Sahaja Yoga Meditation has a place to call their own, right in the heart of downtown Liverpool. Since September 2012, the blue building on the corner of Main and Gorham Street, has been transformed into a home base for the practice.
© Nick Moase Photo
Mary and Marcel Kuhn are hosting an open house in their Sahaja Yoga centre on May 16. The evening will be highlighted with a performance by Indian Dancer and Singer Anandita Basu.
VND Canada, a non-profit organization that oversees the Sahaja Meditation practice in Canada, are now the owners of the building, and it is being managed by Mary and Marcel Kuhn from Mill Village.
Sahaja Yoga meditation is held in the second floor of the building. The first floor is being renovated for another purpose, though the Kuhn's haven't quite finalized the details.
Marcel and Mary Kuhn have run a Sahaja Yoga Meditation class in Queens County since 2007, usually out of the library at Liverpool Regional High School. Mary says the space worked very well for them over the years, but they wanted to expand the program to hold advanced classes and children's classes.
Now they have a permanent home in Liverpool.
On May 19 starting at 7 p.m. they are hosting the official inauguration of the Liverpool location with an open house. The evening will be a chance for people to drop by and learn about the meditation practice, but also enjoy a concert of classical Indian music and dance by renowned performer Anandita Basu.
You don't have to be interested in meditation to come out the event either, say the Kuhns. Basu's dance and music is something unique that doesn't come to Queens County very often, so those that want to enjoy the show are welcome to attend.
Despite yoga in the name, Sahaja Yoga Meditation is not Yoga in the exercise sense. The word Yoga actually encompasses a body of physical, mental and spiritual practices. In this case, Sahaja Yoga is about focusing the energy we all have within.
That explanation is a little simplistic, and there is much more to the practice says Marcel.
"The best thing is for people to come and experience it first hand."
One of the first things most people notice however is less stress.
Mary says some people come to the class after experiencing depression or anxiety, or perhaps a health problem has come up.
"That may be the little nudging that brings them here. Once they come they learn this meditation teaches them to know themselves," she says.
Others come in looking for new ways to relieve stress, or are just curious about the concept. No matter what the reason, says Mary, everyone is welcome.
"We are telling people we have everything inside to heal and balance ourselves, and we teach people how to do that," adds Marcel.
The practice was created by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi in 1970, and is now taught in 120 around the world. Devi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work as well.
Sahaja Yoga meditation is free wherever it is taught in the world, which is an important factor in the practice. The philosophy is everyone as the power or energy within themselves to use, and you can't charge for something that is already ours.
Meditation beginnerâ€™s classes take place every Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the second floor