MF 19 - Interview with Melli O'Brien - Mindfulness Teacher in Australia

This is a summary (not a full transcript) of the interview

How did you get started with meditation practice?

Melli looks back and reflects on the pivotal moments in her childhood for forming the beginnings of her interest in meditation. As children we're good at being in the present moment. She spend a lot of time in alone in nature. Time in nature, contemplating in nature.

When she was about 8 years old, she watched the news, of the Gulf war at that time. And she realized that the adults that she looked up to, that she was going to become like, were really insane, not functioning harmoniously at all. That hit home for her.

Something hit her deeply, it created an existential crisis for her. Coming to terms with her place in the world. It became a slippery slope into depression, and even despair.

As Melli got older, she wondered if it was possible that there are people out there who live in harmony with each other and the planet, who have some wisdom and are not with despair and distress.

She started looking for an answer to see if it was possible to be happy and harmonious. That led her to reading books about comparative religion, self-improvement, to look for answers.

She found answers, and her curiosity was fed.

So you were a teenager at this point right, a few years down the road?

Yes, the depression and despair was getting deeper, and at the same time, I was opening up to the wisdom traditions.

How did that develop into a meditation practice?

She did a course on meditation with her friend in her late teens, and started doing yoga. And she started reading eastern wisdom traditions. She started to get it, that she could investigate her mind, and free herself from the patterns that were causing depression and distress.

Was there a particular meditation practice?

Melli was doing simple breath meditation back then, it has evolved since then, but it is still mostly breath meditation. So it is not so much the technique, but the way that the practice, and the orientation, and attitude of herself, has changed, the ability to simply be. The quality of her practice has evolved a lot, rather than any particular technique.

Read the rest of this interview and Listen to the podcast episode here

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