Everything works better when it’s unplugged for a few moments. This includes you.


Yeah sure, but while I’m “unplugging” who’s going to put food on the table, write that report, update my status, publish that post, screen my calls, check my emails, study for the stats. exam, change the baby, watch endless episodes of House of Cards, cook dinner, feed the dog, walk the dog, train for the half-marathon (with the dog), sweep, vacuum, mop, do the dishes, do the laundry, solve the missing sock mystery and just generally hold the fort in the rare event that, you know, The Apocalypse happens?


Greater awareness achieved through consistent meditation practice will change your perception towards your thoughts, feelings and your life. How? Well, having a clear understanding of what is actually happening, in real time and in the real world (your immediate world) will allow you to create your most truly desired outcomes. This isn’t just a pile of woo woo hippy stuff either people! Several peer reviewed articles published in reputable journals have shown that higher states of awareness are a result of several pathways in the brain working together optimally, especially pathways within a section of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. Neuroscientists have demonstrated via specialised brain scan imagery that ones prefrontal cortex is indeed more active during a meditative state. (read all about it here and here and here)

But why should any of this encourage you to ditch fretting about the end of the world, “unplug” for 10-20 minutes a day, and simply start meditating instead? Because the prefrontal cortex is largely responsible for will power, self-control, planning, complex behaviors, personal expression, judgments and flexible social behavior. Basically, when the functionality of the prefrontal cortex is enhanced, it gives you the ability; the INSIGHT required when making distinctions between random thoughts. When gently and consistently ushered away from the virtual reality tour of endless ‘what if’s’ and ‘but how’s, the mind is able to put hopes for the future into perspective. It will also bounce back from setbacks quickly, and it will hold back urges that do not serve you well. From this vantage point, your mind can get on with the task of getting you closer to whatever it is that your deepest heartfelt desire is. Simple.


Friend, you CAN do this

A common conversation we have at The Nurtured Mind:

Us: We’re involved in researching meditation. We also run guided sessions in a really lovely space!”
Friend: “Oh, meditation- I tried that. I couldn’t do it.”

We hear this from just about everyone new to meditation. And fair enough too. Often people new to this practice have certain ideas in mind of what ‘successful’ meditation looks like: sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, seemingly serene and free of thoughts, maybe even with beams of light shooting out of their heads while they float effortlessly one meter above the ground. Well friends, this imagery is a far cry from the reality of meditation. Especially when you are a beginner!

Although on the outside it may appear like the person meditating is calm and still (and even this takes time to develop) their mind is often a messy tangled web of thoughts and emotions.



We ask that beginners try and think of meditation as an incremental process – one of investigating your mind and changing the way you relate to your thoughts.

The struggle we face with meditation typically arises because our goals are misplaced. It’s easy to start thinking that the instructions for meditation are the goal of meditation. This is not the case. While we might aim to maintain focus on the breath, the goal is really to learn about our minds. We do this by setting up the conditions for thoughts to arise, and then observe them non-judgmentally.

So for example, if you start thinking about how annoying meditation is while you are meditating (yes, we are mind readers too) you might pause and think “hello frustration, it’s you again.” Leaning into your my annoyance and greeting it with an open curiosity, almost like you would greet an unannounced visitor at your front door.

Once we understand that thoughts are supposed to arise, and are actually necessary for meditation to be meaningful, we can begin to relax. With practice, we begin to realise that thoughts and emotions naturally arise and will naturally pass away. They don’t always need to be acted upon, and that they aren’t as “real” as they seem.

We can start to liken our thoughts to weather changes seen in the sky above us. Sometimes the sky will be sunny, sometimes it’ll be cloudy and raining. We don’t analyse how to change a rainy sky into a sunny sky. We have an explicit understanding: what the sky does on any given day is completely beyond our control. All we can do is go about our business until the sky changes. Knowing all the while that the sky will change. There is no doubt about that.

Why not take this very moment to do a “temperature check” on what your experiencing right now. How are you feeling in this moment? What thoughts are present? How does your body feel? Are you present and fully aware in this moment of your life or are you preoccupied with past or future events? Remember, there’s no need to judge or try and change your experience in any way. Just being aware is more than enough.

In many ways learning to meditate at The Nurtured Mind is a lot like learning to ride a bike. You come to us, and we start off holding you up and cheering you on. Then we gently remove the training wheels and the journey becomes your own.

