Highlighting Our Graduates: Bronwyn Buller
Meet meditation teaching graduate Bronwyn Buller. She shares her amazing journey into becoming a meditation teacher, how she connects to her clients and her plans for the future.
Hi Bronwyn. Tell us a little about yourself…
For the past 6 years, I have been living in Moama, a NSW boarder town on the Murray River. My home is shared with my 12 yo son and Rosie, our 9 month old puppy. My husband, passed away with cancer 3-½ years ago. We had moved to this region for my husbands work after spending almost 7 years in Italy.
While in Italy, I taught English as a second language privately and at a Language school. Prior to Italy, I worked mostly as a Counsellor, predominantly in the area of Alcohol and Other Drugs – working in a prison, with Probation and Parole, Community Health Centres and as a Coordinating of a Drug Crime Diversion Program, in conjunction with the courts. Yet, that feels like a life time away now.
I enjoy cooking, its become a bit of a tradition to make pizzas every Saturday night. And I enjoy tranquility of sitting by the river, the company of good friends, good coffee and love Thai food.
Travel and People are my main passions. I love to travel within Australia and Overseas, especially Italy where there are some very special people who are close to my heart. Connecting with people is something I am very passionate about – we are all so interesting and we all have a quality of goodness within us – every single one of us. I love nature, it’s so uplifting and refreshing. When I was feeling isolated and grief stricken, nature was what helped reconnect me with the beauty of life. I am totally in awe of nature.
What attracted you to become a meditation teacher and study with ACHS?
After my husband died, I saw a counselor for a brief period. I wanted to short circuit the pain of grief. However, I soon learnt that that was an impossible mission. Talking just wasn’t enough.
I had meditated years ago for a short time, in my 20’s, as I suffered anxiety and panic attacks after the death of my brother. I was sitting in a Psychology lecture one day and the Lecturer began to talk about meditation and how it could help anxiety (this was back in the ‘80s!). The Lecturer explained how getting in a relaxed state, then visualising yourself doing what you needed to do, in a calm manner. So, I applied this technique and it helped so much. The thing was, that I really knew nothing about meditation back then. One day I was sitting on my bed meditating and I felt something beginning to rise from within, well it frightened me, and so, I totally stopped meditating (If only I knew then, what I know now!!!).
So, 3 years ago, after seeing the counselor, I decided to meditate. When I sat to meditate, I felt so held and nurtured, so supported and loved, that tears flowed and feelings rose to the surface. Meditation felt so safe to allow all emotions and vulnerability to bubble up and flow, it was so cathartic (little did I know, I had taken the One Seat). I then wondered whether there was a course in meditation and perhaps I could teach others. That’s when I began my search for an accredited meditation training course, and discovered Meditation Australia. I had previously read about the ACHS and when I saw it listed as an accredited course with MA, I decided that this was the college for me.
I rang and spoke with Lisa, explaining that I had not been very successful at completing online studies in the past. She suggested I enrol in an elective and then make a decision from there. One of her suggestions was Journalling for Clarity. How totally appropriate! I loved it, completed it and enrolled in the Advanced Certificate of Teaching and Guiding Meditation. I became a sponge, soaking it all up! And the learning continues, as I am halfway through the Diploma!
How has meditation impacted you on a personal level?
Wow, how much time have you got?! Meditation has impacted me, and continues to do so, in such a huge and beautiful way. I feel so much calmer and grounded, more accepting of life, myself and human suffering – we all suffer.
I have let go of worrying about what other people think, I search less for the answers outside myself and have more faith and confidence in finding solutions and answers from within. It’s rather difficult to articulate the enormity of the impact that meditation has had on my life. I’m the same person, but less negative, more accepting and tolerant, more willing to see through the maska and more willing to be vulnerable.
I’m more connected on a universal perspective and less reactive. After my husbands death I found I was short tempered and quick to react. I was angry and hurt and very sad. Meditation almost immediately calmed the ferocity of my anger. I found that I was not so reactive to situations and I stopped shouting. Meditation has certainly had an impact. I wouldn’t be who I am today without meditation. I’m also more ‘present’ when connecting with people. Meditation and ACHS have also led me into the teachings of people such as Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Kristin Neff, Jon Kabat-Zinn and so many more who have so much wealth and wisdom to share.
What does your personal meditation practice look like? What styles or types of meditation do you enjoy?
Well, that’s an interesting question. I really love to just take my seat, softly close my eyes, check that my jaw and face are soft, allow my muscles to release and just go inside myself. Insight meditation and inquiring about my feelings is a technique that really resonates with me. I tune into what they feel like in my body, and I cultivate a curiosity about thoughts. And, I am always using my wonderful breath as my anchor. Allowing whatever arises to be there. I have been through stages where I love to follow the breath and just do breath meditations. The breath is so wonderfully anchoring and present!
