Meditation at The Table

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Story and images by Bobby Perritt-Moungaloa
Yoga teacher Monica Appugliesi is a deep believer in the power of meditation. She has had cancer three times, and has used meditation and alternative medicine to heal her body.  Appugliesi invites the community to join her for meditation at The Table Restaurant, located in downtown Oshawa, on Mondays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.

Meditation guide Monica Appugliesi preparing candles in advanced for an evening meditation session at The Table.

Situated at 20 Simcoe St. South, The Table is known for its one long dining table meant to create a communal setting for patrons, and for the unique and largely local fresh food it offers to patrons.  Appugliesi works at the restaurant part-time and is also a certified yoga instructor. Over the past six years she has taken one month out of the year to practice intense yoga and meditation in India, with Chef Carol, the owner and founder of the restaurant.
Anyone is welcome to join the meditation circle at The Table.

“Just come in and experience it. It’s good for your mind, it’s good for your body,” Appugliesi explained. “I’ve been through illnesses. I know it helps. It helps with blood pressure, it helps with cholesterol.  It helps even with people that have bipolar (disorder) or autism.”
The Thursday evening I attended there were only three people including myself.  With Appugliesi guiding us everyone was asked to share a little bit of their day. It sounded like the four of us had had our fair share of bumps in the road that day. It was now time for us to relax.
(Left to Right) Monica Appugliesi, Chef Carol of The Table and Verne D’Angelo.

We all closed our eyes and our guide led us through how to release our muscles, straighten our spines and relax with the cutting-edge medicine of simply breathing in large, controlled breaths.
“It’s quite simple. It’s just about getting our thoughts out of the mind. It’s about controlling the breath, and the energy.” she assured. While our eyes were closed she used the analogy of putting thoughts into drawers, which didn’t work for me. But it was surprising how thin and infrequent thoughts soon became – and I have anxiety – so it was an accomplishment.
Then we listened to a reading of hers. It was a long reading, that she spontaneously pulled from her instructor’s book, which she claimed was “meant” to be read, because of how much it related to the issues we had just all vented.
Her voice was so soothing and maternal that I slipped into a state where I lost all perception of my body. My knees felt like they were stuck out beside my ears and my torso was gone. I started to forget what the room looked like, and just went with it, as I yearned to alter my mind, even temporarily, through meditation.
After her readings, I joined Appugliesi in chanting a series of deep “aummmms” that are meant to align the body’s energy chakras, circulate oxygen and improve overall health.
“We need oxygen in our brains.  We have to eat good food, we have to work out.  So the ‘om,’ without doing all the working out and the food when you don’t have time, just does the same thing,” she said.
Like astounding sex, a much-needed bubble bath or a long vacation, all great things must come to an end.  In no hurry to leave, the four of us all talked about our experiences, and I was thrilled to tell the circle about mine but slightly embarrassed I missed Appugliesi’s reading. She just laughed about it.
Appugliesi had told me before the session, “At the end there’s a lot of findings, or what they’ve been through (during) the meditation. There’s a lot of laughter, a lot of joking sometimes. It’s great. It’s just coming together.”
When anyone is ready to take an evening and put their own longevity above everyday distractions there’s a space for you at The Table to find peace – mind, body and soul.

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