For more insight regarding meditation and how to make it an easy and enjoyable part of your everyday existence, click here to contact us.

Or read more about what to expect in one of our customised sessions here.

The Art of Being Flexible

“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.”

– Ping Fu

How your mind interprets events can have a huge effect on your overall stress levels.

Take a moment to read through the following statements, and make a quick mental note of your immediate reaction to each scenario.

Note:  As best you can, aim not over-think your answers, just be honest with yourself.

A person you went on a date with recently doesn’t call you back. Do you:

a) Take this as a sign that the romance is cooling and the object of your attention no longer finds you interesting, or

b) Think that the person has been busy with other life commitments

You get a speeding fine in the mail, and think:

a) The local government is out to get you, and raise revenue, or

b) You need to slow down a tad

When faced with honest, “negative” human emotions (including your own), such as sadness, fear or anger, do you:

a) See such displays as signs of weakness, or

b) See them as signs of courage

It isn’t uncommon for most people’s initial response to be a negative interpretation. Often our reaction to any given situation happens so quickly and unconsciously that we aren’t even aware that we have had a reaction. It’s this lack of awareness that can keep some people in a self-perpetuating merry-go-round of a life that’s filled with worry, anxiety and tension. Not fun, really.

However, practicing meditation, in particular mindfulness meditation, is a vehicle for increased awareness. With time, you can learn to acknowledge difficult feelings and thoughts, see their origins more clearly, and as a result experience deeper states of acceptance, inner-peace and wisdom. And this friends, is why most people visit The Nurtured Mind, keen as mustard to learn all about mindfulness meditation, and how it can vanquish their lives of any stress and anxiety once and for all. Yes! The Promised Land is near, the heavens are parting way and the angels up above are beginning to sing… If. Only.

Before any students go deep diving into the dark, uncharted realms of their own minds, we like to advise them of two key points:

  • “The only way out, is through.” This is a popular saying in meditation circles, and basically it implies that, if you want to ‘free yourself’ from any undesirable thoughts, emotions or physical sensations you really need to acknowledge that they exist first. But start slow. There is really no need (nor is it desirable) to start exploring how you react to stress by purposefully beginning to think of the most stressful aspects of your life. You’re far better off bringing to mind a mild annoyance you’ve encountered recently. For example, the same barrister at your favorite café forgot to add the sugar in your take-away for the second time this week, or your internet connection has been playing up all day (insert any other 1st world problem you may be facing, here!)
  • Then sit back, and watch what happens. Just watch. Don’t get caught up in rehashing the past or rehearsing the future. Notice any mental activity and body sensations that occur as though they are happening to (in) someone else, and you are just a curious observer. Sometimes it can be helpful to see your role in this activity as that of a diligent internal researcher, taking mental notes of whatever happens when it happens.

When the mind wanders away from the task of watching itself (and it will), you might suddenly realise you’ve been thinking about dinner for the last few minutes, or how to get one-up on the barrister, or how to speed up your internet connection.. Worry not. Just notice what has drawn your attention away, and then gently remind yourself that you are meditating. The more you do this, the stronger your practice becomes, and as a consequence, the less stressed you become. In time, you will want to dig a little deeper and ponder a little longer on the things in your life (past, present or future) that cause you grief, knowing that you can do so without getting freaked out in the process.

Sure, at times it can be incredible difficult to seemingly sit in a hall filled with mirrors reflecting all of ‘you’; face-to-face with your fear, shame, guilt and other unwelcome but familiar internal visitors. Even for seasoned practitioners, remaining an impartial witness to these excruciating states of mind can at times be a stretch, and it’s said that Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa likened this task to having to sit and hear one insult after another with not even a hint of retaliation, regret or remorse. It’s no wonder then, that sometimes all we want to do is run, hit eject or simply avoid the non-negotiable instruction of mindfulness meditation: sit back and watch, without attachment. Even if this means being a partial witness to all of our neuroses and worrying thoughts that from time to time, like to parade around inside our very own heads. Perhaps this is where the word ‘mind-ful’ comes from? Now, that’s a thought.

So why not ask yourself, right now in this very moment, how are you? Are you tense, and therefore grabbing at the moment? Are you too tired to enjoy it? Rushing forward with expectation. Resisting something?

