It was with great sadness this week that we learned of the passing of Ken Mellor.

Ken and his wife Elizabeth founded the Awakening Network in 1984. Together they taught a blend of Western psychology and Eastern spirituality to thousands of people in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Europe. Ken wrote two books about meditation, Urban Mystic and Inspiration Meditation and Personal Wellbeing and together with Elizabeth wrote several books about parenting. In his lifetime he facilitated more than 15,000 workshops and seminars in nine countries.

One of Ken’s key life experiences occurred when he was just 13 years of age. He and his siblings were left at home by themselves when their parents decided to travel abroad for an extended period of time. This parental abandonment left Ken in a state of desperation and in his hour of need he experienced a “divine spark”, a momentary yet life-changing experience of love and goodwill beyond words.

A competitive sailor in his adolescence, Ken went on to study at Monash University, where he shifted focus from Physics to the more personally fulfilling field of Social Work, “learning to help others so that I could help myself”. He discovered Transactional Analysis in 1968 and graduated as a social worker in 1969. During his training, Ken found that he had a heightened intuitive sense – an ability to merge consciousness with others – which he felt may have arisen from the fact that he has an identical twin.

In the late 1970s, in search of the spiritual fulfillment that he had previously encountered fleetingly and quite spontaneously at 13, he started attending teachings by Indian gurus who would visit Australia, such as Swami Muktananda and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In 1981, Ken and Elizabeth travelled to India and underwent intensive training over a period of 14 years with Swami Krishna, who empowered them to give teachings.

This was at a time when many Australians regarded meditation as “weird” and even “evil”. Meditators who were “out of the closet” could lose their jobs or be unable to rent houses.

They later trained for 9 years with Swami Krishna’s master, Shree Shree Thakur Balak Brahmachari. They went on to become devotees of Mother Meera.

Ken served as an active committee member of the Meditation Association of Australia and spoke at Meditation Australia’s ‘Meditation: Past, Present and Future’ event at the Edge Theatre in Federation Square, Melbourne in 2016. In a sincere demonstration of regard and affection, then MA president Dr Ruth Gawler introduced Ken as “our own Yoda”.

Ken told the audience at that event that “the pure knowing of meditation spiritualises people” and his life was spent bringing aliveness, goodwill, peace and fulfilment to all that he encountered.

We offer our deep condolences to Elizabeth and their family, and to all of his students.