I am so thrilled to keep sharing these interviews with you. We are all on our own journey in this life…but boy, having others to look to for support and inspiration sure helps us on our way.

To peek into the consciousness of someone new and see how those views reflect, enhance or challenge our own is such an important part of our growth. I am particularly excited to introduce you all to Hiroko Demichelis, whom I had the pleasure of meeting IRL for the first time this week. She is the founder of both Moment Meditation and Vancouver Brain Lab.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that I am an enthusiastic dabbler in meditation and mindfulness and so I was pretty intrigued to see a class-style group meditation space open in Vancouver. Read on to learn more about Hiroko and how meditation came to be a part of her work and her life.

How did the practice of meditation come into your life?

Most of the therapists I know approach therapy to heal their own wounds, and most meditators I know, come to meditation to tame their own wild brain-horse. I guess I belong to both categories!

I first discovered meditation thanks to a very special friend, Davide. Davide is someone that takes things quite seriously, and when he first decided to learn about meditation, he enrolled in a 7 year residential master course. 7 years. Residential. Full time. His knowledge, the depth of his practice, his wisdom and inner peace touched me profoundly.

It then took me a while to find my own path, and I am still constantly adjusting and discovering. But since that retreat, I knew meditation was going to be a big part of my journey.

Is meditation the same as mindfulness or does one stem from the other?

There are as many types of meditation as there are means of transportation. You can reach a certain place walking, or with your bike, car, a bus, even a helicopter, or an aeroplane. Same with meditation. Many different techniques are available, and mindfulness is one of them. The practice of noticing, instead of resisting, fixing, changing.

Given your background in counselling, how has meditation changed how you approach this work?

The foundation of mostly all I do in the therapeutic setting is based on mindfulness. When we are overwhelmed with psychological suffering, we want to run away, escape from that pain. But like quick sand, the more we move or resist, the more we sink. If instead, we allow ourselves to slow down, to notice where the pain is, what it entails, how it presents, almost becoming curious about it, chances are that it will dissipate, it will diffuse.

If someone is new to meditation, where should they begin?

Noticing this very breath, this one here.
And then joining a class at Moment 😉

Being a more mindful person takes work, what is one trick you have adopted to help snap you back into the present moment?

Yes, it does take work, very true. The most engaging, satisfying, rewarding work.

In the beginning, I would carry with me little reminders. A little colourful bracelet, to remind me to take a breath every time I looked at it. A mini-card in my wallet, saying HERE, a heart-shaped sticker on the screen of my phone.

Now it has become more natural, and it is the wild horse that lives in my brain to remind me that we need a little Moment.

To learn more about Hiroko and Moment Meditation, click here.
To learn more about Vancouver Brain Lab, click here.