Why not take a few moments, right now, to relax your body and clear your mind, and meet the next moment with ease?

Don’t know how? For tips on how to make meditation an easy and enjoyable part of your day click here to contact us!




Parenting & Enlightenment

Learning to release the impulse to control things is often one of life’s most important lessons, and being flexible in our overall approach in daily living is key to a good, easy existence. So if you want a really good opportunity to practice this rather important life skill. Well, easy. Just sign up for parenting.

As a parent of young children, you will more often than not need to adjust your expectations of how things are going to play out during the day (and the night!). Sometimes you’ll need to do this when you have prepared for time play out in a completely different way.

An expression comes to mind: “Man plans, God laughs.”

Before having my children I had an illusion of control. I could plan something and then go about accomplishing my task pretty much the way I had planned. Then I had kids – and now I make plans almost as a joke!

I’ve learned to make an “ish” plan.


“Ok, we’ll aim to get there at about 9ish, depending on how the morning goes and we may or may not take the girls tutus, gumboots, colouring in books, water bottles and snacks with us. Oh hang on, the little one is sniffly. Well, we’ll just have to see how she is in the morning. We can try to stay for a couple of hours, depending on if they get bored or are having a good time.

Then maybe we can go to the cafe for lunch if the kids aren’t worn out or grumpy. Ok? Great! That’s our plan!”

And this sort of plan actually reassures me!

It’s such a blessing being able to practice this letting go thing everyday. Thank you children.

I remember silently vowing before I gave birth to my first daughter, “I WILL still be someone who arrives on time. I WILL still have meaningful conversations with all of my friends. I WILL still go out in the evenings.”

I sometimes see new mums walking around our neighborhood with panicked, exhausted expressions on their faces as they watch their plans for the day sprint off without them, again. It ain’t easy.

When things aren’t going the way we think they should, we fight it. We fight it hard. This is true for a range of scenarios in life, not just parenting.

Basically, we resist because whatever is going on doesn’t fit in with our picture of how it should be. How we planned it to be. How we expect it to be.

It only makes things worse though doesn’t it? Yes, resistance is futile.

When we stubbornly enforce our way instead of letting go and seeing what happens if we just stand back for a moment, our eternally helpful children promptly assist us in realising the futility of our approach. They do this by utilising their refined negotiation skills; they start getting unhappy, they whine, they act out, they hit their siblings… They are small, but the power our children yield is potent!

So why live in Struggle Town? When we release our resistance and the impulse to have things go “to plan” all of the time, great things can happen. Days begin to flow, little hearts begin to lighten and our life alongside these precious little Zen Masters becomes what it should always be. Fun!

We offer modern meditation classes for mothers who want to enjoy the parenting journey just that little bit more.

Click here to contact us.




This Is Not A Diet

Mindful Eating is about how and why we eat, NOT what we eat.


At The Nurtured Mind we run a half-day workshop that focuses on everything to do with eating mindfully. During the class we delve into all the ways we can finally break free of “food rules” and thereby developing a better relationship with the food we consume.

Mindful eating is basically the opposite of mindLESS eating. Put simply, this practice requires people to pay attention to their food while they’re eating it. Participants are encouraged to pause and really take in the taste, smell, sight, touch and sound of whatever it is they choose to consume. This is all pretty straight forward stuff, and lots of people liken this experience to being told to chew their food thirty times before swallowing it when they where a child.

However, what most people are not aware of is that the bodies digestive process (metabolism) actually begins in the mind, not in the mouth as they have been lead to believe. To get a better understanding of this concept it helps to have a very basic understanding of biochemistry.

Have you ever looked in the mirror, liked what you saw, and suddenly felt your mood elevate and your energy perk up?  That’s awareness sparking the chemistry of metabolism.  Or have you ever noticed when being watched that you seem to perform and express yourself with greater energy and focus?  That’s the awareness of others impacting your biochemistry.

Awareness is presence.  It’s our ability to be awake to what is.  It’s our capacity to experience what life is doing in this moment.  And when we bring awareness to our eating experience, it’s a wondrous metabolic force.

