Calgary writer explores ‘flash mob’ meditation to draw people to practice

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Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald: Writer Megan Bishop-Scott has had this one idea percolating in her mind for some time now.

What she calls a “flash mob meditation” in Calgary where people get together for the spiritual practice.

The challenge, she says, is helping people understand what meditation is all about.

One of her main contracts is writing life histories for foster children.

“Because of that, I’ve actually been asked to go to group homes where some of these really hard foster kids are,” she says. “I’ve taught them how to meditate. And they get it in a second. Basically what I explain to them is that life is like a video game and your body is the controller. But if you’re not meditating, the controller is not plugged into the game. They just get it.”

She’s also been in discussions with the Calgary Drop-In Centre to offer meditation to its clients.

Meditation “balances people. It just helps them de-stress and get rid of the anxiety and stop that panic mode that seems to run everybody,” she says.

Bishop-Scott says she wants to do a mass meditation so it can expose the average person to a technique – to help give them a tool to calm themselves and be more aware.

“And what comes from that is health, wealth. It just resolves everything in your life when you have a tool like that,” she says.

Bishop-Scott says a few years ago she went through the wringer in her personal life in California.

It was then that she discovered Vedic meditation practices.

“What hit me is that life is like a whitewater rafting trip,” says Bishop-Scott. “When you’re meditating, you’re in a raft, and when you’re not meditating, you’re in the rapids. Getting smashed around. Caught in whirlpools. When I started meditating, it was like very slowly I started recreating who I was. And I realized that the way I had been raised in Calgary wasn’t who I was.

“There were all these preconceived notions and expectations. Your parents and society. When I went to California, I basically stripped that all away and started from scratch, and that’s when I became a writer. . . . Then miracles started happening. Since I had nothing, all I could do was meditate. So every day, I’d take care of business. I was working in greenhouses. That’s how I made cash.”

She ended up being hired to write an artist’s memoirs.

“The universe starts aligning with you. It sort of knew who I was. Knew what I was aiming for, but it was like I had to move the chess pieces around the board until I could make my move,” Bishop-Scott says.

“It’s like existence knows why you were born, and when you meditate, you keep lining up with what your original intention had been, that’s when you just let everyone else tell you who you are and let your mind chatter away at you, you get off track. Some people are very good at knowing who they are.

“Most of us let our minds be like an answering machine. It just keeps replaying crap all day. . . . The meditation just stops that answering-machine portion of your mind so that you just become way more efficient, way more still.

“By being very still, then everything else just handles itself. Some of the books I liked reading when I first got going in all this were Life Was Never Meant To Be a Struggle. Don’t Worry Be Happy.

“There’s all these throwaway phrases, but you don’t know what that means until you can get your mind to shut up. That’s what meditation is doing.

“It’s just getting you back to Square 1, and then when something is in your best interest and it lands on you, it’s really clear. You’re not confused.”

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