SMT is more than relaxation, even more than meditation … SMT is a kind of philosophy, a way of life and the way of living calm. Restoring ease where previously there was effort, reaction and stress, SMT brings you back to life (and also brings life back to you – as you will read in the following stories!)
Here are some of the many thank you letters, cards and emails we receive from clients (some names have been changed for privacy):
Over 30 years ago I suffered from debilitating agoraphobia, presenting in severe anxiety attacks and profuse sweats. Agoraphobia was stealing my life and that of my family, although the children were too young to understand my fleeing public places as an attack came on.
Good fortune steered me in the direction of Pauline McKinnon and her group meditation classes, practicing Dr Ainslie Meares’ methodology. I vividly recall the moment that positively changed my life:
I was participating in a small group session, sitting still, on an upright chair, quietly with my eyes closed, when suddenly occurred a feeling like I was tumbling, tumbling, tumbling down a deep black hole, akin to Alice in Wonderland. My body felt like it was physically falling; yet my mind knew I was safely seated, reassured also by gentle therapeutic touch. With tears streaming down my face, an incredible calm came over me.
For me this was the moment of change – and of renewed family life.
I overcame my fear and achieved my goal – that of taking my son and some young friends on Puffing Billy for his sixth birthday! Until then this was a task that was not an option, as to do so would have crippled me with an anxiety attack.
Indeed, with the guidance of Pauline, in stillness I conquered my own fear. Thirty-something years later, I have not looked back.
Ever grateful …
SMT is quite different to other meditation and EVERYONE can do it. It has changed my life and made me calmer, more accepting and contented.
Dear Pauline, thank you for the follow up. I have benefited from utilising the technique and have thus found a new way to approach stillness.
Thank you for your guidance during the course and good wishes. Your work is truly valuable and may all those you connect with benefit from your wisdom and this healing therapy.
“For the first time in over 10 years I caught a tram in the city. It was a short trip, but a huge step in my life”
“I practice Pauline McKinnon’s Stillness Mediation, and her book In Stillness Conquer Fear was a major factor in overcoming my agoraphobia. Pauline understands agoraphobia in a way most people don’t. She experienced agoraphobia first hand and I believe that gives her a deeper insight into how to recover from it … I have never met Pauline but I feel her kindness and concern for people with agoraphobia come shinning through her words and voice … I feel like through her book and CDs she has played such an important role in my recovery.
Even though I have never met her and she doesn’t know it, she is a mentor to me. I would like to follow her wonderful example and use my experience with agoraphobia to help others as she has done.”
Pauline, Kaye and Lucy
Thank you for helping me establish a regular meditation practice. I have benefitted greatly from it, especially my overall state of being which is nicely settled. I’ve been able to come off my anti-depressants and feel great about that, and enjoying a cleaner system, like purified water.
I wanted to write to you to let you know what a life saver your books and CD have proved to be for me.
About two years ago, my health deteriorated and I started to suffer symptoms I now know were the result of acute anxiety. I had a very bad panic attack and started to feel that I was very unsafe and didn’t understand what I was experiencing.
A visit to my GP resulted in medication which just exacerbated my symptoms. I want to a hypnotherapist for a few months and this helped to a point but I was still experiencing very distressing symptoms. After a few very frightening weeks where I felt that I didn’t want to continue as I was, I went to my bookshelf and found a book that I had bought in my youth, “From the Quiet Place” by Ainslie Meares. Wow! Then I googled his name and your website came up I purchased your first book (In Stillness Conquer Fear) and CD (Experiencing Stillness Meditation) and cried with relief whilst I read it.
I have been practicing Stillness Meditation for one to two hours a day for a year and half and NOW I feel as though my world is returning. The symptoms of sweating, gut churning, pressure in my ears, blurred vision and a feeling of dread have all abated. I still have a few residual sensations each day but I am confident these too will go. It has been a LONG road …. very painful …. excruciating at times and I wondered MANY times if my life would ever improve.
I purchased your second book (Living Calm in a busy world) about a year ago and some more of Ainslie Meares’ books. These have kept me focussed and gave me hope when I was struggling (which happened A LOT)!!
Thank you for your gift to me. My life has changed forever. I am calmer, more resourceful and stronger person as a result of finding Stillness Meditation.
Following a routine medical, my GP, and subsequently a cardiologist, diagnosed stage 1 hypertension and both recommended that I should immediately begin taking anti-hypertensive medication to ward off possible future illness including stroke and heart disease. This diagnosis shocked me as I have a reasonably healthy lifestyle. After the initial diagnosis, I upped my efforts considerably (no butter, little cheese, skimmed milk etc and a stepped up exercise regime) to no avail.
When pressed at my second consultation, the cardiologist suggested that meditation was a possible alternative to medication which is how I came to approach the SMT Centre. For 9 months I have attended a weekly group session at the SMT Centre supplemented with reasonably regular sessions (3-4 times a week) at home. I have tracked my blood pressure before and after each home session and am delighted to say that it is now much lower than when I started without resorting to medication.
