Serenity Now

It is possible to learn how to meditate and to get benefits quickly and easily; Domini Stuart is living proof.

Everyone from the Dalai Lama to your GP will tell you that meditation is a great way to relieve stress. Unless, of course, you’re fretting about how you can possibly fit an hour or so of meditation into your frantic day. Or worrying that you’re not doing it properly when you can’t keep tomorrow’s deadline out of your mind.

According to stress counsellor Rodney Stoddart, everyone can meditate perfectly and effortlessly. When you’re following his CD-based Breakthrough Meditation™ programme you simply can’t get it wrong, And just 15 minutes a day is all it takes to benefit from a lot more than stress relief.

“As well as being a fast and simple meditative technique, Breakthrough Meditation is also a powerful tool for personal growth”, says Stoddart. “You learn to manage your emotions positively, challenge negative beliefs and feel more confident – and you’ll start noticing differences from the very first day.”

A big promise? Stoddart is so sure of the benefits that his programme comes with a money-back guarantee.

You’re Never Wrong

Module One, the Personal Power Meditation, lays the foundation for all that follows. Stoddart’s style is relaxed and personal – it’s easy to imagine he’s sitting next to you and speaking spontaneously rather than from a CD.

As instructed, I relax, close my eyes and breathe gently, allowing his voice to guide me through the visualisation. Along the way, I identify my personal power centre and meet my inner self, taking mental note of what I see and any messages I receive. I am then led gently out of the meditation to music written specifically for the programme.

To my surprise, while everything seemed to happen very quickly, I feel just as profoundly relaxed and ‘spacey’ as after much longer meditations. At first I’m not comfortable with the next step, completing a short note-taking exercise, probably because I feel self-conscious about committing something this intimate to paper.

However, Stoddart insists that the writing is fundamental to the process and, as it takes all of 30 seconds, I override my paranoia and do as I am told. “Breakthrough Meditation is actually a training programme, and that’s why it’s so important to make the notes after each listening”, says Stoddart. “You should do this exercise even if you feel you’re making everything up. Not everyone spontaneously visualises in 3D living colour but, even if you think you’re just imagining or inventing your experience, it’s just as meaningful. And you don’t have to worry about drifting off, thinking of other things or feeling distracted. As long as your intention is to follow the process, you’ll get results whether your conscious mind is ‘there’ for it or not.”

Major Change Ahead

Stoddart recommends starting out by listening to each of the modules at least six times in sequence. I have now completed this cycle and am ‘freewheeling’ – listening alternately to the module I most enjoy and the one I least want to do. This, apparently, is likely to be the one I most need.

While it’s impossible to quantify the effects of this kind of programme, I have noticed so many significant changes that it’s hard to imagine they could all be dismissed as coincidence.

I’ve found myself responding with calm control in situations where, in the past, I would have shed tears of frustration or erupted with rage. I coped with one particularly challenging development without sinking into depression. I have been sleeping like a baby. And I have even managed to unlock the emotional shackles which, for an embarrassingly long time, had been chaining me to a dead relationship.

Then there’s the chocolate.

Chocolate has long been the most accurate measure of my emotional health. The more I’m eating, the worse I’m feeling – and I can’t remember a day when I chose not to eat it at all. Then, suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, I found I just didn’t feel like it any more. I hadn’t made any effort to break the habit or even a conscious decision to try, yet I haven’t wanted any since. I don’t think for a moment that I’ll never enjoy chocolate again, but I no longer seem to need it as an emotional crutch. As far as I’m concerned, change doesn’t come much bigger than that!

“Within the first week I started to feel more positive, less frustrated. Then as each week proceeded I became more alive and in tune with myself and those dear to me. Less stressed about the things I couldn’t control and more relaxed. I feel more confident and actually more in control.” K.L. School Teacher

The Breakthrough Meditation programme is available by mail order and costs $317.90. This includes CDs, workbook, up to 2 hours of telephone counselling and a money-back guarantee. For more information call 1800 647523 or visit

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