Vanessa Landsdown — Program Facilitator

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I am a registered psychologist and mindfulness facilitator, trained in the globally renowned Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) and Mindful Schools. I have also delivered mindfulness workshops using art, music and architecture for the Sydney Opera House and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Prior to working as a facilitator, I worked in the corporate world in private practice psychology and Outplacement. I am passionate about meditation and opening the door to this beneficial practice to all. I have personally enjoyed the benefits of meditating since 2002.

The best thing about working at Smiling Mind…

There are many things … but I love working with teachers. I have delivered workshops in many different schools across New South Wales: public, private, catholic, co-ed, single sex and I always see teachers who are passionate about their students, educating and supporting them and I love being able to help the teachers support themselves and their work.

The biggest challenge in my role:

Making meditation an everyday practice. No matter how much theory or scientific evidence to support the benefits of meditating – there are no benefits/changes/insights unless we practice, practice, practice.

What I do when I’m not at work:

I love swimming (especially in the ocean), so if I am not at work I am usually just getting out of the water or about to jump into it. I also have two teenage daughters, a husband and a dog who all keep me on my toes.

On meditation:

I remember my dad meditating in the 1970/80’s? I was always curious, and it took a period of experiencing chronic pain to motivated me to practice meditating myself. For me, meditation is like sitting with a good friend – no matter how challenging the day, if I can sit for 10-15 minutes it helps me shift gears. It is always the best thing I can do for myself.

My favourite inspirational quote:

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”
— Pema Chödrön