Interview: Emily Lubitz, mindful musician


Emily Lubitz is the six-foot flame haired front woman for Melbourne folk/pop outfit and festival darlings Tinpan Orange. Her sweet, vivid voice a distinctive feature to accompany the virtuoso instrumental performances and pulsating rhythms, which come to form the wholly unique sound that Tinpan Orange are regarded for. They have toured throughout Canada, Europe and UK with The Cat Empire, and have been known to pack out venues at major Australian Folk Festivals.

Join Emily’s meditation team or support the cause HERE

1. What led you to meditation?

When I was 18, after spending 6 months travelling through east Africa I found myself in Cape Town. My cousin took me to a three day, silent meditation retreat. It was a baptism of fire because I had never meditated before. It was scary and wonderful. I saw what an amazing resource it could be, and so was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

2. What value has practising meditation brought to your life?

Meditation makes me feel like I’ve got more of everything. Well, more of the good stuff. More time, more energy, more love, more patience. In this life that feels so deficient in so many things, I think it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

3. How has meditation supported you in your professional life? 

On tour, I find it very calming to shut my eyes and breath for 5 minutes. Whether its in an airport, backstage, a hotel room, when I open my eyes the world is a different place.

4. What are the biggest obstacles to your practice? 

Actually doing it!

5. What is a quote that most inspires you and why?

‘If you expect the worst and then it happens, you have lived it twice.’ I don’t even know who said it but I think about a lot. I often live in anticipation of things and I’m trying to shake the habit. I also love Soren Kierkegaard’s quote ‘anxiety is the dizziness of freedom’.. Sometimes we just have too many choices.

6. What is a book that has opened you to new ideas and inspired your growth and why?

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran-Foer and Rumi’s selected poems. Also the Bible. First Testament in particular.

7. What Mindful Music do you listen to (ie. music that grabs your full attention and brings you into the moment)?

Billie Holiday. She was a tortured soul who never would have meditated in her life, but her voice just takes me to another place. She tells you all the secrets of the human condition in one phrase. I like Leonard Cohen too… He’s a tortured soul who decided to work his shit out and started meditating!

8. Why are you being Mindful in May?

I love both the causes of Mindful in May. Encouraging first-world folks to stop and breathe and raising funds for third-world folks to have clean water. Any way you look at it, we’re all winning.
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"If we wish to be healthy, happy and clear-minded, we need to upgrade our “inner technology”of attention to meet the demands of our increasingly complex world. That's where mindfulness comes in.."




Elise Bialylew is the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Plan, and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign.

A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project.

Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and on Australian Television. She was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence.

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