Our Bloggers

Ian Gawler

Ian Gawler

Dr. Ian Gawler is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected authorities on Mind-Body Medicine and meditation. A long-term cancer survivor, Ian began one of the world’s first lifestyle based cancer groups – in 1981, has written a number of best selling books, produced an on-line meditation-based, mind training program – www.mindbodymastery.net and blogs regularly – www.gawlerblog.com.  He is a long-term student of Sogyal Rinpoche.


Sunday, 20 October 2013 11:57

An Open Heart

Sitting to meditate at home a few days ago, I found tears pouring down my face. Pouring. Flowing freely. Yet no distress. Just lots of tears.

I had just learnt that Mark, a delightful young doctor from Hong Kong had succumbed to the same cancer I used to have. So what were the tears? Common grief? Sadness? Despair? Self identification?

Maybe. But actually most came courtesy of a profound insight. An insight you may well also value.

 

 

 

 

But first, consider this

Of all the sad things I see

The worst of it

Is the fear of death

Sogyal Rinpoche

 

Maybe it all began with the florid yet languid images of Paul Gauguin. But maybe it was the exotic tale of sailors in Mutiny on the Bountyrisking all for the romantic allure of the tropical paradise known as Tahiti that lead to this boy’s life long yearning to visit.


So just back from fulfilling a dream, lets go Out on a Limb once more, share some amazing photos and learn what Tahiti can teach us about stress management. But first

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:22

Meditation and Creativity

If Jackson Pollock was the archetypal boozing, tortured artist, would he have painted anything worthwhile if he had found inner peace? Or would he have been an even better painter if he had indeed found inner peace.

If Steve Jobs was the super-cool Zen creator, would Apple even have come into existence if he had not meditated?

If, as Spike Milligan said “it is all in the mind”, how does sitting quietly to train your mind through meditation build creativity?

Maybe it is because of the type of mind meditation produces.

This is the last in a series of 5 posts on the history of meditation, adapted from Meditation- an In-depth Guide by Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson.
See here for the first, second, third & fourth part.

One of the most exciting new developments in meditation research has been the realization meditation can prolong life in an extraordinary way.

This knowledge has emerged from the remarkable Shamatha Project, a high level investigation of the effects of intensive meditation. During a closed, 3 month retreat led by Alan Wallace, a renowned meditation teacher, writer and researcher, a vast amount of scientific research data was recorded. Analysis is ongoing but already some remarkably significant findings have been recorded. 

This is the fourth in a series of 5 posts on the history of meditation, adapted from Meditation- an In-depth Guide by Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson.
See here for the first, second & third part

When TM (Transcendental Meditation) came from India to the West in the sixties it brought two exceptional benefits. TM provided a reliable meditation technique that was relatively easy to teach and to learn; and it developed a strong commitment to research.

This is the third in a series of 5 posts on the history of meditation, adapted from Meditation- an In-depth Guide by Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson.
See here for the first and second part

Through the 1970s and 1980s many excellent books were published on meditation in general. In the therapeutic arena, Pauline McKinnon, an Australian patient of Dr Meares who had used his methods to recover from agoraphobia in 1983, published her own work based on his techniques, In Stillness Conquer Fear. My own first book, You Can Conquer Cancer, with its emphasis on meditation and cancer, was released in 1984. This was followed by my more specific books on meditation, Peace of Mind in 1987, Meditation—Pure and Simple in 1996, Meditation – an In-depth Guide, co-authored with Paul Bedson in 2010 and The Mind that Changes Everything in 2011.

 

This is the second in a series of 5 posts on the history of meditation, adapted from Meditation- an In-depth Guide by Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson.
For the first part, see here.

While the 1950s saw the emergence of a few meditation pioneers such as Alan Watts, who only published his bestseller Psychology East and West in 1961, until the early 1960s, meditation in the West continued to remain largely the domain of spiritual seekers.

Most meditation was being taught and practised within the context of either a Hindu yogic, Sufi, Buddhist or Taoist framework.

Then came the Age of Aquarius. The Beatles went to India, met the Maharishi and brought Transcendental Meditation (TM) back to the West. Psychedelic drugs burst out of the experimental laboratories of psychiatrists and the CIA, and flooded the streets. Vietnam galvanised a generation, the counterculture flourished, and people were intent on expanding their minds. Very quickly meditation in the West was popularised, and perhaps even stigmatised to a degree, as the domain of the hippies.

This is the first in a series of 5 posts on the history of meditation, adapted from Meditation- an In-depth Guide by Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson

Meditation resided for thousands of years almost exclusively in the domain of spiritual practice. However, it is clear that meditation has much to offer that is very relevant to our modern lives, whether or not we are spiritually inclined. In a series of posts, we will explore where meditation came from, how it has evolved in the West, and how it has emerged as maybe the best, most proven self-help technique for healing body and mind.

Thursday, 12 April 2012 14:29

How long before you are paid to meditate?

There is not one but four delightful, fresh roses on the table. They are glorious buds; a superb pink, and they smell divine. I am sitting having lunch while my wife Ruth and I are leading a meditation retreat. I find myself marveling at the attention to detail and then my mind turns to wondering how long it will be before people are paid to come to these programs?