Meet one of our new members this year, Pierre GESLIN, Pierre is located in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Pierre’s mission is to introduce Mindfulness Practice to the world, one breath at a time, with the motto, “We are out to change the world, from within.”
Pierre Geslin is a passionate and experienced mindfulness practitioner and MBSR Programme Instructor from Brittany, now calling Scott Creek, South Australia, home. His multicultural approach to mindfulness is deeply rooted in emotional intelligence, drawing from a rich tapestry of life experiences across Europe and Australia. Pierre’s journey with mindfulness began in 1981 in Australia, when he first sought peace and healing through mindfulness meditation after a life-altering road accident left him with severe tinnitus. This transformative path not only helped him cope with tinnitus but also shaped his life philosophy, highlighting the inner strength within each individual and the profound impact of mindfulness.
Certified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction from the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches and a meditation teacher accredited by the British School of Meditation, Pierre’s expertise is further enhanced as a Reiki Master Teacher certified by the Centre International de Reiki. With a diverse background as a professional journalist and adult trainer, including teaching business English and communication in France, Pierre’s teaching approach is a harmonious blend of personal experience, professional knowledge, and dedication to personal development.
Today, Pierre dedicates his time to offering a range of transformative experiences, including MBSR programmes, mindfulness retreats, meditation circles, Reiki training, Haiku writing, and Haiga creation workshops. His teachings at the Springwood Studio in the Adelaide Hills are accessible and relatable to all, infused with communication skills and emotional intelligence.
Pierre’s mission is to introduce Mindfulness Practice to the world, one breath at a time, with the motto, “We are out to change the world, from within.”
What’s the story behind your first meditation experience?
While my formal introduction to meditation took place in my late teens, seeds of this practice were planted much earlier in my life. Growing up in Brittany, France, my martial arts training exposed me to basic mindfulness techniques, where I learned to centre my focus and discipline my mind. However, it was not until I moved to Australia that my journey into meditation truly began.
In 1981, not long after I had arrived in Australia, I had the fortune of crossing paths with John, who would become a cherished friend and mentor. John, a seasoned practitioner, recognised my struggle with persistent tinnitus, a consequence of a severe road accident that haunted me with ceaseless ringing in my ears. Aware of my condition, he suggested that I delve deeper into meditation as a way to manage my symptoms.
I still remember with clarity the day of my first significant meditation session. We were in a cave on a beach in the north of Western Australia, overlooking the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean. The rhythmic ebb and flow of the waves became our background score as John guided me through a mindfulness meditation technique. The setting sun cast a warm, golden glow, creating an atmosphere of tranquillity that still resonates with me.
At first, I found it challenging to sit in silence, the constant ringing in my ears amplified in the quietude of the cave. However, I pressed on, guided by John’s calming presence and the rhythmic lull of the ocean. Over time, I began to experience a shift in my perception. Rather than resisting the noise, I learned to acknowledge it as part of my present moment, a constant yet insignificant backdrop to the peaceful stillness within.
These initial meditation sessions marked the onset of a two-month stint working in a shearing team, an experience that further instilled resilience and tenacity in me. It was a challenging period, but also a turning point in my life. My experiences during this time in Western Australia set me on a path of self- discovery and ultimately led to a lifelong commitment to mindfulness and meditation. Today, my mission is to share the transformative power of these practices with others, helping them to find their own paths to peace and understanding.
What or who inspires you?
Indeed, my journey has been shaped and enriched by an array of influential teachers, writers, and philosophers, each contributing to my understanding of the world and myself in it.
Firstly, I would like to express my profound gratitude towards my martial arts teachers, who introduced me to the fundamental principles of discipline, resilience, and inner peace. Their teachings have paved the way for my journey into mindfulness and meditation.
Among many, Jon Kabat-Zinn has been a central figure in my life. As the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), he has worked tirelessly to make mindfulness accessible to all. His teachings have profoundly influenced my approach to mindfulness and formed the cornerstone of my own practice and instruction.
Similarly, the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh has brought much clarity and insight into my life. His emphasis on mindful living and compassion has deeply resonated with me, influencing my meditation practice and everyday life.
However, my inspirations extend beyond the realm of mindfulness. The adventurous spirit and unbound curiosity of authors like Joseph Conrad and Jack Kerouac have deeply influenced my worldview. Their exploration of the human condition, search for meaning, and vivid depiction of life’s grandeur and despair have nourished my intellectual and emotional growth.
Moreover, I have found profound wisdom in the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Lao Tzu, and Rumi. From Krishnamurti’s insightful dialogues on human nature to Lao Tzu’s profound Taoist philosophy and Rumi’s poetic expressions of divine love, these teachings have shaped my understanding of life and existence.
Mikao Usui’s system of Reiki has brought a profound sense of healing and tranquillity into my life. His principles of energy healing have influenced my teaching and practice, becoming an essential part of my offering to the community.
