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Platt Park Post
By Ginger Collins
My husband and I recently made a commitment to meditate for one hour every week. We had heard about a place in our neighborhood where we could do this, Mayu Sanctuary, and decided it was now time. Originally, our intent was to embed a meditation practice into our lives. What has occurred, after six weeks, is that we also walk around the neighborhood before and after our time at Mayu; that we are learning more about meditation and other mindfulness practices; and that we see and interact with more members of our community... al this, in addition to the one hour of peaceful sitting every week.
I first heard about meditation when I was very young. I recall trying to meditate sitting cross-legged in a hallway. I was fascinated by the idea of stopping all the thoughts in my mind. I closed my eyes and envisioned a monk with yellow and orange robes... as I had likely seen in the magazine that exposed me to the practice. I was immediately perplexed by the notion of getting all those thoughts out of my brain and I gave up. Cut to 30 years later.
That simple idea and image is not too far off from what I recently understood and assumed about meditation. However, the truth about practicing meditation is that it has moved from a spiritual paradigm into a health and wellness paradigm and is showing up in more places where we may otherwise experience or see stress, anxiety, and a need for calm. Meditation is now being studied in our national scientific laboratories, it has extended into the workplace, into schools and into the homes of many Americans. To wit: I have a friend designing and delivering corporate mindfulness courses in Denver; my sister-in-law runs a nonprofit program that brings meditation practices into middle and high schools in Eagle County; personally, I was recently advised by a cadre of doctors to incorporate meditation into my life for anxiety arising from work stress; and of course, there is the appearance and rapid growth of Mayu Sanctuary in our own Platt Park neighborhood.
"Meditation is where Yoga was 10 to 15 years ago in terms of working its way into common consciousness. We're beginning to see more research and more buzzwords reaching the mainstream," says Cierra Imig, the owner of Mayu.
Cierra first envisioned her concept six years ago. She spent time researching her idea and trying to find the perfect neighborhood in Denver that would embrace it. Mayu Sanctuary is a one-of-a-kind meditation center, not affiliated with any single lineage or tradition; it is open to anyone who has an interest in sitting still and calming their mind.
In the two years since Mayu opened in Platt Park, drop-in meditators have increased from one or two in a week, to five or six in a single day. People are coming to Mayu from all over Denver and even as far outside the city as Colorado Springs. There are some many classes and visitors now that the center has expanded three times. The clientele is about 50/50 male/female. Ages range from high school seniors to retired seniors, the majority being between 30-60 years of age. There is a nearly even split between experienced practitioners and those who are new to meditation.
"Many people new to meditation may try it at home, and give up if they don't feel it works," Cierra says. "Having a strong community presence in the center is very validating for those new to meditation. We do our best to create a welcoming environment. We are always available to answer questions and give as much or as little direction as needed. If people want to sit on a cushion and journal or knit, that's fine, too."
The most popular classes at Mayu are Beginning Meditation and Qigong. Monthly movie nights are selling out, and two weekly community "sits" have been added to the schedule. visitors have expressed an interest in seeing more meditation classes specifically for kids and for expectant mothers.
It's always interesting to see whether neighborhood interest helps a business flourish or wither. It looks as if our neighborhood is embracing Mayu and helping it to flourish. Now, my image of meditation is no longer just of a Buddhist monk but of any one of my mindful neighbors walking down the street.
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Whether it's the closing of a favored dining spot, or some other life condition that has played havoc with your spiritual center, Mayu Meditation Sanctuary is open at 1804 S. Pearl St., providing the perfect environment in which to nurture and re-center your inner self.
Cierra Imig has created Mayu as a haven from day-to-day life. Mayu translates to "cocoon" in Japanese, "a place of stillness and protection that allows great transformation." The Mayu website defines sanctuary as "a shelter or refuge one can turn to for help, relief or escape; a source of aid or comfort in times of difficulty."
Mayu offers practitioners formal and informal meditation seating on a walk-in basis, 7 days a week; classes and instruction on meditation, tai chi and other wellness topics; meditation supplies (cushions, benches, mats, bolsters); as well as mini massages focusing on particular areas hindering complete relaxation. Full massage appointments and a vareity of counseling practitioners are available at Mayu's Mind-Body Studio at 616 Washington St.
With the holidays just past, this might be a good time to get your inner self in order. For information, call 303-832-0033 or visit www.mayusanctuary.com.
Platt Park Post
December 2011/January 2012
Looking for a place to get a little refuge from the hustle and bustle of life? Then you might want to check out newly opened Mayu Sanctuary, described as a "unique urban refuge for everyone seeking rest, guidance and inspiration." Located at 1804 S. Pearl Street (behind the garden). They offer a large selection of meditation seating suppies including cushions, benches, bolsters and mats, as well as books, CDs and other objects to assist the practice of meditation. Foot, hand or scalp massages are offered. A variety of weekly classes and workshops are available to help soothe the holdiay stress. For more information you can visit their website www.mayusanctuary.com or just stop in.
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