24 October 2011

Mindbody Mastery


For nearly two years now, I have been pre-occupied with how to help people more effectively on a broader, more accessible scale. The first manifestation of these efforts is a very exciting, soon to be released meditation based, on-line mind training program with some unique features.

The program is called Mindbody Mastery and it uses modern technology to provide readily affordable access to the techniques that we all know generate clarity of mind, good health and great performance in all aspects of life. It will be like attending a meditation group with a teacher on-line.

Mindbody Mastery will be presented via an initial 8wk program of MP3 downloads for smart phones or computer, and includes 6 months of support via a cutting edge support package. The program will be terrific for beginners and a great way of deepening and sustaining your mindfulness and meditation if you already do some.

Over the initial 8 weeks, you will be introduced to, and supported to learn and apply 8 easy mind-centred techniques. Each week you will receive a download in two parts. First, a short, spoken introduction to the theory (available in either male or female voice – me or Ruth) along with an explanation of how to practise a specific exercise designed to be used daily over the coming week. Second, you will be guided in the exercise itself.

Each exercise will build logically on those before it, and together provide direct access to rapid relaxation, increased powers of concentration, the practical skill of mindfulness, and the deep natural peace of meditation. Mindbody Mastery also includes the added benefits of guided imagery and contemplation. Another feature is that several of the exercises include backing music from world-class musicians on cello, harp, flute and sarod (which is a bit like a sitar).

Now the special features of the program. For years I have worked with thousands of people who want to meditate but struggle to keep up a regular practice. So Mindbody Mastery is reinforced by a thorough, ongoing support program. Using a sophisticated combination of simple and well-proven technologies, you will receive six months of elegantly structured email and SMS reminders. You will be encouraged and supported to use social media networking along with personal and group feedback to build your practice routines. As well, you will be have access to webinars, FAQ and experts for personal advice where needed.

This extensive support package, along with the use of modern, web based technology for delivery, make this program of real interest to the public and the research community. Therefore, formal research evaluation is built into the program.

Led by Prof Nick Allen, Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne, this ongoing research will assess any changes in state of mind, quality of life and a range of lifestyle behaviours. Under examination is the theory that as participant’s state of mind improves, so too may their lifestyle. For example, they may eat better, smoke and drink less alcohol, loose weight and exercise more. Of course, they may feel a whole lot better generally!

There are now well over 7,000 studies published worldwide confirming that the mind techniques taught in the Mindbody Mastery program reliably improve physical, emotional and mental health, enhance spiritual values and improve performance in nearly every arena of human endeavour. Also, these techniques are proven to make valuable contributions as adjuncts to existing treatment programs for most physical, emotional and mental health issues. A summary of this research will be available on the Mindbody website.

While Mindbody Mastery focuses on training the mind and has no reference to any particular faith or creed, experience tells us that this program will reliably enhance spiritual values such as gratitude, kindness and altruism. These qualities are associated with greater self-care, family care and social responsibility. The program is compatible with any secular, spiritual or religious views.

Mindbody Mastery looks like being ready for release towards the end of November. Maybe this will be something you will use yourself. Maybe you could use it, or refer it to other people you know, or your workplace, health related groups, sporting clubs; it is designed to have a myriad of applications. It would make a terrific Christmas present for those of you who have children who are ready to begin to train their minds.

Once the website is ready in mid November, I will be advising you via the blog, but if you have specific questions, or can think of larger applications for the program, let me know via my website.


Introduction and theory: A brief introduction to the full module and this week’s focus – the negative effects of stress, the benefits of relaxation and an introduction to this week’s exercise.

The exercise: Rapid Relaxation: A 5 minute technique to relax the body and calm the mind.

Theory: Brief outline of the current, research based understandings of the interactions between mind and body and a further development of the rationale for the full module.

Exercise: Deep Relaxation. Participants will learn how to physically relax quickly and deeply.

Theory: It will be explained how focussing one’s attention takes the mind off disturbing emotions and thoughts, reduces mental chatter and actually calms the mind.

Exercise: Focussing on the breath. Participants will learn a simple technique to focus their minds, enhancing concentration in a way that will enhance all these mind techniques and help them to be able to concentrate more fully when required in daily life.

Theory: Mindfulness will be defined, while the theory behind its many proven benefits and its practice will be explained.

Exercise: Mindfulness of sound and breath. These two mindfulness exercises are brought together into one very effective technique that is easy to learn and practise.

