Meet Local Love Jonni Pollard – World renowned meditation teacher and founder of the incredible app 1 Giant Mind – designed to make meditation easy, effortless and attainable to the everyday person.
When we first met Jonni at the launch of 1 Giant Mind in Melbourne we were lucky enough to witness him lead an incredible mass mediation. We were instantly drawn in by his calm and serene attitude, his incredible passion and his enthusiasm to share his knowledge and experiences with meditation.
Can you please tell us a little about 1 Giant Mind?
1 Giant Mind’s mission is to deliver free ‘Learn to Meditate’ program for those seeking solutions to reducing the negative impact of stress and to increase their health and wellbeing. We have an awesome team of professional meditation teachers, digital wizards and marketing and event mavens. Everyone involved is deeply passionate about meditation, fulfilling human potential and committed to effecting real change in the world.
What initially drew you to meditation?
It’s such an easy and enjoyable thing to do that has such a profound impact on my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Tell us about the first time you meditated.
The first recollection I have of meditation was when I was about 7yrs old. It was a natural and quite spontaneous experience. I recall experiencing a lot of anxiety as kid through my parent’s divorce. Somehow I discovered a technique by way of feeling into the sensations of anxiety with my eyes closed. By breathing through the sensations, they would rapidly dissolve and leave me in a calm rested state. It only occurred to me a decade later that what I was doing was actually a thing called meditation. Since then the process has become a lot more elegant and sophisticated.
If you had to list 3, what do you believe are the most important or significant benefits of meditation?
- Expanded awareness, connection and love for my self and others
- Increased mental and physical vitality and capability
- Increased capacity to actualise my sense of purpose
In the last few years Meditation has unmistakably become more popular in the western world. However, there is still the feeling around it only being practiced by “Yogi’s” and “Hippy’s”. We believe your app has positively broken down those barriers…Can you tell us what the greatest challenge has been for you in breaking down that stigma?
The greatest and perhaps the only challenge I believe breaking down stigmas around meditation is simply getting people to try it. Once people try it, they discover how effective it is in reducing stress and increasing vitality and connection and then they tell friends and family. Our branding is very on trend and relatable to a specific market, however we are getting people from all walks of life using the app. Every day we receive emails from people letting us know that they otherwise would never have tried it before, had it not been the recommendation from a friend who themselves otherwise would have never tried it without the recommendation. I think our marketing goes some ways but ultimately the product/experience itself is the thing that is changing minds. All it takes is one person at a dinner party to start raving about their experience and how easy and gratifying it is, next thing you know we have another handful of new meditators. This is how it is spreading and we love it like this. This is also the power of digital technology. It is significantly removing the barrier for entry into the experience. Directly experiencing meditation is the key to changing perceptions around it.
When do you feel most balanced?
In the present moment.
We have found there is a shift towards a more conscious way of living, that most of us are starting to take notice of our health, do you agree?
Yes, I observe the same thing. In my private practice as a professional meditation teacher, I see a fundamental theme occurring in every single person I teach and work with. There is an awakening of sorts happening to the realisation that the way we push ourselves is not sustainable and that our heath, happiness and wellbeing cannot be outsourced. It is an inside job. These modern times are unprecedented with the amount of demands we humans face daily. A decade ago we could get away with ignoring our stress and fatigue levels and use the weekend to kind of recover over a beer and bbq with friends. These days, we are always on. There is no downtime and this is having a massive impact on our mental, physical and emotional health. This overwhelming pressure due to our lifestyle is causing more and more people to stop, reflect and ask the question – WHY? What’s it all for? Is flogging myself like this worth it? What do I actually really want out of life?
What I notice is that what people are really wanting is to know who they are and why they are here and how to live a meaningful and significant life. Most people feel like they are just coping and don’t have time to slow down connect and reflect on these critical questions.
We need to discover new ways to live in these times to thrive. The move toward meditation, yoga, healthy eating, exercise, alternative medicine, and lifestyle design is as a result of this realisation that it’s really about lifestyle and priorities. It’s a very special time we live in. This movement is not slowing down. The wellness industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world right now.
Do you think social media is the key to getting a healthy message out there?
Social media is great, There is no doubt that it has been the catalyst for so many to begin a journey of self-discovery and wellbeing. It certainly has its limits though. Simply subscribing to someone’s Insta account and reading their quotes isn’t going to make any lasting significant changes to your life. It’s my belief that the power of any message is only as powerful as the messenger’s embodiment of the message. We need more living, breathing examples of what we desire to become. This is how we change best. Social media is great as an inspiring reminder and motivator but it only goes so far to really cause meaningful change in someone’s life. When we are surrounded by people in a community who live the message, then our moment-to-moment and day-to-day choices are supported and reinforced by this culture. I see social media playing a very important role in supporting culture.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
You are powerful beyond anything you can imagine right now. Your power is in your ability to love. Your ability to love can change the world. So love deeply and fearlessly. Everything you sense and feel about who you truly are is true. The universe is intelligent and conspiring for your greatest happiness. Things will turn out so much better than you imagined so don’t panic about a thing. Everything is always as it should be. You can and will achieve everything you desire and so much more by simply moving fearlessly in the direction of what inspires you the most. Forgiveness is only needed when you lack compassion. When someone hurts you, always consider what they might be experiencing to make them behave that way. Seek the company of wise teachers who have the knowledge of how to unfold your potential and pay very close attention to everything they say and do. Take full responsibility for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Surround yourself with people that see you, love you and appreciate you for who you are. Be generous with your time, resources and skills with no expectation of anything in return, this is the greatest currency you have for making things happen. Your greatest fulfillment is in serving others. Everything you will ever need will be abundantly provided for, so just relax and enjoy the awesome ride…. And perhaps to buy shares in Google.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
All the great masters from whom I have learned the art of self-realisation. I bow down to them as my saving grace.
The very first time we met you, you were full of a contagious sense of happiness & serenity! Can you share how meditation has helped you in your everyday life?
There isn’t any aspect of my life that isn’t positively affected by meditation. It has caused me to know myself in ways that were once unimaginable. It causes me to spontaneously recover from stress and fatigue and sustain an unwavering awareness of my deepest nature despite what life throws at me.
We feel it’s extremely important to support local industry and we can’t wait to see 1GM touch people from all over the world. As a growing business, what are some of the simple ways people can get behind organisations like 1GM?
Download our app, learn to meditate, take the 30-day challenge and if you got something positive out of it, tell your family and friends about it. Word of mouth is the most powerful way to spread a message. There is nothing more powerful than a first-hand testimonial.