About UsWho We Are and How We're Different
What We Do
The Melbourne Meditation Centre runs regular meditation and mindfulness courses, workshops and retreats for people who wish to learn how to relax their bodies and calm their minds — anywhere, and at any time.
How We Do It
We teach meditation and mindfulness as simple, practical skills. Because we don’t require you to sit cross-legged, or stop thinking, or to meditate for hours on end, our students find the techniques we share easy and enjoyable. We’ve helped thousands of people to feel calmer, less anxious, less reactive and better able to manage their thoughts and emotions, and even to fall asleep.
Why We Do It
The centre was founded in 2005 by Matt Young. At that time, it was almost impossible to learn to meditate outside an Eastern religious or spiritual context. Meditation was usually presented in a way that was off-putting for many people. Matt knew that meditation didn’t have to be mysterious and mystical. It could be taught on the basis of sound science and psychology and using plain English. It could also be adapted to the needs of contemporary people. No one in Melbourne seemed to be teaching in that way, so Matt did.
How We’re Different
Meditation has a PR problem. Even today people think of it as tuning out, sitting cross-legged or chanting Om. And meditation is still often taught in overly traditional styles that don’t take into account the realities of 21st century living.
In contrast, at the Melbourne Meditation Centre we base our teaching on solid science and psychology and offer instructions which are clear, practical and realistic.
We’re unique in that we teach you how to work with your thoughts and emotions, instead of simply trying to block them out (which never really works anyway).
We also teach you how to integrate meditation into your day, using ‘spot-meditations’ and mindfulness practices that you can use while engaged in regular daily activities, like walking, driving, waiting or working out.
And most importantly, we don’t just teach one technique or approach. We know from experience that what works for one person may not work for another; so we help you to find the strategies that work for you.
Here are a few of the things that set us apart.
- We’re meditation and mindfulness specialists.
- We don’t require you to sit cross-legged, or even still.
- We don’t expect you to stop thinking.
- We don’t expect you to meditate for hours a day.
- We teach a variety of meditation styles and techniques — not just one.
- We help you to find the technique(s) that work for you.
- We explain how and why meditation works.
- Our instructions are clear, concise and jargon-free.
- We teach you skills which you can use outside class, in your daily life.
- We teach you meditations that you can do anywhere and at any time.
- We encourage you to decide for yourself what works and what doesn’t.
- We welcome questions, comments, criticism and feedback.
- We provide comprehensive course notes and resources.
- We are not associated with any religious or spiritual groups.
In essence, we aim to teach you the principles and skills needed in order to be able to meditate effectively and imaginatively by yourself, away from the crutch of a class or teacher.
Hi, I’m Matt Young. I’m the Director of the Melbourne Meditation Centre. I established the centre because I wanted to make meditation easy and accessible. I’d spent over a decade studying meditation and mindfulness — and while I found it fascinating, I was also frustrated by the confusing, confused and even contradictory information I’d had to trawl through.
Thankfully, I eventually came across Eric Harrison from the Perth Meditation Centre. Eric’s books and courses were delightfully clear, and his down-to-earth approach and scientific rigor were a breath of fresh air in comparison to much of the esoteric stuff I’d been trying to understand and digest. I decided that I’d like to teach in a similar manner.
Since 2004 I’ve continued to explore and develop an approach to meditation that is suited to contemporary folk looking for practical ways to feel less stressed. I love helping to debunk meditation myths and misconceptions — and to see the light-bulbs go off in people’s heads when they learn that they can meditate, despite their busy minds and schedules.
Over the years I’ve been involved in establishing a number of meditation groups and in organising events such as the Australian Meditation Conference, Music for Meditation and The Big Retreat. I was recently invited to become a member on Headspace’s International Advisory Board and I have been a board member at Meditation Australia for several years. I have guided meditations available on numerous apps.
Although I’ve explored a wide variety of meditation techniques and traditions I don’t subscribe to any one approach. I consider myself fortunate, however, to have met a number of mavericks in the meditation field; teachers who helped me to find the sweet spots amongst the mystery and misinformation.
After a brief (and uncomfortable) introduction to meditation at University in the late 90s, Beth’s interest was rekindled after a psychologist friend recommended incorporating mindfulness exercises into her teaching at a North London primary school in 2010.
Having seen first hand the positive effects meditation had on the behaviour and well-being of the students she embarked on a journey of study into the subject and developed a personal practice.
Beth is passionate about making meditation accessible to all by demystifying the subject and helping others develop simple techniques that may ease stress and lead to greater self-awareness and self-compassion.
Beth is experienced in facilitating corporate mindfulness training as well as offering workshops and courses to smaller businesses, not-for-profits and schools. She completed her teacher training with Melbourne Meditation Centre and is currently teaching classes at our Geelong venue.
Teacher, St Kilda
Nick’s introduction to meditation came through experiencing a period of personal stress and anxiety. Through practicing meditation, Nick found that he dealt with stressful situations more effectively, could better manage troubling thoughts and achieved a better sense of balance in his life.
Observing how meditation had helped both himself and others set him on the path of becoming a meditation teacher.
Nick’s experience ranges from running meditation courses and workshops at large corporates through to delivering one-on-one consultations. He completed his Teacher Training at the Melbourne Meditation Centre and is currently teaching at our St Kilda venue.
Teacher, Moonee Ponds
Initially struggling to create a regular meditation practice, Debbie discovered the joys of moving meditations and the power of smaller ‘spot meditations’ that could be more easily integrated into daily life.
Debbie has experienced the many gifts of meditation first-hand through her own journey with chronic illness as well as working with others challenged by stress, ill health, and anxiety. She is passionate about making meditation simple and accessible to support people connect with and manage the richness of their experience, along with fostering greater calm and insight.
Debbie completed her training with the Melbourne Meditation Centre and is teaching classes at our Moonee Ponds venue.
Fadi Najjar teaches our Thursday evening classes in Bulleen. He’s passionate about helping people find a sense of peace within, and likes to adapt meditation according to the needs of the individual.
Fadi begin meditating in his late teens, seeking a sense of clarity and calmness. He faced a rather uncomfortable start to meditation, but persisted with the practice despite these challenges. Over time he began to appreciate the benefits — including a calmer mind and greater clarity of thought.
Fadi remains fascinated by all things meditation related, and having completed his Teacher Training is now teaching at the Melbourne Meditation Centre and at Still Together Meditation Studio. He has also worked with local sports clubs to help make meditation accessible in his community.
Debbie is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with a bulk billing private practice.
She completed her Meditation Teacher Training in 2004 and has been teaching at Melbourne Meditation Centre since 2005.
Debbie has over 20 years counselling experience and has spent the last ten years focusing on meditation and mindfulness-based approaches.
Debbie has worked as a mental health clinician at The Melbourne Clinic where she facilitated groups on mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Debbie is also interested in the intersection between contemplative practice and Western psychology and has undertaken study in this area since 2009. In 2019 Debbie completed a PhD (researching compassion and common humanity) at Monash University.
Debbie is available for one-on-one consultations.