Adelaide’s Lifeflow Meditation Centre has launched a purpose-designed online meditation course to help people deal with the mental and emotional stress caused by SA’s six-day COVID-19 lockdown.
The Frewville-based not-for-profit organisation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, has made the first lesson of the course available for free, so anyone can benefit from it without a cost.
After Lifeflow Meditation Centre had to close its doors during the first pandemic lockdown in March this year, it scrambled to provide its members with online support to help them maintain and enhance their meditation practices. Since then, it has redesigned its free Come & Try Meditation classes for online access – attracting nearly three times as many people during 2020 as in 2019.
The centre has also redeveloped its entry-level six-week Introduction to Meditation program, which has run in test mode with a limited number of students for the past two months. With Wednesday’s announcement of the six-day lockdown, Lifeflow has accelerated its launch, so that house-bound South Australians can get immediate access to its benefits. The first 30-minute lesson of the program is available for free online at https://meditationacademy.lifeflow.com.au/courses/learn-to-meditate.
During 2020, Lifeflow has also received increased attendance at its advanced meditation courses and it has a waitlist to attend meditation retreats at its Tara Hills Retreat Centre in the Adelaide Hills.
Lifeflow Meditation Centre Director of Teaching John Burston said this increased demand showed greater anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “A crisis brings us face-to-face with the main benefit of meditation,” he said. “This is to develop the ability to keep our minds calm in the heat of the moment.
“One of the great benefits of our new online course is that we can support students throughout the State, not just those people who live in or near Adelaide who can visit our centre at Frewville.”
Australian research, including fortnightly COVID-19 impact surveys of 1028 adults across Australia by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, suggest that the pandemic – following so soon after the trauma of last year’s Black Summer bushfires – has “had an immediate and substantial impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the population”. Findings indicate:
- 68 per cent of those surveyed have been concerned or very concerned about their health due to the spread of COVID-19
- Twice as many adults reported experiencing anxiety, nervousness and restlessness compared to pre-COVID-19 surveillance data
- One in five (22 per cent) reported high levels of loneliness and
- Rates of people reporting severe depression doubled from five per cent to 10 per cent.
Lifeflow Meditation Centre provides its students with a practical and contemporary approach to learning skills from a meditation and mindfulness tradition spanning more than 2500-years. It reports benefits from meditation include enabling people to relax quickly and efficiently, improve concentration and clarity of mind, reduce anxiety, improve sleep and gain a general sense of well-being.