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Q&A with Jonni Pollard

Jonni Pollard is an internationally recognized meditation & wisdom teacher who has dedicated his life to sharing ancient knowledge gained from some of the greatest living masters of our time. He specializes in teaching the art of embodying our true nature to live the most meaningful life possible.

Studying and teaching for over two decades, Jonni has recently returned from New York to Australia, settling in Byron Bay with his family. We had the opportunity to interview the 1 Giant Mind Founder and Author of The Golden Sequence to learn more about his personal journey with meditation, the practice of mindfulness and much more.

𝑸: How old were you when you first discovered meditation – did someone introduce you to it or did you stumble across it yourself?

 

𝑨: I intuitively began meditating when I was about 7 years old. My parents had just separated and it caused me terrible anxiety. Before falling to sleep each night, I discovered a way to coordinate my breath with the awareness of the feelings I was overwhelmed by and learnt that if I stayed with the feeling and breathed into them, they would somehow dissolve and I would fall into a deep state of calm relaxation. Over the years my ability to do this became second nature. It was only in my late teens that I discovered that it was called meditation.

 

𝑸: So many people struggle to get the hang of meditation right away. Did you sink into it immediately or did it take a while for you to really understand the practice and its benefits?

 

𝑨: My journey was certainly a very long and experimental one because I didn’t really know I was meditating at the time. However, at the time I decided to learn it formally, I realised how simple it really is when you have an experienced teacher to show you how. Meditation is very simple with the right instruction.

𝑸: What are three tips you have for people who are beginners, who want to meditate but feel like it’s too hard to pause, be still and focus?

𝑨:

  • Learn from an experienced teacher. They will demystify the practice and show you exactly how to establish a successful daily practice.
  • Thoughts are a part of meditation, we are not trying to get rid of them. We are learning to witness them and be accepting of whatever comes and goes in our mind without needing to react to them.
  • There is no such thing as a bad meditation, only gratifying and ungratifying. Be accepting of whatever happens with your eyes closed and take it as it comes. Just sitting for 20 minutes with the eyes closed creates enormous benefits for allowing the nervous system to recover from stress and the mind to have a break from doing, doing, doing.

𝑸: Do you manage to put aside some time to meditate every day or do you have some days where you don’t manage to fit it in? 

 

𝑨: I meditate twice a day non-negotiable and have done so for nearly 25 years. It’s not something that feels like a chore or even a discipline. I look forward to my morning and evening meditation like I do a cool glass of water on a hot summer day after a workout. It’s so refreshing and rejuvenating for me.

 

𝑸: Your preferred practice style of meditation is Vedic meditation. Can you explain for those who don’t know, what this practice is and its benefits? 

 

𝑨: I practice and teach Vedic meditation. It’s derived  from a tradition known as a householder tradition. This means the techniques and knowledge were developed by masters that lived in the world, had families and participated in society. They weren’t monks or reclusive. The practices of monks compared to householders can be very different and cause a different effect on our minds.

If you live in the world and wish to have a deeply fulfilling life contributing to society then VM is a powerful place to start your practice. This particularly enlivens our deepest inner intelligence and ability to adapt to the challenges and demands of daily life. It enables us to rest deeply and recover from accumulated stress. After practising for a short time we feel rejuvenated and lively with creative awareness. We notice a greater ability to respond to life based on what we desire rather than what we fear.

 

𝑸: Tell us a little bit about 1 Giant Mind and how it came to be?

 

𝑨: 1 Giant Mind is a ‘learn to meditate’ app and meditation teacher training academy. We train passionate meditators to become impactful teachers of meditation. We teach a technique similar to VM that is accessible to everyone from all walks of life. We created 1 Giant Mind to contribute to making meditation more accessible to people that otherwise might not consider learning it.

𝑸: In 2018 you released your first book The Golden Sequence. It’s a wonderfully inspiring book – can you share with us a little more about it and what you hope people can take away from it?

 

𝑨: When we learn to meditate, we begin to become more aware of habits of thought that don’t serve us. The Golden Sequence is a powerful technique that we practice when we realise we are stuck in thoughts that are causing us to be reactive, defensive and disconnected from our deeper nature of compassionate intelligence that I define as love.

The book presents a compelling case of what our deeper nature is and why restoring our deeper nature as the way we live our lives, is the single most important thing humanity needs rights now to overcome its greatest challenges. My desire is for the book to awaken a deep sense of responsibility that we each have to make a contribution to nurturing our belonging to each other and the earth.

“Mindfulness is the by-product of being deeply established in the experience of your true self.”

 

𝑸: May 21st marks World Meditation Day for 2020. Do you have anything special planned and how do you usually mark this occasion? Or is every day meditation day for you?

 

𝑨: Yes…everyday is a meditation day and it’s also nice to celebrate the practice on this day with as many people as possible. We’ll be sharing in a mass meditation that I will be leading through the 1 Giant Mind IGTV. I hope you can all join us.

 

𝑸: What does mindfulness mean to you and what are some ways you apply it to your everyday life?

 

𝑨: Mindfulness is the by-product of being deeply established in the experience of your true self. It is the natural awareness state when we are connected to the truth of who we are. Meditation awakens awareness and we naturally become mindful. I apply awareness and mindfulness to everything I do in each moment every day. Although I have been practising meditation for 25 years, my level of mindfulness grows every day. It brings me closer to the richness and magnificence of this life and the connection we can feel to it and each other. This is the most precious thing to me. Connection and meaning!

𝑸: Now that we are all living under restrictions and lockdowns, do you believe that now more than ever there is a need to be mindful?

 

𝑨: This is a remarkable opportunity for us to examine where we can give more attention to self-care, nurturing and rejuvenation and let go of habits and beliefs that keep us locked in fear, depletion and stress. A daily practice of meditation is like switching on a light in a dark room. It enables us to see these things that we get caught up in that we lose sight of when we are ‘soooo busy and stressed’. Now is the time to slow down, connect, reflect and be bold in making the kinds of changes you know are good for you but you’ve resisted because it feels easy to just be in autopilot. Use this time to start living more deliberately and intentionally and if there is something about the way you live that you don’t like, take this precious time to examine how you can change it and then DO IT! Be bold.

Want to learn more about Jonni, 1 Giant Mind or the Golden Sequence?

Website

www.1giantmind.com

1 Giant Mind App

Click Here

The Golden Sequence – Audible

Click Here

The Golden Sequence – Book

Click Here

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