This week we had the chance to talk to our meditation teacher, Camille, about her experience as a teacher and a dedicated meditation practitioner.
Camille has been practicing meditation for more than eight years. She completed her first meditation teacher training in 2014 through Gita Yoga Academy, she later completed a Yoga Teacher Training in India with Shivananda Yoga Centre to deepen her self-awareness and meditation practice. Camille recently completed an additional teacher training in meditation with the Melbourne Meditation Centre.
Want to know more about Camille and hear some thoughts and tips to inspire your meditation practice? Read through our interesting interview!
Q: How long have you been practicing meditation and what kind of approach do you follow?
A: I’ve been practicing meditation for eight years now but am keeping to consistent, daily practice for the past three years.
My practice have changed and evolved over the years: I started with Buddhist meditation, then practiced more Vedanta philosophy around meditation and continued to transcendental meditation. For the past few years, I am focusing mainly on a self-awareness, mindfulness-based meditation as it resonates best with me.
Q: Sounds like you have a lot of experience in various styles of meditation! Which one is your favourite?
A: My favourite practice is simply being the observer of whatever is happening in the moment. Whether it’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, emotions… And just flowing with it, with an effortlessness. That for me made my practice very enjoyable; it’s taken the difficulty out of the practice. So it is no longer a chore, or something I do for an outcome, it is just me being more in tune with who I am.
Q: What brought you to meditation in the first place?
A: I have always suffered from a severe anxiety… just were very stressed and anxious in my mind. My mind was always very very negative. Because of my negative mind I always reached out to things to comfort the difficult emotions that kept coming up. So I suppressed a lot with different things. I came to meditation to find some calm in my mind. Then I started practicing meditation and I found that I would walk away feeling good for a couple of days.
First I started with Buddhist meditation that talks a lot about love and kindness which resonated with me but it didn’t really deal with who am I. It wasn’t enough for me to solve the problem… so I started exploring other styles of meditation with many different teachers.
It wasn’t until I met a teacher in Byron Bay that was focusing on the Vedic philosophy that I started to get answers to the question: ‘Who am I?’ And the answer that I got that changed my life, and meditation practice, was simply ‘You are just pure conscious awareness. You are just an observer; you are not your feelings or thoughts.’ Once I started to explore that in my meditation practice, I started to become aware of who I was and not fearing my thoughts and feelings or letting them define me. And then I started to significantly reduce the anxiety I was feeling throughout the day… which is huge! And so the past three years I am no longer suffer with anxiety or use any substances to numb myself anymore. I am very self aware of my emotions: I feel them and not fear them, and so it changed my life!
That is why I am so passionate about teaching meditation: because I really want to help others to understand they don’t need to fear their emotions, they can use them to help heal themselves and understand who they are in order to live a life that they truly enjoy.
Q: So why do you meditate now?
A: I do it purely to put the focus inwards and explore where my mind is going, what my feelings are and all the layers of who I am. So when my eyes are open, I am more aware of those layers. Rather then… I guess, being disconnected and on auto-pilot, just reacting…
Q: Do you like meditating at our space, Active Sanctuary Yoga?
A: Yes. I love ASY because it is so nurturing, it’s warm and comfortable. It is small and allows interaction. It feels safe here to explore and share!
Q: How is your meditating routine looks like at the moment?
A: I meditate every day for at least 20 minutes. I used to have rules around that but I don’t do that anymore, I just make time when I feel like it. Whether it is in the morning, evening, or afternoon, I take the time to simply witnessing what is taking place. And I also try to do a guided meditation, listening to other teachers, every day: I use Insight Timer which is a free app I listen too.
Sometimes I enjoy meditating to music as well and I also enjoy floatation meditation few times a week. I think variety is the key to life! Meditation… shouldn’t be boring, it should be a time to enjoy being with yourself!
Q: What tip would you give to a meditation newbie?
A: Keep it simple! Don’t overcomplicate meditation. It is really just sitting, closing your eyes and witnessing. Be loving and kind towards yourself! Remove the judgement and criticism and the need to get it right: it is what it is and it is always changing and evolving because that’s the nature of who we are. Just enjoy watching it all unfold.
If you haven’t yet met our inspiring meditation teacher, Camille, you are welcome to try her Meditation By Donation classes every Sunday, 04:30 PM.BOOK NOW
You are also welcome to join our NEW Meditation For Beginners four week course with Camille, starting Wednesday September 19th. Camille is looking forward to guiding her upcoming course and cultivating effortless meditation that is helpful and removed from the misconceptions of it being difficult to add to our daily lives.SIGN ME UP!