The teachings of Osho, Carl Jung, and Alan Watts have also deeply impacted my journey. Their insights into the human psyche, spiritual growth, and the nature of reality have expanded my consciousness and brought a deeper understanding of myself and the world.
Ultimately, my inspirations are derived from anything and anyone that helps me effect change, both within myself and in the world around me. I remain a lifelong student, eager to learn and grow, with an unwavering belief that we can indeed transform the world, starting with ourselves.
Cushion time: How long did you meditate for today?
Today, a 45-minute silent meditation, immersing myself in the tranquillity of the present moment. I seated myself comfortably on my trusted Zabuton-Zafu combination, a classic pairing that offers support and comfort, allowing me to maintain focus and posture throughout the session.
To gently mark the transitions, I set my timer on the Insight Timer app to sound a Tibetan bowl at the start, the halfway point, and the end of the meditation. This deep sound helps me flow through my meditation, grounding me in the rhythm of my practice. Each reverberation of the bowl serves as a gentle reminder to anchor myself in the present moment, encouraging mindfulness and presence amidst the silence.
Meditation Apps, yes or no?
Meditation apps can be a beneficial tool, especially for seasoned practitioners who use them as timers. For beginners, apps can offer a structured introduction and provide a variety of practices to explore. However, the challenge in starting a meditation practice goes beyond the act of sitting; it involves cultivating mindful attitudes, which can be difficult to foster solely through an app.
While apps are a component of my practice, I find they’re most effective when used in conjunction with other forms of learning such as group sessions, insightful literature, and personal guidance from experienced teachers. In fact, to foster this multi-faceted approach, I’ve made my own meditations available on the Insight Timer App, which you can access here. This blend of traditional and modern learning methods can help cultivate a well-rounded, deeply rooted practice.
You’re the voice: Do you sing in the shower?
While I’m not one to serenade the soap, mainly due to my tinnitus and a singing voice that might be described as ‘distinctive’, you may still catch me in a moment of impromptu mindfulness. There’s a good chance you might find me humming “ÔM” at any given time. This ancient syllable, considered sacred in several traditions, is a powerful reminder of our interconnection with the universe and acts as a mindful nudge amid the rush of everyday life. This, too, is a kind of singing, a way of harmonising with the universe around us. So, while you won’t hear any pop hits echoing from my shower, don’t be surprised by the occasional resonance of an ‘ÔM’.
The getting of wisdom.
In the journey of teaching meditation, I’ve come to understand that wisdom is a vast and humbling expanse, a limitless horizon that expands the more we explore it. The most profound lesson I’ve learned is encapsulated by Socrates’ famous insight: ‘The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing’. Every interaction, every student, every moment of mindfulness peels back another layer of this boundless mystery.
An equally vital understanding I’ve acquired is the necessity of an open heart. Trusting in its wisdom and its capacity to guide us towards the right words, the right actions, at the right time is a fundamental aspect of being a good teacher and a compassionate being. This doesn’t mean to ignore the mind and its knowledge, but to harmonise it with the heart’s intuitive wisdom, creating a powerful combination of both.
Lastly, embracing our imperfections is a powerful learning I’ve embodied. It is a fundamental teaching in meditation and life: there’s a crack in everyone, myself included. Yet, as the poetic words of Leonard Cohen remind us, “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” In our flaws and cracks, we find our shared humanity and our capacity for growth. So, let’s honour these cracks, not as signs of our failings, but as entry points for light, wisdom, and love.
What makes your heart sing and what you have come to value most?
The melody that truly resonates with my heart is the love for my daughter. Her arrival into this world was the catalyst for a profound transformation within me, shattering any barriers around my heart and enabling me to embrace love, perhaps for the first time. The boundless affection and joy she inspires in me is something I cherish deeply.
This experience has led me to value gratitude above all. It is a recognition of the beauty and love present in every moment, an acknowledgement of the countless blessings we often take for granted. Gratitude helps us to see the world with fresh eyes and to appreciate the ordinary miracles that fill our lives. It serves as a constant reminder to honour my love for my daughter and the love I’ve discovered for myself. This feeling of gratitude has become essential to my daily life, a sentiment I strive to express as often as possible.
The best thing today: What’s the most inspiring or loveliest thing you’ve seen or experienced today?
One of the most inspiring sights I’ve experienced today is the vision of lemons ripening amidst the brisk and sunny winter sky of Adelaide Hills. There’s something deeply reassuring and profound in this simple act of nature, a silent yet resilient assertion of life and growth despite the cold. The contrast of the bright yellow lemons against the blue sky and the barren winter landscape is truly a sight to behold. It serves as a gentle reminder of the cycles of life and the inherent wisdom of nature that perseveres through all seasons.
Mindfulness Practice – Adelaide Hills