When we think about meditating (with a capital M) we can get hung up on thinking about our thoughts: we’re going to do something about what’s happening in our heads. It’s as if these bodies we have are just inconvenient sacks for our brains to lug around.

Having it all remain in your head, though, lacks a feeling of good old gravity.  That approach can make it seem like floating, as though we don’t have to walk.  We can just waft.

But meditation begins and ends in the body.  It involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body.  That very act can be calming, since our body has internal rhythms that help it relax if we give it a chance.

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Zen meadow

 

How do I meditate?

Choose a comfortable spot to sit with spine upright. Sit against a wall or a straight-backed chair.  You may have your legs folded under you or in another position that is comfortable for your body.  If you already do some sort of seated yoga posture, feel free to do it.  If you are sitting in a chair it’s best to have the bottoms of your feet touching the floor.

Straighten but don’t stiffen your upper body. There is natural alignment to the spine with the head and shoulders resting comfortably on top of the vertebrae.  If a wall is helpful for support, feel free.

Let your hands drop into your lap or on top of your knees with your upper arms at your sides.  Too far ahead will make you hunch so allow the posture of the spine to dictate where your hands fall.

Drop your chin a bit and let your gaze fall downward to an unmoving spot a few feet in front of you.  You may close your eyes completely if you feel benefit from doing so, otherwise let your gaze soften as you focus on the unmoving spot in front of you.

Be there for a few moments and enjoy this stillness even if the brain is still churning out thoughts.  Observe the thoughts that are occurring to you and see if you can focus your attention on your breath moving in and out of the body.

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Women in lotus position

Types of Meditation

These days, with the greater need to reduce stress in the midst of our busy schedules and demanding lives, meditation is increasing in popularity. Although there isn’t a right or wrong way to meditate, it’s important to find a practice that meets your needs and complements your personality.

There are several  popular types of meditation practice.  The following are seven of the more common practices:

  • mindfulness meditation
  • spiritual meditation
  • focused meditation
  • movement meditation
  • chanting meditation
  • transcendental meditation
  • visualization meditation

Not all meditation styles are right for everyone. These practices require different skills and mindsets. Learn which practice suits you best.

About PLAN

We are a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to future care planning for disabled adults due to mental illness. Incorporated in 1999, PLAN was formed by a group of families with disabled family members — mostly sons and daughters — concerned about who would care for their disabled dependents when they were no longer able to do so themselves.

PLAN of Central Ohio offers an activities program where clients can form friendships, practice social skills and just have fun. We meet two times a month, transporting clients to and from each activity. Our case manager/client ratio is approximately 1 to 5 to provide a safe, supervised outing. Our program includes casual dinners at inexpensive restaurants, outings to movies and trips to local places of interest.  We have been able to continue our activities program in a safe, socially-distanced way, despite the COVID-19 epidemic.  We also offer Zoom-based activities to meet the needs of those who do not wish to be out and about in these unprecedented times.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been around?

We were formed in 1999 by a group of families with disabled family members.

What is your mission?

PLAN of Central Ohio’s mission is to provide enhanced quality of life for individuals with mental illness.

What do your services consist of?

We provide a once weekly lunch club that is socially distanced and in person.  We also provide Zoom care coordination to address concerns that arise in individuals and their care as well as concierge support as needed should an individual need groceries or assistance with daily activities or crisis navigation.  Additionally, we provide zoom classes monthly in the form of yoga, movement, music appreciation, and fun facts to encourage socialization. We provide supplemental care coordination when individual needs “fall through the safety net” and support to families who are experiencing caregiver burnout.

What is Zoom care coordination?

When an individual needs someone to talk to in a time of need they can access our care coordinators via phone or Zoom. Talks can range from simple process sessions designed to address current stressors and concerns to support needs during times of crisis. We have transported clients for emergency psychiatric evaluation.  We deliver groceries and help with pet care.  We deliver meals from restaurants so that our client’s needs during COVID-19 are respected.

What is private pay mental health home care

The services we provide could easily fall under this umbrella and are designed for individuals who do not meet Medicaid criteria for case management services.

How do you get your referrals?

We get referrals from attorney who work as conservators for disabled individuals as well as family and friends who are interested in additional support for their loved one.

How do you address caregiver burnout?

We hold annual caregiver support workshops for caregivers of disabled adults.  These workshops offer a great deal of education on mental health first aid and burnout.  We offer a safe forum for caregivers to discuss their concerns and receive supportive feedback from others navigating the same issues.

What does a typical Plan client look like?

Our clients come from families who are seeking additional support in the form of structured activities to improve quality of life in the individual.

Who can become a member? 

Families, friends, potential and active clients who would like to access our services.

What is included in membership? 

There is an annual fee that allows individuals and their supports access to our programming.  To participate in lunch club and receive care coordination services there is an additional fee of $30.00 per hour plus mileage.

What are you doing to address COVID-19 in terms of your programming?

We are committed to ensuring that our activities are safe and socially distanced when meeting in person and provide the bulk of our content via Zoom to make sure that the needs of our clients and staff are respected.