MIM Community: Jonni Pollard, mindful co-founder of 1 Giant Mind

Jonni Pollard is a social entrepreneur driven to affect meaningful progressive change in the world through facilitating a philosophical, scientific and experiential understanding of human consciousness and the role our minds play in shaping our personal and collective experience. Jonni has over 15 years of experience in film, television and event production. He is a multi-award-winning executive producer and a full-time meditation teacher. His entrepreneurial leadership skills spearhead the 1 Giant Mind initiative.

1. What led you to meditation?

The natural desire to alleviate the discomfort of anxiety and feeling disconnected from myself and others.

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

There is no aspect of my life experience that hasn’t been profoundly affected by my regular twice-a-day practice of meditation. All the qualities that I love about myself grow exponentially and all those aspects of my personality that I recognise as being distortions of my authentic nature exponentially dissolve. I’m growing in every moment. Meditation increases my awareness and sharpens my perception and as a result, the benefit is 2 fold; 1) to be able to witness and appreciate myself growing through the various stages of my life 2) by recognising this natural growth process, I am able to consciously participate in a way that further stimulates the growth and so the progressive cycle continues and grows exponentially, as does my sense of happiness and fulfilment.

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

As a meditation teacher and the Executive Director of a meditation research and education organisation, one giant mind,  it has helped me in every way imaginable.

4. What are the biggest obstacles to your practice?

There are no obstacles to my practice… the technique I practice provides me with so many benefits and instant gratification of profound rest. I look forward to the opportunity to be able to sit and effortlessly allow my mind to collapse into the ocean consciousness. This transcendental experience is the source of everything I regard myself to be. I don’t get much pleasure imagining what life would be like without it.

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

“Nirvatatvam”- translation- “Be where you are not” 
This simple phrase expounds the very nature and rhythm of our consciousness. The mind is always seeking to expand its’ self. Suffering is the by-product of rigid attachment in the mind to that which we believe to be safe and secure. This is counterintuitive to the natural process of unending expansion. The incessant clasping for experiences to validate a superficial idea of who we think we are, as opposed to who we actually are, so often dominates the landscape of our awareness.
The phrase “be where you are not” is an instruction to surrender to your nature, to allow the mind to do what it does best, which is to expand. When we are ‘being where we are not’, we are expanding, when we are expanding, we are fulfilling the function for which we were designed. When we are living in accordance with our nature/design, life flows, our desires match up with our ability to fulfil them, we innovate with the certainty of purpose and leave a trail of inspiration where ever we go. What else is there to do!

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

The Bhagavad Gita- Translation and commentary by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. There is literally to much in this wonderful offering by Maharishi to mention. Each time I read it, I get more and more out of it. It will remain timeless and endless in its delivery of the simplest and most ancient wisdom of living a life of frictionless ease in the face of challenges and demands.

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

That’s an interesting question… My experience is that music doesn’t determine how mindful I am of it,  it depends more on my mood and my willingness to allow it in. If it sounds sweet then my senses involuntarily embrace it. Some days some music grinds on me and on other days I can’t get enough of it. If I was to pick a genre of music that never seems to grind on me, it would be the Indian classic ragas known as Gandharva Veda. This music mimics the rhythms in nature and one can’t help but be uplifted by it.

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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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