Mindfulness meditation is about training to focus your attention where you want it, Stacy Thrash said. She is using a renovated shipping container to help people learn how to do just that.
Thrash founded PeaceBox, a mobile meditation studio, in 2017. She currently has two units—one is located in the Lake Travis area for retreats and weekend classes, and the other is on a permanent trailer so it can travel to schools, corporations and community events.
As mindfulness becomes more popular, PeaceBox will grow, Thrash said, adding that she plans to offer a rental option of the PeaceBox studio for any group looking for an intimate and dedicated venue for ongoing practice. There will be the option of having an instructor on-site or a variety of recorded practices to choose from—headsets included.
There are many misconceptions that keep people from even trying meditation as a mindfulness practice, Thrash said. The most common is that the goal is to stop thoughts completely. “It’s not about stopping the mind at all,” she said. “It’s about training the mind to focus where you want your attention.”
For example, next time you are sitting in traffic, notice where you put your attention, Thrash said. “The environment itself is somewhat outside of your control, which causes stress,” she said.
“If I choose to put my attention on something that I do have control over, such as my breath or noticing nearby restaurants, then my stress response goes down, and I feel more at peace.”
Different people experience stress differently, Thrash said. There tend to be four places where people place their attention.
“Anxiety is usually an indication your attention is in the future,” she said. “Depression and grief [are]an indication your attention is in the past. If you’re frustrated or angry or feeling unsettled, usually your attention is on other people and wanting them to do something different.”
But you cannot have control over any of the above, only [the fourth place]the present moment, Thrash said. She said a person can learn to identify where their attention is and realize they have a choice about how they react. “Once you learn this tool, you can’t unlearn it,” she said.
Highlights from the mobile PeaceBox’s travel log
• 2018 South by Southwest Wellness Expo
• Book People—downtown Austin
• Whole Foods—downtown Austin
• The University of Texas
• Texas Nursing Association
• Hyatt—downtown Austin
• City of Austin Wellness Expo
• City of Bastrop Wellness Expo