PEACE BE WITH YOU

Buddhist nun Kelsang Pagma, who takes regular meditation classes at the centre on Holmfield Road, North Shore.'Pagma in the meditation room.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'28-9-2012

Buddhist nun Kelsang Pagma, who takes regular meditation classes at the centre on Holmfield Road, North Shore.'Pagma in the meditation room. PIC BY ROB LOCK'28-9-2012

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JUST taking five or 10 minutes out of our busy days could help everybody.

That’s according to Buddhist nun Kelsang Pagma, from Keajra Buddhist Centre, on Holmfield Road, North Shore.

Pagma, who did have a busy life herself as an accounts manager and mum-of-one, left the rat race and was ordained seven years ago.

Now she teaches regular meditation classes and other courses at the centre – which she wants to raise awareness of.

The 56-year-old – originally from Yorkshire – first became interested in meditation 16 years ago.

After discovering the benefits for herself, she wanted to learn about it.

She said: “I was a busy working mum, with a busy life and I wanted to slow down a bit. I wanted to have a bit less stress, and found meditation sessions worked for me.

“Then gradually, over the years, I became more and more interested in Buddhism and more interested in how meditation works and can be of benefit.

“I studied and became a teacher of meditation, and I was ordained seven years ago.”

Pagma says meditation can help anybody. She says: “You gain such benefits, which you feel straight away. I found it helped every aspect of my life.

“It helped my relationships, my understanding of the whole world around me, it made me kinder, more considerate, more compassionate. I understand more about the mind.

“And when the mind is more relaxed, the body is more relaxed too.

“Anyone can benefit – I work with schools, work with all ages, work with people with mental health issues, and we offer weekly free meditation sessions at Blackpool Central Library to try to help as many people as possible.”

Grandma-of-two Pagma says meditation can help with everyday life.

She says: “We are always trying to meet deadlines – we get up in the morning to an alarm, we have to get to work on time, deadlines and targets at work, then we come home and have to get the tea ready on time – and so on.

“Through meditation, we can learn to prioritise the things in life more effectively, without becoming anxious or stressed. We can be more peaceful and learn to detect early signs of negativity or grumpiness.

“Even not necessarily meditation as such, but just taking five or 10 minutes out of our busy day, to just sit relax and focus on slowing the breathing can be very beneficial.

“The techniques learned in meditation classes of course can help in all sorts of situations, such as exams.

“If we think positively, it can result in happiness, but if we think negatively, then we are more likely to be unhappy.”

Regular sessions and courses take place at the North Shore centre, and each Sunday, there is a prayer morning.

The next “learn to meditate in half a day” session will take place on October 27 at the centre, from 10am until 1pm.

The cost is £10, including refreshments.

There is also a course on October 6 entitled Love Without Pain, from 10am until 3.30pm – £18, including lunch.

n Log on to www.meditationin blackpool.org.uk, or call (01253) 352721.