Here you can enjoy bushwalks and kayaking in between sessions, or simply relax in the garden or library. Melli O’Brien is an accredited yoga, meditation teacher and also an extensively trained mindfulness teacher. She has a unique talent for distilling the essence of the worlds wisdom traditions into practical, engaging and inspiring teachings for every day people.
Melli lives in northern NSW but teaches all over Australia at both her retreats and also as a speaker at conferences and festivals. I am enthralled when I listen to Mellissa teach because there is a delightful mixture of gentleness and incredible power that comes through her message. Thank you for giving me the ability to have more peace, more understanding of what it means to be fulfilled and happy. Mindfulness and Psychotherapy has been gaining a mounting interest among  thousands of clinicians and clients.
Today Steve, Trudy and I talk about the importance of mindlessness in the therapeutic session. Steve: Today as I worked with a particularly frustrating client whom I experience as quite intransigent and unwilling to make change despite constantly extolling his desire for things to be different, I was caught off guard. Call it countertransference if you like, but for that period of time I was not responding to the human being sitting across from me (and suffering, I might add), but was marching to the beat of some other drummer of my own mind’s making.
Elisha: There’s a very common misunderstanding in the practice of mindfulness that the practice is to stay focused on whatever we’re paying attention to and deviation from that is “bad” mindfulness.
Presence may be something that some people naturally have more than others, but the truth is, it’s a skill and we can all cultivate it through practice. Trudy: Since psychotherapy is a relational process, I look at the times of ‘mindlessness’ as a time of disconnection in the relationship.
Rather than see this temporary disconnect as a failure to practice either mindfulness or psychotherapy well, these times actually provide an opportunity to understand the relationship better. As clincians, we work to cultivate our own mindful presence in a way that is suffused with compassion towards oneself and others, so that we can choose more wisely how to respond to such moments of disconnection. For me, working with this kind of authentic attentiveness – while staying open to learning about myself in the process — is an act of love. Last updated: 1 Jun 2011Views expressed are those solely of the writer and have not been reviewed.

10 Instant Ways to Calm Yourself Down The Difference Between Sex and Love for Men Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? Deb: I have benefitted from the guidance you provide in this forum as well as your several publications.
The vision of the community that built this beautiful practice center was more fully realized when Thich Nhat Hanh accepted Magnolia Grove Monastery as a mindfulness practice center in October 2005.
For the past 25 years the ashram has promoted sustainable, simple and mindful living through both its courses for the public and by its own example. Known for her down-to-earth, engaging and authentic teaching, she has guided hundreds of people through her retreats and courses. She also has a blog where she shares tip and teachings on bringing mindfulness into everyday life.
She has intelligent ideas, a strength of experience, and a driving passion to help the world in an area that is most neglected – the mind. Melli has a calm and confidence that allows her to share her passion and knowledge in a way that is inspiring and everlasting.
Through cultivating mindfulness I have learnt to manage my anxiety and enjoy life so much more.
It strikes me now that it is in these moments of having our mindlessness become vividly apparent, that we actually become more fully mindful, just as when we notice that our attention has wandered in meditation, we are actually as present as we can be! In my personal experience in session with a client or out of session in my own life, it is these moments that I wake up to recognize that I’ve been drifting that seem the most valuable to me. For better or worse, our brains seem to make things more habitual after they are practiced and repeated.
What’s interesting about drifting away from being present in the relationship is to look at what was happening the moment before, when I was still present?
If, as the late psychoanalyst Paul Russell suggested, we define resistance as the therapist’s resistance to what’s happening in the clinical encounter, mindless disconnections can get much more interesting!
Mindfulness offers us a bridge back to adjusting our stance as therapists to be more continuously curious, congruent and caring. With hard work, dedication and coordinated effort they created a large meditation hall with an adjoining commercial kitchen to feed participants, and they built by hand a guesthouse to host 120 laypeople. He gained international attention with his opposition to the violence by both sides of the Vietnam War.

She is organised yet relaxed, and the techniques I bought home with me have given me confidence to manage everyday challenges as a new mother and bring a new found balance to work and enjoying the magical moments that is my life. It seems that mindFULness actually becomes most apparent against the backdrop of mindLESSness.
So we need the moments where we’re drifting off the path of being connected to the moment to exercise that intentional muscle of nonjudgmentally guiding our attention back to being present with what’s here. What’s going on in the moment that makes us turn away in restlessness, boredom, frustration?
Moments of mindful awareness are quite accessible, but continuity of this quality of compassionate presence has to be consciously chosen, intended, and developed through our own meditation practice. Exiled for 40 years by the Vietnamese government, Thay established the Plum Village teaching center in France, followed by Deer Park in California and Blue Cliff in New York - and now Magnolia Grove in Mississippi. The Monks and Nuns of Magnolia Grove were very pleasantly surprised that Thay's tour organizers were able to squeeze a five-day Mississippi retreat into the crowded world schedule.
Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.
This series is primarily aimed toward clinicians, but I’m hoping if you are not a healthcare professional you can also gain some insight from it.
It is this precise moment that I wake up to the fact that I have a choice to intentionally practice cultivating a sense of presence once again and this, in  my mind, is the foundation to mindfulness and psychotherapy.
We need two wings to ‘fly’ in all our relationships — clinical, professional and personal.
He is the author of dozens of books of spiritual teaching, poetry, children's books, and a novel. They had to cap registration at 800 participants - from across the South and elsewhere across the US.
How wonderful that even moments of mindlessness can be a bridge to insight, to understanding what gets in the way of loving. Mindless moments of disconnection, when met with kindness and curiosity, can teach us how to connect and be wholeheartedly present with ourselves and all those whose lives we touch, just the way we are.

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