Theory: Mindfulness theory will be expanded and reinforced, giving emphasis to learning how to remain undistracted and to let go of potentially stressful and anxiety provoking events and thoughts.

Exercise: Mindfulness of thoughts. Participants will learn a simple yet highly effective technique that teaches them to achieve a deeper stillness of mind beyond thought.

Theory: How to use basic imagery techniques will be explained, along with a rationale for their use and their potential benefits.

Exercise: The Healing Journey. This is a guided imagery exercise replete with many subtle yet powerful metaphorical images developed to enhance healing and wellbeing. This exercise appeals to the young and old alike and has been well tested over decades.

Theory: Participants will learn how to combine what they have learnt of relaxation, concentration and mindfulness into a simple meditation exercise that they will be encouraged to practise in an ongoing way as their main mind training technique.

Theory: The practice of contemplation will be introduced (it is worth noting that recent research has indicated this practice helps to overcome depression) and an introduction given for this week’s exercise.
Also, guidance will be given regarding integrating the techniques learnt throughout the module into daily life, along with an outline of the on-going support package.

Exercise: Contemplation on gratitude.

At week 12, you will receive a bonus meditation download which features a brief meditation practice that can be used daily.

To finish, a reminder:

Remember to breath, let go, relax, smile.

Welcome to this present moment.


Early Bird Discount is closing soon for the Happiness and its Causes Conference. Mention my name as a speaker and the organisers will give you a further 15% discount!

Click here for the link to this great conference that I am honoured to speak at again next year. Here is a summary from the program:


Join the best and brightest minds in philosophy, science, psychology, spirituality and the arts in exploring these questions and more at Happiness & Its Causes 2012. Now in its 7th amazing year, Happiness & Its Causes is the world’s leading conference examining the varied causes of a happy and meaningful life.
Be motivated and inspired by an extraordinary roll call of 40+ speakers from Australia and abroad!

Keynotes include world-renowned Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche; founder of positive psychology Dr Martin Seligman; acclaimed ethicist, philosopher and author, Peter Singer; pioneering researcher into successful ageing Ellen Langer; playwright and National Living Treasure, David Williamson and ground-breaking journalist, Ita Buttrose.

DISCOUNTS ARE AVAILABLE! Book before 4 November and save $200 on the 2 day conference and $340 on the gold pass!

PLUS given I am presenting at the event, my contacts are entitled to a further 15% discount on the conference fees. Simply call (02) 8719 5118 to register and mention my name.



BOOK:   Meditation – an In-depth Guide: Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson
                The Mind that Changes Everything: Ian Gawler

DVD:  Meditation Live

CDs: Meditation – A Complete Guide  is the best CD to begin with; then the others follow on as a sequence


  1. Ian this sounds fantastic! I want to give it to my 2 children. They are always on their phones and maybe this is a way to get them into meditation. I have talked about it with them often enough, and they are curious, but they will not go to a group. Maybe this will get them started. How much will it cost? I hope it is reasonably priced.

  2. Hi Ian, wonderful initiative. Can you please advise costs & how to enrol? Many thanks.

  3. This is a wonderful idea Ian!

  4. How important this is for reaching the younger generations. It's got the potential of getting to those people who would not normally read a book on it or get to a class. Good to see your flexibility Ian.

  5. Thanks Ian. Sounds fantastic.

  6. What a great idea. I am hoping to have this made available where I work. Everyone feels stressed and we have talked of doing meditation but there has been no way to get it going. This is something everyone can have access to and I think many will welcome it. We need material to put it forward.

  7. Hi Ian, could you please tell me how your Mind-Body Mastery program differs from Jon Kabat-Zinns MBSR program? What would you suggest is the "strength" of your, program - apart from being available online - ? Thank you!

  8. hi Ian - I look forward to travelling through the mind-body program - being fortunate to have participated in several of your workshops over the years, it sounds like I will journey with a dear old friend. I had felt the pang of loss when I heard you were 'retiring' a year or so ago - phew I should have known it meant you would give even more to us (and become computer savey). cheers. lisap

  9. I look forward to hearing more about the program and details on how to sign up for it.

  10. I have been using Mindbody Mastery for over 6 months now, and I especially love receiving the daily emails.I am always learning something new, and they serve to remind me to do my meditation. The emails have helped me to become regular with my practice, whereas before I had always lapsed. Many thanks for a great program