Stillness Meditation Therapy or SMT is a meditation practice that was developed and studied by the late Melbourne psychiatrist Dr. Ainslie Meares, who is credited for bringing meditation to Australia in the 1950’s. His work has continued on through former student Pauline McKinnon, founder of the SMT Training Centre in Kew and the Meditation Association of Australia.
SMT is different to other forms of meditation by its simplicity.
Cynthia Bartolo says, “There are no mantras, images, sounds or movements. SMT guides you into ‘letting go’ of mental noise and physical tension. Besides promoting deep relaxation during the session, SMT helps to ‘train’ your brain and body to achieve more long-term composure and anxiety relief. No caves or monasteries required!”
SMT is especially helpful in calming the nervous system which has several benefits, including: lowering blood pressure, heart rate, inflammation, stress and anxiety. It has also been shown to promote the body’s own healing processes, which are often compromised by our modern fast-paced lifestyle.
“Many people think that they cannot meditate as the act of being still is foreign or uncomfortable for them, as it was for me when I first started. With this in mind, I have custom designed sessions using the principles of SMT.” Cynthia explains. “I like to refer to it as meditation for real life.”
During sessions, Cynthia will gently guide you to move through any resistance and into a place where the mind can rest. She will support you by placing warm, reassuring hands on your shoulders at intervals during the meditation session: that will help you to move deeper into stillness. This therapeutic use of touch is unique to the SMT technique. (hands on is optional)
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