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1 Giant Mind Podcast with Jonni Pollard

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The Evolution of Meditation & Wellness

"What do you make of the generational shift?" asks Leslie Hoffman, President of the New York City Open Center. From Boomers to Gen Z, the range of students, teachers, and wellness practitioners has never been so diverse as today. But in the modern, stressed out world, holistic life has become a survival mechanism, rather than a way of enlightenment.


Mainstreaming Meditation

Has meditation been ruined by the mainstream? Alida Brandenburg, a daring brand strategist and former Director of Social Media at Refinery29, talks about the commodification of the wellness world. This is an increasingly relevant topic and Jonni delivers a response that trades the cynicism for an outlook of grace and personal responsibility.


The Myth of Teaching and Perfection

Jesse Israel, founder of The Big Quiet and a certified meditation teacher with 1 Giant Mind, asks: Can you teach meditation even if you struggle with stress and anxiety yourself? Jonni explains that meditation teachers don't need to be perfected humans, because the role is not to sell perfection but to teach an elegant process of self-discovery.


Ambition vs Non-Attachment

Alida, a digital strategist and the daughter of a Zen Buddhist priest, inquires about how to live a life where we’re not attached to results but also still be someone who is ambitious and seeks to excel in their life, studies, and career. Does meditation inherently make us passive, or can it help us be passionate, dedicated, and even more engaged with the world around us?


Recovery & Surrendering

How do we truly heal and recover after a period of self-loathing and self-harm? Aloynka, a Russian born journalist and television personality now living in the US shares her challenges as she recovers from a life-threatening eating disorder. The deepest truth emerges in the end and results in one of the most powerful and insightful 1 Giant Mind podcasts to date.


How to Stay With Your Practice

Alida Brandenburg (digital brand strategist, of a Zen Buddhist household) asks: in times of anxiety or depression, how can one still prioritize a daily meditation practice? We examine the way that personal goal-setting and resources such as friends, family, and even certified professionals, can give us the capability to keep our practice in difficult moments.


Trying to Change Our Thinking

Can we change our thoughts with thought alone? Caroline asks Jonni what role meditation plays in shaping how and what we think. In this episode we consider the problems of over-identifying with the “thinking mind” and we explore how meditation leads to a deep form of human intelligence.


Incessant Thinking Mind

Leslie Hoffman (president of New York's Open Center) asks Jonni why we can't stop the chatter in our heads.


Responding to Negative People

How do we remain positive and engaged when we’re around friends or colleagues who tend to rant or complain? Olivia is a Canadian lawyer who asks Jonni for advice on how she can maintain her cool and not become affected by people who tend to be negative. In the conversation, Jonni uncovers the truth of the responsibility we all have to each other and ourselves in these situations.


Is Meditation for Everyone?

“If I’m not stressed and I’m a generally happy person, why should I meditate?” Nick DiMattina, a recent graduate of the 1 Giant Mind Teacher Training Academy and now meditation teacher explains to Jonni that he sometimes gets this response from people. As Jonni explores the topic with Nick, a deeper insight about why we meditate emerges.


Thought, Emotion, and Maladaption

The mind thinks and the body feels. But does the mind tell the body what to feel? This week's question is from Caroline Aulis, who prompts a deep exploration of maladaptation.


Meditation & the Intellect

Our guest Caroline, a meditation teacher in training asks: How do we use the intellect in conjunction with meditation? Jonni first makes the important distinction between the intellect and intelligence and this provides a foundation for the discussion. The discussion makes it way through our relationship to our thinking and how meditation is an extraordinary tool that causes us to access our intuition, creativity, and sense of ourselves. Jonni explains how that after a regular practice we...


Teaching & Vulnerability

When does sharing vulnerability cross a line and become exploitative? The most impactful leaders have overcome personal strife, and Jesse Israel is no exception. Once at odds with bouts of anxiety and depression, today Jesse is an influential community leader. Co-founder Cantora Records, signing bands such as MGMT and Francis and the Lights, Jesse now leads some of the world's most innovative mass meditations, through The Big Quiet & Medi Club. And certified as a meditation teacher by 1...


Getting Love Right

Why do so many of us get love wrong and struggle to find self-love? Lesley-Anne, a former psychotherapist now Vedic meditation teacher and counselor, and mother to Jonni Pollard, poses this important question. Jonni presents a new definition of love that bucks the common conception that love arrives "only when someone else loves you." Rather, love is our most fundamental nature. It's the spontaneous way we respond to life and treat others, so long as we're not overwhelmed by fear. Jonni...


Becoming a Meditation Teacher

Caroline, a meditation practitioner, asks Jonni about the 1 Giant Mind Teacher Training Program and how she can incorporate teaching meditation into the coaching practice that she is developing. Her sincere inquiry about how to do this the right way starts a beautiful conversation around leadership, the role of a teacher, and our desire to help others. This is a great podcast for anyone considering becoming a meditation teacher while continuing their own personal development. Since recording...


What is the Point of Meditation?

What is the point of meditation and is there a "best" kind of meditation? Ameena, a practicing Sufi meditator of 20 years shares her experience as a student who was challenged by a teacher who didn't agree with her open-minded perspective on meditation. The story inspires Jonni to explain the 6 categories of mediation and how each stimulates specific functions of the mind. Jonni suggest that meditation, in all of its forms, are processes of increasing our awareness and that it's a modern...


Responding to Inauthenticity

How do we reconcile our disappointment with people that may be great at marketing a life of wellbeing and kindness but not living it in real life? Liz, a marketing and communications strategist in the wellness space shares how she sometimes finds herself confronted by the inauthenticity and contradictions she sees in the wellness world. The question leads Jonni to help open up our minds to how we respond to situations when we feel disdain for someone because we believe they are being...


The Roots of Meditation

As meditators, do we have a responsibility to investigate the origins and history of meditation? Joey, a creative professional who discovered meditating after working on 1 Giant Mind's Teacher Training Programs, poses this question to Jonni as he seeks to have a deeper understanding of the practice. The question inspires Jonni's perspective on not mistaking the map for the terrain but also honoring our innate desire to understand the source of things.


Meditation and Creativity

How does meditation cultivate creativity, and how do we become intimately connected with how it works? Sofia, a Columbian-born brand strategist and designer now living in New York, seeks to understand the relationship between meditation and creativity. The conversation not only answers this question but goes deeper into the source of our primal creative instinct to innovate, and how our suffering is rooted in our resistance to this instinct. Jonni presents a new way of looking at creativity...


Co-existing without Disdain and Judgment

How do we live a more meaningful and holistic life without disregarding or judging the rest of world? There's a growing movement towards minimalism and away from materialism but with this lifestyle shift comes its own challenges. In this episode, Rita, a stylist in the fashion world, shares her experience of weening herself off the addiction of status and possessions. Living in New York, she is confronted with how to co-exist in a world so consumed by so many of the things she rejects....