Episode Six - The Mindful Safari Guide

Episode Six - The Mindful Safari Guide
David Michie

In this episode, Andrea and Bonnie chat to author, meditator and mindfulness-ninja David Michie. David has an extensive catalogue of published books including The Dalai Lama’s Cat series of novels, and non-fiction works such as Why Mindfulness is Better than ChocolateHurry Up and MeditateBuddhism for Busy People and Buddhism for Pet Lovers. David also works as a keynote speaker and corporate trainer on mindfulness and meditation, and since 2015 has been running Mindfulness Safaris, taking groups to new territory in a Land Rover across the savannah and in the mind on the meditation mat. David has made many intrepid expeditions through both the wilderness and the boardroom, and in this varied career has learned how mindfulness can be used to prepare oneself for an audience.  

David MIchie

David reveals how his relationship with Buddhism began with a story from a next-door neighbour, and would eventually became a lifelong journey that would take him from an office in London’s Trafalgar Square, to the African wilderness and the relative calm of Perth, Western Australia. He discusses how learning and practicing meditation can assist in creativity, public speaking, and dealing with life’s difficulties. David also shares some achievable, unintimidating ways for those of us who have no experience with meditation can get started. It’s a more similar to going to the gym than you might think.

 

Bonnie and Andrea investigate how David’s mindfulness experience can apply to public speaking and performing. We learn that audiences care far more about how a speaker makes them feel than what they say. It turns out, to the relief of some and the frustration of others, that when you’re in the spotlight, it’s really not as much about you as you might feel, as far as an audience is concerned. A study from Harvard has shown that about half of the time, people are not paying attention to the present moment, a revelation that makes an audience less intimidating. By allowing yourself to be in the present moment as a speaker, you can connect with your audience and make a bigger impact. Mindfulness also can help you reach a state of calm in which you’ll be better prepared to deal with difficult situations, onstage and off.

David also shares how meditation can have a positive impact on animals, in particular developing a stronger connection with your pet. As non-verbal creatures, David believes that animals can read their humans, and that when a person is meditating, the state of calm and presence becomes visible for their pets too. Nature can also help a person immerse themselves in mindfulness, as the environment necessitates that they pay attention to the present moment. David discusses how he marries these elements in the Mindfulness Safaris that he’s been running since 2015, where he provides an experience for people where both guided meditation and game drives through the savannah help them leave behind their usual preoccupations. 

David’s fascinating career and valuable insights into the world of mindfulness provide a wealth of useful ideas for those of us who speak in public for a living, as well as anyone who wants to manage their stress better and live life well, and really, isn’t that all of us?

Download the full transcript here.