While the weather is warm I like to take myself outside in the early hours (about 6 – 6.30am) and commence by grounding. I sit and listen to the day as it awakens – anything from 15 to 30 minutes. I also like to meditate just prior to going to bed.
During the day, I like to use mindfulness techniques. I consciously remind myself to be present and at times will ground myself and just sit and follow the energy of a feeling as it moves through my body. Occasionally I will choose a guided meditation, but mostly I like to take the One Seat.
Tell us about your meditation business..
I recently started my own business called the Relaxation and Meditation Hub. I operate from a small room behind my garage. But, I also take my business into peoples homes and businesses. I offer 1-1 sessions; from 30 min to an hour. The hour sessions usually consist of a 30minute body relaxation, health meditation and mindfulness techniques. I focus very much on techniques to relieve stress and anxiety.
This year, I am running meditation groups. One is called Learn to Meditate, and another is Free Yourself From Anxiety. I’m also conducting and a Body Relaxation meditation which is held in a park at the local Sound Shell. Apart from that I have a small group who meet every Thursday morning for meditation and one morning a week I conduct 2 volunteer health meditation groups at the local hospital – one for Cancer Patients and the other for Palliative Care patients and their families.
I have conducted a couple of one-off meditations, one being at a hair dressing salon, and have recently been contacted by a local school who are interested in possible ongoing mindfulness. I’m still busily putting my information around the town and promoting my business and hoping that word of mouth will positively spread the good news about my service.
Can you describe your client base?
It has been interesting to watch my client base evolve. Since I operate my business during school hours, the clientele is predominantly older, with a higher percentage of men for the one to one services. The majority of my clients are generally looking to reduce stress and anxiety.
Many have noted that they have unsuccessfully tried apps or CD’s and prefer the experience to be personal and one to one. I am noticing a trends towards a lack of self compassion, so I’m encouraging people to treat themselves with patience and compassion. It’s my strong belief that this is the key to maintaining a meditation practice.
I am passionate about using meditation and mindfulness skills in the areas of stress and anxiety. I’m strongly motivated to help people let go and help them instill the relevant techniques so they can feel calmer and more confident, content and happy. I want them to realize that they have the answers, that the power that lies within is of our choosing.
In the future, I would like to take my business into the corporate arena. I’m really looking forward to the release of the new elective at ACHS on Corporate Meditation & Mindfulness!
What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a meditation teacher?
I would say, “Give it a go!”. Meditation has so many wonderful benefits. Words are really insignificant to describe the impact regular meditation can have on a persons life. If you are in two minds, call ACHS and talk to one of the coaches. Or like me, you can also enrol in an elective and see what you think.
What have you enjoyed about studying with ACHS?
EVERYTHING! I have enjoyed every moment, every elective. I have enjoyed the warmth of the coaches, their support and guidance, their availability, their passion and their authenticity. They are so genuine and giving.
I have enjoyed the fact that you can pace yourself, that you have 1-1 Skype or zoom contact with your coach, that the experience is hands on and practical’. That you learn so much about yourself and become the best version of Yourself. You learn to be kind and compassionate towards yourself and therefore becoming more accepting and loving of yourself and others.
The content in each elective is so wholesome. As a student, we learn to write our own meditations. In this process, our own style develops, and our confidence grows and develops. And, everything we do is under the gently guidance of coaches.
The elective choice is expansive as new electives continue to be developed and there is so much learning to be gained within each elective. For example I completed the Meditation to Support Pain, Grief and Dying elective as an extra last year, and it has been so invaluable with facilitating meditations to the Cancer group and now also the Palliative Care group.
I also have plans to put the Meditation for Parents and Children elective into practice later this year. Within all the electives there is a wealth of information and opportunity to grow and develop the positive aspects within us, and then utilize these skills and techniques in our own work as a teacher and facilitator of meditation. The ACHS provides the best learning experience in my mind.
I have also really loved the two Teaching Retreats that I have attended. I thoroughly enjoyed all the content of the weekends and the connections, the setting and the food – all of it! The weekends just flow, the meditations; sitting, laying, moving: walking, dancing, sound meditations, the connections of like minded people – everyone is there to support each other, all there to learn, to connect and to enjoy. The retreats flow from early morning throughout the day to mid evening. It’s a weekend where something very special and almost magical happens, and the essence remains and flows within for months, even years after.
We love sharing our graduates stories. There are so many paths that our students take upon completing their qualification here at ACHS. Check out some other stories of how students are using their qualifications; Meet Tim, Meet Frida, Meet Lisa,