John Moore of New Gloucester is offering a daily online meditation practice for free this week to help people deal with stress. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

NEW GLOUCESTER – As more Mainers continue to stay home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a local man is doing his part to help people de-stress and alleviate anxiety.

On Monday, John Moore, a spiritual empowerment coach and shamanic practitioner, began hosting free online nonreligious guided meditations for people looking for a way to shed their stress and anxiety, and improve their mental health during social distancing or isolation.

He hosts the guided meditations at 8 a.m. and shares a link of the video on the Facebook group “Maine Coronavirus Community Assistance.”

To date, the meditations have lasted between 15 and 20 minutes, Moore said, and are available to view later for people who are unable to participate at 8 a.m.

Moore said as more people began to isolate themselves and practice social distancing, he noticed “a lot of people in my community stressed out, and understandably so. I’ve seen people online talking about the anxiety or depression they’re feeling.”

After being invited to the Maine Coronavirus Community Assistance Facebook group, Moore said he felt inspired by “the way people were offering to help others in any way they could.”

“It got me thinking, what can I do to help,” Moore said.

Moore said he is trained in teaching meditation, including guided meditations, and thought it was the perfect way to help people get through a difficult time.

“The bulk of my business involves teaching live classes, but everyone’s nervous about in-person events right now,” Moore said. “I’ve been seeing a lot more cancellations since the coronavirus, so being able to do things like this online is a huge help.”

Moore said he began teaching shamanism after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and told by doctors that “medication was the only way I could get through it.”

“Most people drawn to shamanism have gone through a health crisis, and when I was diagnosed with PTSD a number of years ago, I looked for an alternative to medicine,” Moore said. “That’s not to shun anyone who goes down the path of medication. This was my personal choice. I had always meditated and been involved in spiritual healing. Maine has a huge shamanic community that is very loving and sharing.”

Moore reiterated that the meditations  he offers are “nonreligious, nonspiritual, and don’t require you to give up any of the beliefs you hold.”

“The whole point is to de-stress,” Moore said. “You don’t have to be an expert in meditation to participate. This is for anyone, regardless of experience.”

Those interested in participating in the guided meditation can sign up at https://www.sacredbowl.com/courses.

John Moore of New Gloucester is offering a daily online meditation practice for free this week to help people deal with stress. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

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