x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Want to get started with meditation?

There are many styles of meditation in the UAE - we explore what's available and where.

Sona Bahri of Inner Space in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National
Sona Bahri of Inner Space in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National

Have we managed to convince you of the healing powers of meditation? If so, read on to explore some of the techniques that are available in the UAE and where you can find them

Transcendental Meditation

The practice: Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a simple technique taught by certified teachers worldwide. It requires 20 minutes of twice-daily practice, seated in a chair with your eyes closed. It also requires a mantra, which is handed over during instruction and is intended to be kept to oneself.

There is a one-time fee of US$1,000 (Dh3,670) for full instruction. While that seems steep, the course runs over four days and the fee includes unlimited tuneups with a certified teacher. TM also funds much of the research being done into the effects of meditation and provides free training to those less fortunate in the US and around the world.

The benefits: It is believed that TM produces a rejuvenating rest, reduces stress and can lead to improved immune function, robust health and higher energy levels. "TM has been shown to develop emotional health, leading to greater confidence and self-esteem, the ability to handle stressful situations, and more tolerance and acceptance of others," says Dr Emami.

Sign up: Free introductory talks are frequently offered in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai and other locations as required. For more information, call 050 114 0117 or visit www.tm.ae.

In-depth Meditation

The practice: In-depth Meditation is known to enable a deeper form of concentration. Various breathing techniques and awareness of a mantra are used, with closed eyes. Through regular and dedicated practice, it is believed that altered states of consciousness can be attained.

The benefits: Williams teaches meditation at the centre, and says that the benefits "include a sense of clarity and calm, increased feelings of peacefulness and happiness, awareness of being in the present, deeper sleep, better relaxation, release of stress, less health problems and more self-control".

Sign up: In-depth meditation sessions are held at LifeWorks Counselling and Development in Dubai over four consecutive weeks, including ongoing follow-up. The cost is Dh200 per session. Class timings and further information can be found at www.lifeworksdubai.com.

Open Eye Meditation

The practice: Open Eye Meditation involves focusing on a point of light, such as a picture or a candle.

The benefits: Sona Bahri, an Australian expat who teaches Open Eye Meditation at the Inner Space Centre in Abu Dhabi, says that this method is practical because it can be used anywhere and at any time. "It stills the mind and creates a feeling of peace and calm. It doesn't cost a penny and just 10 minutes can create inner peace and stability."

Sign up: The Inner Space Centre in Abu Dhabi offers a beginner's meditation course in English twice a month. Each course consists of four lessons. Arabic lessons are also available on request. For further information, visit www.innerspace-abudhabi.com or call 050 515 9646. Courses are free, but participants are encouraged to donate towards the operation of the centre.