When I first started SMT, my average BP was 148/90 and 9 months later, 130/80, a significant improvement which I hope will continue to trend downwards. After my initial scepticism, I am now convinced that SMT is proving to be an effective therapy for my incipient hypertension and it is certainly my intention to continue with this peculiarly gratifying treatment.
It is also noticeable that my life-long eczema has also been much improved these last 9 months, and has been successfully controlled solely by the use of moisturisers over this period, when previously topical steroid creams were occasionally required. I would now have no hesitation in recommending stillness meditation as an avenue that is worth exploring for not only hypertension but also eczema. I look forward to gaining yet more benefit from this approach to my personal healthcare regime.
With sincere thanks
Sincere thanks for your teaching and guidance in Stillness Meditation. I consider it a blessing in my life that my anxiety lead me to you and your teaching skills. When I saw this card, the picture of balancing rocks reminded me of how Stillness Meditation has brought balance back into my life. When my anxiety was severe I was walking through life on a tightrope and was knocked off balance regularly. At my worst I was housebound, terrified to go out my own front door, which impacted hugely on raising my four beautiful children. Stillness Meditation over time has turned my tightrope into a boardwalk which is grounded in love, security, peace and hope. This boardwalk is getting wider and I have no fear of falling off.
Wendy Stewart, R.N.
I never thought I had agoraphobia before, but on reflection I realised I was often uncomfortable in social situations yet forced myself through act of will to endure the discomfort. An eye opener from your perspective was that the anxiety causing the discomfort was not to be fought but managed. Thanks for this insight. I’ve since found that my meditation sessions are going better. I used to meditate, but got caught up in groups who added too much ideological baggage to the process and I stopped. It’s wonderful to be able to come back to meditation in its ‘pure’ form. Somehow the time seems right now. Thanks for sharing your story through the book.
I have had anxiety and panic attacks for 14 years. Over those years there have been times where the anxiety and panic has ruled my life, where I was unable to leave my home. At other times due to medication I have been able to manage a bit better. I am a really happy and outgoing person and to have this happen to me was a shock. I was sitting at work one day listening to 3AW when a young man rang up to ask advice regarding anxiety and a caller rang in and suggested he read a book written by Pauline McKinnon so I quickly Googled Pauline and made an appointment.
That was several years ago now and my life has turned around since meeting Pauline and having Stillness Meditation in my life. The one thing that I have wanted to do but constantly put off due to anxiety and panic was travelling. Since meditating I have been to Bali, America and Europe which is a huge achievement!!! I have found with Stillness Meditation a sense of peace and comfort that I did not have before and a new joy for life that had gone.
I am now in the process of weaning myself off medication over the next few months, another huge achievement as I never thought I would be able to do that. I have an immense sense of gratitude towards Pauline and her staff who have taught me a lifelong skill that will continue to keep me calm and at peace.
I am writing to you to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your amazing care and support towards treating my chronic anxiety and agoraphobia over the past four years. As you know my condition was extremely painful, debilitating and had completely controlled and restricted my life for a period of almost 8 years prior to when I first walked into your office some FOUR years ago. Upon commencing Stillness Meditation with you, my recovery from being literally unable to comfortably leave my immediate postcode area, to being able to board an airplane as I recently did, to go away on my first holiday in twelve years has been way beyond my wildest expectations. I cannot thank you enough Pauline for not only helping me get my life back, but equally as importantly for my wellness, my happiness, my ability to be relaxed at all times and my ability to live a full life and be joyous at all times. For anybody reading this letter who has suffered from stress, anxiety or any other form of debilitating depression or phobia, I cannot recommend highly enough that you contact Pauline and give yourself the opportunity to learn and partake in this amazing healing process called “Stillness Meditation” (SMT).
Dad gave me your first book “In Stillness Conquer Fear” before I set off on my bootless sabbatical as a 21 year old. I connected instantly to your story. Although our conditions were different, there were many similarities. The mind is a complicated thing but you conquered a mental disorder and I wanted to do the same. Mine was an eating disorder – and though I’m passionate about my profession, somehow I believed football was making my situation worse. So to solve this problem, quitting football seemed to be a necessity. Little did I know then, I was running and no matter how far I travelled, how many people I met, how many nights out, new experiences, new discoveries, my mind with its negativities was still there. The thoughts contributing to my disorder were so embedded! They needed to be addressed. But how? I did not want to take medication. I wanted to take care of this problem naturally, as it developed naturally. Learning to sit still challenged all these thoughts. And eventually won.
I liken the act of sitting still to my football. You have to work at it and apply yourself to the practice daily. The calm person others perceive on the outer, I now believe I am becoming nearer to on the inside. Still a work in progress but I am making new tracks and it all takes time. Thank you!