Making meditation and yoga accessible to all members of the community

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Learnings from ‘The Cookie Thief’

 I recently watched a short video of a poem read in Week 3 of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course. The poem by Valerie Cox called The Cookie Thief is essentially a tale about how oblivious we can be to how wrong we can be.   A woman was waiting at an airport one night, With […]

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Emotions as messengers

I don’t watch much TV but one show I have loved from the very beginning is Offspring. It was this show that introduced me to one of Australia’s great actors and comedians, Celia Pacquola who graced the cover of last Sunday Age’s The Sunday Life magazine. In the article enclosed about her, Celia shares her battle with […]

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Empowering parents to be!

There is no better way to learn about the joys and demands of being a mum than to become one yourself. Failing that, the next best thing? Being in the company of a busy mum with young children. I experienced the latter recently after staying with my partner’s sister in the UK who has two […]

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What Rosie the poodle has taught me about managing my energy

My parents’ poodle Rosie has taught me three things: 1. The hair of a black poodle can turn grey when they are a puppy. 2. No amount of toilet training can stop an excited poodle from peeing when she first sees you. 3. Energy is a finite resource. Allow me to focus on no. 3. […]

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Being with stressful experience

I am currently doing the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course as a participant. It’s great to be a student again in this capacity – I’m learning lots and feeling quite rejuvenated! This week’s topic (Week 4) – Investigating stressful experience – was quite timely for me. Our home practice was to take note of […]

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Quotes to inspire or energise…

I have a confession to make. I am a quote junkie! When I read something that really resonates with me – it could be a line in a book, newspaper article or journal, or a quote – I write it down in a little book given to me by one of my oldest and best […]

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Effects vs results in meditation

Did you know there is a difference between the effects of meditating and the results of the meditation practice? Most people are not aware that a distinction between the effects and results of a meditation practice can be made. Knowing that the effects are part of the process and are necessary in order to experience […]

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How long should I meditate for?

A question I’m often asked is ‘how long should I meditate for?’ It is a good question that has no simple answer. After a good year of trying to develop a succinct and compelling response to this million dollar question, I have found something that I’d love to share. A big thanks to this article […]

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A mindfulness practice – what problems might arise?

What potential problems may arise when teaching mindfulness meditation practices to participants experiencing stress, anxiety & depression and pain & illness? A number of potential challenges might arise when teaching mindfulness meditation to people with these conditions. For people stressed due to demands on their time, it may be difficult to find the time to practice […]

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Losing focus – over and over again

“If your mind wanders a hundred times, simply bring it back a hundred times.” -Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn During a meditation practice you might find yourself worrying, daydreaming, bored and sleepy, or a number of other experiences. This does not mean you have failed to do the practices properly; in fact, the aim of these practices is […]

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Keeping up the good work – maintaining your mindfulness practice

So you’ve just finished the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in Preston and you’re wondering how to keep up the great work… Here are some tips to get you started! Sitting groups Melbourne Zen Group meets on a regular basis on Saturday mornings in Brunswick East Melbourne Insight Meditation Group meets on a regular […]

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How mindfulness helps manage anxiety and depression

For sufferers of anxiety and depression, it will likely be a relief to discover that mindfulness can help alleviate and manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. You can learn how at our Learn to Meditate course in Melbourne or Preston and at our Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in Preston but for those unable […]

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What meditation is not

“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to things as they are.” -Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn (2007) In understanding a new concept or practice like mindfulness meditation, it can be helpful to be told what it is not. It can help to manage expectations, […]

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How can the body scan be useful?

I’m often asked in a Learn to Meditate course why a body scan practice is useful. There are a number of benefits to a body scan practice, some of which are outlined below. Learn to be in the present moment The practice of scanning the body and becoming aware of what is present in the […]

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Which meditation / mindfulness course should I do?

  As of October this year, Melbourne Mindfulness Foundation will be offering the internationally recognised Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in Preston, Melbourne. We’re very excited about this and are looking forward to having you attend one of these courses! I have already had a number of people ask me about the difference between […]

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Taking in the good

Last week I was chatting with my colleague and friend Clare about the value of having little ‘pick-me-up’ or what I like to refer to as ‘winning-at-life’ moments throughout the day in order to maintain and nurture good mental health. These moments are sometimes right in front of us, already part of our day – […]

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Yoga & meditation program at Fitzroy public housing estate

This week, with the support of the City of Yarra, the yoga and meditation program at the Fitzroy public housing estate kicked off. If you live in and around the area and are interested in yoga and meditation, join us! Meeting room at 125 Napier St, Fitzroy on Mondays 6:30-7:30pm (during the school term). Learn more […]

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Self-compassion = positive wellbeing

Compassion for one-self is something I’ve been learning a lot about lately. I thought I’d share some of my learnings in the hope it might help you to be more compassionate towards yourself. Until recently for me, the word ‘self’ didn’t exist in the word ‘compassion.’ In fact, looking back, it would appear I only […]

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How a meditation practice fosters greater creativity

Some of the best creative thinkers credit meditation to helping them develop great ideas. Movie director David Lynch, in his book ‘Catching the big fish: meditation, consciousness and creativity,’ describes the experience of “diving within” and “catching” ideas like fish – and then preparing them for television or movie screens. Large corporates such as Google […]

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Living with anxiety

They say you teach (a) what you know and (b) what you want to know. That might explain why I teach people how to meditate and specifically, how to work with and manage chronic anxiety. As someone who has lived with generalised anxiety disorder for the better part of the last 7 years, I feel […]

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Meditation = no thoughts?

Attendees on a Learn to Meditate course often wrongly assume that meditation is a tool that will enable them to remove and/or block out thoughts. When I did a beginner’s meditation course, I remember anxiously asking my meditation teacher Matt whether it was normal that I had thoughts while meditating. It was Week 3 of […]

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Mindfulness Without Barriers

A summary of an evaluation undertaken of a yoga and meditation program aimed at migrant women living in Melbourne’s housing commission estates. The need for meditation and yoga Anxiety and depression are among the most common conditions cited by those seeking treatment with complementary and alternative therapies such as meditation and yoga.2 Given three million […]

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