Time out for a break from thoughts
"HOLDING a thought is like holding this crystal ball," a Buddhist monk said to a Gladstone-based meditation class.
He had come in to teach the class and pulled out a weighty crystal ball, holding it out in front of himself.
"When you have been holding the ball for a long time, your arm starts to get tired," he said.
"It's the same with thoughts. But if you put the ball down for a little while and then you pick it back up again, that is just like taking some time out for some meditation.
"Then you can pick that thought back up again and go on with it, and then it's not such a tiring thing."
One of those in the room who heard the lesson was Jaclyn Meier, herself a meditation teacher.
For her, the monk's words rang true.
"I started meditating when I was a paramedic," she said. "I found it extremely efficient in stress release."
Most of us have a stereotypical image of meditation and the people who practice it.
But Ms Meier's attraction to meditation has nothing to do with religious or spiritual beliefs. In fact, while acknowledging its prominence within religious traditions, she says it is an inherently scientific process.
"Meditation is about accessing more efficient areas of your brain, gaining more control over your thought processes and your mindful activity and gaining control over your emotions," she said.