UT Tyler alumnus transforms home into free community center

Reprint from UT Tyler Patriot Talon Newspaper, Posted on April 22, 2014 by Lauren Barnes 

Two years ago, a University alumnus had no idea he was about to go through a major life transformation and would end up turning his house into a free holistic haven for the community.

Jason Reagan, who graduated from the University in 2008 with a degree in health and kinesiology, started remodeling his house this month with his roommate, Mark Stewart, to create Zen Station: A Holistic Haven as a free service to the community. 

The most compassionate thing you can do for other people is to master your own emotions.
— Jason Reagan, UT Tyler alumnus

Reagan said they are still working on what will be offered but said it’s not limited to meditation, yoga, nutrition seminars, hypnotherapy, massages, counseling, various healing techniques and a community garden. He said they want to have fun events such as potluck dinners, dance parties and movie nights. 

“I don’t even know what all we’ll do yet, but it will be there for us to utilize and to engage the community,” Reagan said. “Any kind of holistic practice for the mind, body and soul.”  Zen Station’s first major event is a fundraiser on Friday night from 4 to 9 p.m. at their house, located at 2417 S. Kennedy in Tyler.  Stewart said the event will be an open house with a double-feature movie playing, homemade food, local artists who donated art pieces for a silent auction, metaphysicians who will provide information on their work, crystal energy workers, tarot readers and hopefully local musicians.  Reagan said emphasizing local artists is also something he wants to incorporate into Zen Station. 

Zen Station will run off donations; however, Reagan and Stewart said they don’t want anyone to feel obligated to donate if they aren’t able.  “If you could benefit … we want you to come for free every time, even if you can’t ever pay,” Reagan said. 

Reagan said their goals with Zen Station are to bring awareness to their services and educate others, provide a venue for people with similar interests and to introduce people to a network of others with the same interests and goals. 

Zen Station currently holds Emotional Freedom Techniques meditation classes at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Trent Golden, a local EFT practitioner, leads the EFT sessions and Reagan said he is currently getting his EFT practitioner certification and plans to take over leading the sessions.  Reagan described EFT as a bridge between acupuncture and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (programmes), according to inspiritive.com

During an EFT session, one will massage or tap on the seven major pressure points while using positive affirmation to unblock negative energy.  To start the EFT sessions, everyone has a chance to voice what they’re struggling with that week. The EFT leader then picks commonalities out from the group and does an EFT session on that topic.

“EFT is a way for you to say it [positive affirmations] and believe it by physically clearing this blocked energy by tapping,” Reagan said.  Reagan said the idea is to not keep feelings and struggles bottled up. He wants issues to be brought to the surface so they can be worked out through an EFT session. 

The schedule of the other services Zen Station will offer is still being decided. Reagan said the best way to stay updated is through the Facebook page, Zen Station: A Holistic Haven. 

Reagan has seen many personal benefits through meditation, he said.  “It’s helped me in every way,” Reagan said. “It’s helped me attain a true inner peace. When unforeseen difficulties arise, as they always do, it almost doesn’t even shake me. It’s through the practice of meditation that I feel that way.”

Reagan said improving oneself has benefits that extend beyond themselves.  “Only through personal change can we have overall change,” Reagan said.  He said people are always watching each other and react to others’ emotions and those observations can cause a chain reaction. He said emotions are contagious, whether in a negative or positive way.  “The most compassionate thing you can do for other people is to master your own emotions,” Reagan said. 

Meditation has positive affects on one’s emotional well-being and illnesses, according tomayoclinic.org. It can help with stress management, increasing self awareness, reducing negative emotions, anxiety disorders, depression, fatigue, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep problems, pain, substance abuse, asthma, cancer, allergies and binge eating. 

Until he was introduced to meditation, Reagan said he never really felt like he fit in anywhere. He got introduced to meditation in December 2011 when he met Scott Martin, a current University graduate student. Reagan met Martin at a Christmas party and overheard him talking about meditation. Reagan said when he met Martin, he felt like he finally fit in. Reagan then started going to Martin with questions about meditation and how to get started. Martin gave Reagan a book called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. Reagan said the book isn’t about meditation, but it’s about living in the present moment and that coincides with meditation. 

In addition to Zen Station, Reagan leads an event called Yoga in the Park every Sunday at 12 p.m. at Bergfeld Park in Tyler. He said if it’s above 50 degrees and dry, he’ll be there to teach whoever comes. Kate Keenan, a Tylerite, originally started Yoga in the Park and eventually Keenan and Reagan switched off teaching the session. Keenan is currently taking a break from teaching so Reagan is leading the sessions. Yoga in the Park is free, open to the public and child and pet friendly. Attendees are welcome to come and go between 12 and 1:30 p.m.

See the article at the Patriot Talon newspaper here.