This month we had a cup of the good stuff with Jason from Making Meditation Mainstream (MMM), a global meditation movement created in response to escalating suicide rates and mental health challenges experienced in our communities. Jason shares a bit about himself and his journey with MMM.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I was originally born in Adelaide, I'm 49 years old and married with 3 Kids (12, 16, 18).
Career as a Chief Operating Officer (COO) for The Goodlife Group (we are building one of Australia's largest indoor vertical farms) and founder of the Meditation for Men 5 week course.
I LOVE all types of fitness, surfing, beach life, motorbikes, cycling, swimming, X training and running.
I am also an amateur artist (or trying hard to be one! ) and I'm a volunteer Surf Patrol member for the Avalon SLSC.
How were you introduced to meditation?I was 28 years old and was at a place in my life where I felt very lost, was escaping into lots of external activities which were not good for me, and felt depressed with my 'day to day' life and the choices I was making.
A friend could see that I was going down a very negative path which had bad outcomes and insisted that i do this 5 week meditation course called 'lifting the veil'. It changed my life forever. I never looked back. From that moment on, I went on a journey of self discovery which has taken me across the globe, read countless books, studied under the metaphysical masters and experienced a wide variety of mindfulness and meditations practices.
What has been the most challenging and most rewarding part of MMM?
The most challenging has been the time requirement of leading a very fast growing 'not for profit' charity and movement whilst also managing a busy career. We have over 60+ volunteers managing 14 locations across NSW and QLD with another 6 to launch this year.
Covid has also created a significant challenge - as we could no longer provide the free group beach meditations. Instead, we've created FREE daily online meditations (6.30am and 8pm) which now still offer sessions everyday to our 7000+ followers.
Rewarding: Wow, there are so many things I could list here. The MMM Leaders are the most wonderful people you will ever meet. I'm truly blessed to be surrounded with so many incredible, giving, compassionate and talented people who all give up their time for the community.
As soon as Covid hit us, our entire team rallied to step up and support the community. Some of the comments I've received from our followers have blown me away. For some people, MMM sessions were their only connection and lifeline during a very difficult time.
Every week, our sunrise sessions produce memorable and rewarding moments, seeing the sunrise, watching friendships blossom, witnessing people supporting people. But the time I enjoy the most, is watching our group finish the meditation, and seeing children sitting quietly with their parents, people of all different ages, backgrounds and cultures, all sitting together as one, looking into the ocean together, feeling calm, content and grateful. There is something pure and beautiful being able to witness those 2 minutes where everyone feels connected to self, to each other and to nature.
If you could be anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would that be and what would you do there?
Well, I had planned to be in India at the end of this year, for an undetermined amount of time, for my 50th birthday (not going to happen because of Covid). I was going to roam like a man with no time limit and no responsibility, meditate amongst the Himalayas and just sit and appreciate this life.
However, I love the life I am living right now. I have no need to be anywhere else other than just being present, and grateful for everything I have. I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the World (Avalon Beach) - everything is here, right in front of me.
What inspires you?I'm inspired by the people that I surround myself with. They constantly make me want to be a better version of who I am, they are extraordinary humans who are not afraid to make mistakes, and live life large. They are not afraid to be vulnerable, to be raw and are willing to be themselves. They are constantly looking to give to others.
I'm very fortunate to be constantly inspired by this inner circle.
Best advice you were given or gave to someone?Best advice I received was to meditate 2 times a day - it fixes everything.
Best advice I have given - read above.
Any guilty pleasures?YES! Sugar... Don't leave me alone in the same room as ice cream, chocolate, biscuits, etc.... me and my daughter literally go Wrestle Mania over the last piece of 'TOP DECK'.
I also love a beer and a glass of red, although these days I choose not to indulge, as the end result has greater pain attached to it than the pleasure of enjoying it.
Favourite podcasts?Tim Ferris Show
The Joe Rogan Experience
10% happier with Dan Harris
What’s been the biggest turning point in your life?
Most likely at the end of the 5 week meditation course, when i was 28. I literally changed my journey a full 180 degrees at the end of that. It's like chalk and cheese - who I was - and then who I became.
Where can we find you?