Selene Collins, the fashion consultant-cum-meditation facilitator who’s been bringing some much needed tranquility to our Instagram Live recently talks modern day mindfulness, the value of stillness, and connectivity.
Where did your personal interest in yoga and meditation begin?
It has been a beautiful journey, spanning over 20 years with so many amazing teachers/facilitators along the way. Connecting with my body and breath has been a source of great healing on a physical and spiritual level for me. Two years ago on a quest to deepen my own meditation practice I enrolled on a vocational meditation course with my amazing teacher Alexander Filmer-Lorch and I am so grateful to be able to offer the teachings to others today.
Is there an activity that you find meditative that isn’t meditation?
There are so many opportunities in our lives where we can move into presence. Letting go of where we have been and where we may be going and allowing ourselves to drink from the nectar of present moment experience.
I love walking my dog early in the mornings (leaving my phone at home) and I practice walking meditation. It is a practice I learnt at Plum Village, a Buddhist retreat in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a truly beautiful practice inviting in a deepening of a relationship with my feet, my breath and the world around me. I hear the birds singing, watch the changing sky and the seasons flowing through the beauty of nature.
Downloads for ‘mindfulness’ apps increased by 25% in March according to analytics platform Annie, but it feels like the rise in interest in meditation and mindfulness has been happening since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Why do you think so many people seem to find a remedy for the challenges of modern life in such an ancient practice?
So many of us were living lives where we were ‘on’ from the minute we opened our eyes until we closed them at the end of the day. Connected via technology, in ‘doing’ mode, uber productive (or so we think). Running on adrenaline and stress hormones.
Meditation is an opportunity to consciously step away from ‘doing' and into ‘being’. Consciously choosing to create pauses in our day to come back to breath and body calms our central nervous system, activating our parasympathetic nervous system, our rest and digest and repair.
In light of the current lockdown, lots of meditation practitioners are developing their online platforms and hosting group sessions. It feels like meditation is becoming an increasingly communal activity rather than an individual activity, is there a sense of the practise continually shifting and changing as the needs of society change and develop? What are your hopes for the practise as it develops in this way?
This is a truly unique moment in the history of humanity where many of have been forcibly told to stop running and invited to still - a collective retreat. Therefore for many practitioners it has been an incredible moment for being able to engage and offer their practices to a wider audience who have more time and the calling to deepen their practice. I am very grateful to social media and online platforms for enabling this exchange.
Group meditation is an incredibly powerful practice as the energy and peace within the group (virtual or not) can really assist with your stilling process. My wish is that these deep connections we are making with ourselves and each other, ironically virtually, remain once lockdown is lifted and that we can continue to create conditions in our lives to still.
What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learnt throughout your time as a meditation practitioner and teacher?
Wow that is a big question..as I have learnt so much on my journey and there is so much I am grateful for and have transformed through my practice.I notice I am becoming more compassionate and gentle, less critical myself and the world around me. Stillness is incredibly healing. I can listen from my heart.
All industries are having to rethink how they operate, has having moved away from the fashion industry given you a different perspective on the changes the industry needs to make?
I spent two excruciating years feeling deeply uncomfortable about and the environmental impact my business was having before closing my wholesale agency.
Therefore I like to think about this moment as an opportunity for each individual to question their life purpose and perhaps make a conscious shift to find meaning in their lives and be gentle to the Earth. I believe that if there is change on a micro level it will have ripples on a macro level.
What song would you like to add to the Completedworks Spring playlist?
Inner Peace by Beautiful Chorus. Music is medicine. I have been dancing a lot, making playlists, discovering beautiful healing music. I played this song this week during a relaxation at the end of a women’s meditation circle it is so beautiful it makes me cry and fly! Click here to listen.
Lastly, Selene’s quarantine pick is…