet is virtually ignored in modern society.
Cierra has been a meditation practitioner for the past 8 years, has attended retreats across the country, and has studied with Jon Kabat-Zinn in New York. She leads a variety of classes at Mayu Sanctuary, which she opened in 2011 as a way to expand the conversation about meditation and mental well-being to a wider audience.
1. In the absence of chronic negative influences, the body tends toward health and the heart tends toward happiness.
Mayu exists as a reprieve from the obstacles, obligations and worries of daily life, in order to let hearts and bodies mend naturally.
2. Each person has within them a reservoir of wisdom, creativity and resilience which is cultivated through moments of stillness and silence.
Mayu exists to offer a profoundly peaceful environment in which people may again become familiar with their forgotten inner resources.
3. Because an ill person can be joyful and a healthy person miserable, one cannot underestimate the relationship between mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.
Mayu exists to promote the advancement of mind-body disciplines, and to make the integration of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health more acceptable and accessible.
4. Even in the midst of life’s most tumultuous moments, there exists in everyone an undisturbable place of clarity that arises with awareness of the present moment.
Mayu exists to demonstrate that every moment in life is precious, unrepeatable and instructional when honored with gentle attention.
5. We formulate ideas, construct our self-identity, and behave based on how we perceive the world around us.
Mayu exists to spotlight the beauty and benevolence that is often overlooked, but which exists in abundance.
6. Contentment is a long-term endeavor that requires an on-going commitment and reprioritizing of one’s life agenda.
Mayu exists to provide continual reassurance and support to those who are inquisitive about, and dedicated to, examining the meaning of a life well-lived.
7. When a person feels safe in their own skin and comfortable in their life situation they radiate a sense of serenity to everyone around them.
Mayu exists to encourage mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, which always brings greater harmony to the community at large.