Elijah Payne — Research Assistant

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I’m an open-minded curious thinker who wants to make a positive difference in the world. I'm a Psychology Honours Graduate from Monash University, my previous research relates to exploring the neural underpinnings of attention in mindfulness meditators.

I’ve had a strong interest in meditation and mindfulness for over 4 years and for me, being apart of mindfulness research is a dream come true

The best thing about working at Smiling Mind…

My role is about evaluating the impact Smiling Mind has and designing research studies which contribute to the scientific community. I'm personally interested the research I do here and I get paid to do it! I'm privileged to work somewhere that aligns with my personal values. I believe in our purpose and that inspires me every day.

The biggest challenge in my role:

Deciding which research avenues to pursue.

If I wasn’t working at Smiling Mind I’d…

I have aspirations to become a clinical psychologist, and conduct research designing the perfect recipe for mindfulness-based social and emotional learning school programs. I would either have started my clinical PhD already, or be writing scientific papers about the neuroscience of meditation.

What I do when I’m not at work:

I like to spend my time playing soccer, dancing (ecstatic dance/5 rhythms), and connecting with people. I want to be a psychologist so I'm really interested in how people relate to each other and find meaning in life.

On meditation:

I've practiced meditation regularly for the last 4 years and it has definitely had a positive impact on my life. My first real formal practice was Vipassana style meditation and I have attended a few 10-day silent meditation retreats.

I now practice open awareness and loving-kindness meditation. It's changed my perspective on life and I now experience a general sense of peace and acceptance in my life.

My favourite inspirational quote:

“May life become increasingly complex.”
— Various