I grew up in Titirangi, West Auckland and had what I would call a pretty white, middle-class childhood. I’m ok with calling it that, because that’s what it was, and understanding and viewing this position of privilege later in life has given me a lot of insights into the world. After completing my schooling I studied at the University of Auckland, where I eventually came out with a master's degree in biology and marine science.
This qualification has been a big part of my adult life and after I graduated, I spent four years traveling and working in South East Asia where I worked on a number of marine conservation projects in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Maldives. If there were two things that these experiences taught me it's that 1) the world is a beautiful place and there is literally no end to its beauty and wonder and 2) we are incredibly privileged here in the "developed" world.
In 2015 I came home for good and spent six years working for Sustainable Coastlines, a charity that empowers people across Aotearoa to care for and conserve our coastlines and waterways through activities such as beach clean-ups and tree plantings and education. It was here where I first had the opportunity to work closely with Mana Whenua and I saw an understanding in the way that Te Aō Māori viewed the world that was truly missing from the western way of thinking (this is a viewpoint that can be opened up through meditation). This is also where I developed my love for trees (more on both of these in my introductory course).
As awesome as working for nature is, in the last few years I’ve felt a deeper calling and a desire to work more closely with people at the core of their wellbeing - to go straight to the core of each of us and start there. Environmentalism, after all, is an action that emerges from a place of stability in the rest of our lives and happens when we have the space to comprehend and make these actions. To get there, we should start with our internal environment and understand ourselves better first. We all know the world is due a bit of a change for the better and my mission is to help enable this to happen, one person at a time.
Meditation and Me
In early 2016 I was going through a low period, a period characterised by depression and addiction. A flatmate at the time suggested I tried meditation and recommended an app to try. The very first time I sat down and gave it a go it clicked. The 15 minutes seemed to go by in a flash and I have been meditating daily since then (well, almost daily, no one’s perfect).
I have always liked just watching things, so the ability to sit and watch my mind as it worked, as it pulled ideas out of nothingness, seemed like the most incredible thing. Eventually, once I learnt to go deeper and deeper some really interesting things came up. With all the active searching I’d done to find “the answer” to many of life's questions, to then find out you could sit there and have your answers presented to you if you could get into the right state of mind was astonishing and laughably simple.
My meditations are mostly based on traditional Buddhist mindfulness practices, with a sprinkle of modern secular mindfulness, reiki and other meditative techniques. Using this multi-angled approach we’ll hone in on what really works for you to help you find your way to settle your mind in a gentle and approachable way. The core of my work with students is made up of the following techniques:
Mindfulness of breathing
Metta Bhavana (Loving Kindness)
Open awareness / just sitting
Above all, I make it easy and keep things fairly lighthearted. If you'd like to know any more about my teaching or to just get in touch, please send me a message.
It’s important to get to know me before we work together, so this is where I lay out a bit of my background so you have some idea who you are going to be learning from.
Since first learning, I have completed many courses and retreats in mindfulness, mindfulness facilitation and similar practices such as reiki. My teaching draws lessons from my personal experience and study of Buddhism and other religions, western philosophy and science, indigenous knowledge systems, psychedelics and secular mindfulness. I have managed to form a syllabus that is both grounded in our everyday experience and insightful enough to ask meaningful questions of you. I meet people at whatever level they are coming at the subject from and I love 5th dimensions and lizard people. Hahaha, jokes - I believe most things, and especially ourselves, can be explained with the tools and insights we currently have available.