Meet Meditation Australia member Michelle Eckles –

Michelle been teaching Mindfulness Meditation for almost five years. She runs workshops in the workplace, mindfulness retreats (Mindful Soul Adventures) and offers 1:1 coaching. She also facilitates the Mindfulness Works 4 week Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation course in three locations on the Sunshine Coast and is a trained and certified Veriditas Labyrinth Faciliator.

I have learnt a lot on the way!
1. There is always more to learn
2. Not everyone is going to take away everything you teach them – some may take away only one thing and that’s okay and some may never use the tools and that’s okay
3. Slow down and ask if people if they can hear you

What’s the story behind your first meditation experience?
I was at a point in my life where I was living in a constant state of overwhelm – I suffered from chronic back pain, was newly separated with two small children and under a lot of financial stress. I coped by taking lots of pain killers and drinking a lot of alcohol and knew I needed to find something to not just help me when I got in to a state of overwhelm but prevent me from getting there in the first place.
A friend meditated and suggested I try it. I did and I struggled to sit still or count to ten breaths and all the apps and options made me even more overwhelmed. I decided to go learn from professionals and study meditation – who all seem to be in Melbourne!
And so my journey began – first with a kids workshop by the fabulous Janet Etty Leal, an online course with Craig Hassed and Richard Chambers then teacher training with Paul Bedson and Ian Gawler followed by completing a year of learning with Lisa and the team at the Australian Centre for Mindfulness and Meditation (when it was ACHS).

What or who inspires you?
Any books from Jon Kabat Zinn and podcasts from Deepak Chopra or Eckart Tolle.

Cushion time
10 minutes on my cushion outside – solar plexus sound meditation from Cedric Lebigre on Insight Timer.

Meditation Apps, yes or no?
If you can stick to just one and avoid wasting time scrolling through thousands of meditations (or other apps on the device you are using). I think you need to be disciplined, know the meditation what you listen to and turn your phone to do not disturb if you are going to use an app. I liked Synctuition before it got updated and I like Insight Timer.

You’re the voice: Do you sing in the shower?
No lol!

The getting of wisdom: What’s the best, or most important thing, you’ve learned as a meditation teacher?
You never stop learning or developing.

What makes your heart sing and what you have come to value most?
Running retreats, adventures and spending time with friends and family.

The best thing today: What’s the most inspiring or loveliest thing you’ve seen or experienced today?
A walk and breakfast with my mum and daughter.

Meditation Sunshine Coast

Cultivating a Calm Mind