The power of awareness to catalyze nutrient assimilation, digestion, and calorie-burning ability is best exemplified in something scientists call the cephalic phase digestive response – CPDR.  Cephalic means “of the head.”  CPDR is simply a fancy term for the pleasure, taste, aroma, satisfaction, and the visual stimulation of a meal.  In other words, it’s the “head phase” of digestion.  What’s amazing is that researchers have estimated that as much as 30 to 40 % of the total digestive response to any meal is due to CPDR—our full awareness of what we’re eating.

Can you recall a time when you saw your favourite food and your mouth started watering or your stomach began churning?  That’s the cephalic phase digestive response.  Digestion quite literally begins in the head. A hearty awareness of our meal initiates the secretion of saliva, gastric acid and gut enzymes that enhance digestion. In addition, it causes blood to rush to the digestive organs, the stomach and intestines to rhythmically contract, and electrolyte concentrations throughout the digestive tract to shift in preparation for incoming food. Simply put: awareness IS metabolism

So let’s do the math.  If scientists say that 30 to 40% of our total digestive response to any meal is due to CPDR, and if we choose not to be aware of our meal – that is, if we “fall asleep at the plate” and fail to register any sense of taste, smell, satisfaction, or visual interest – then we’re metabolizing our meal at only 60 to 70% efficiency.

Lack of attention translates into decreased blood flow to the digestive organs, which means less oxygenation and hence a weakened metabolic force.  With less enzymatic output in the gut we become susceptible to digestive upset, bowel disorders, lowered immunity, and fatigue… and yes, weight gain. Can you see why “sleepwalking” through a meal is an ill-informed nutritional choice?

So if viewing a film or listening to several people at once can depreciate your metabolic bank account, what do you think happens when you eat and watch TV?  Or when you eat while driving?  Or when you eat while working at your desk?  Metabolizing a meal is like absorbing a conversation.  If you were talking with a friend and she didn’t pay any attention, you’d walk away feeling incomplete and wishing for more.  The essence of your exchange would have been minimally assimilated at best.  The same goes with food.

The point of all this is not to convince you to become a lone boring hermit when you eat. We are not here to give Maccas drive-thru at 2am on a Sunday morning a bad wrap! The idea is simply to remind ourselves to bring more attention to our meal no matter what we’re doing as we nourish ourselves. The goal is to eat with the kind of presence that has us celebrate the moment, the food, and ultimately the preciousness of life.

To find out more about our Mindful Eating workshop click here.

Free Information Evening

Set yourself free. Take the road less traveled.


Most Thursday evenings at our East Melbourne Sanctuary at 6pm we hold a free introductory talk on all things meditation and how we can help you finally achieve the inner tranquility and calm you yearn for.
Simply come along with your questions, for 30-40 minutes and find out more about The Nurtured Mind, restorative yoga and the styles of meditation we teach and why so many people are choosing to learn these incredibly valuable life skills.

Bookings are essential.

Click here to book your place at our next information night.

If Thursday’s don’t suit you, click here to read more about what to expect in one of our private meditation sessions.

Introductory Offer

Take advantage of our introductory offer* and give your mind the extra attention it deserves

3 x 90 minute one-on-one sessions for $250.

*this is a once only offer for first time participants.

Golnar (57 of 138)Private consultations with our founder, Golnar Luzza will allow you to explore and develop your capacity to meditate in a personalised and relaxed atmosphere. The extra attention you will receive provides the spaciousness required to find ways of meditating that will work for you, ensuring that the style of practice is customised to your temperament, personality and any special requirements.

All private clients will receive access to exclusive guided meditation audio files recorded by Golnar to listen to at their convenience, as well as clear written correspondence outlining activities that can help bring harmony and ease to their everyday lives. Where possible, the audio files and written content is personalised for the clients requirements and preferences.

It can be equally beneficial to book a private session if you’re an advanced practitioner. This is a practical way for you to harness ‘beginners mind’ mentality; particularly useful for those who may have temporarily lost their meditating mojo.

We understand that life places different demands on each of us but when you commit to a regular and consistent meditation practice, whether it is once a week or everyday,  you will begin to notice a remarkable difference in your physical, mental and emotional well-being.

As you begin to live your life mindfully, you will begin to witness your inner world differently – your thoughts, emotions, sensations and mental processes – you will start to sleep better, be better able to cope with stressful situations, improve your self-esteem, renew your enthusiasm for life and work, and generally just feel better.

Click here to take advantage of this limited offer today.