Our Kin: Lucienne Shanti | Melbourne, Australia

“Meditation doesn’t need to be something spiritual, complicated or done in solitude in the mountains for months on end.”

The early years...

I come from a long line of Italians, however my parents rebelled against religious upbringings and went down the spiritual and Buddhist paths. So I grew up with my mum and dad meditating and telling me to “breathe” when I was in crisis. They would tell me that my tendencies were just “habits” that could be changed with awareness. At the time it was pretty annoying though now I realise it had a great impact as I now spend my time teaching people how to breathe and working through habit patterns!

Growing up I had zero idea what I wanted to be “when I grew up” I was pretty lost till I was about 20 and my dad suggested I audition for drama school. I got in and decided I wanted to be an actor! A year into it and the thought of being another out of work actor scared me. I decided to take a yoga teacher training course so I’d have something to supplement my acting pursuit. Turns out it did more than supplement, it fully took over! 

My meditation practice...

As my parents were in to yoga and meditation, these modalities were familiar to me as I grew up. I got into yoga at about 7 years of age and did it on and off up and till I took my teacher training at 22. Yoga has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. Similar with meditation, I would practice with my parents and go on retreats with them but my own personal practice only started to develop around the time I started teaching yoga. 


Buddhist philosophy has always inspired me and offers such incredible insight and wisdom on life, death and everything in between.


I had been particularly interested in the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and as I researched him came across one of his students, David Nichtern. I instantly resonated with how David transmitted the Buddhist philosophy, teachings and meditation techniques. I came across his 4 month teacher training in Los Angeles and it was a no brainer. I signed up for the course, booked my flights, and spent 6 months abroad refining my skills as a student and teacher.  I’m excited to dive even deeper into this particular technique as I continue to practice and share it through my classes and event offerings


Meditation in the modern world...

When speaking about meditation I am very careful with the words I choose and the way I present the teachings so to make it accessible and inclusive to all. Keeping things simple and structured also helps people to cultivate the practice and integrate it into their lives. Meditation doesn’t need to be something spiritual, complicated or done in solitude in the mountains for months on end.


We live in a modern would and it’s very possible to incorporate mindfulness into that world without too much compromise. 


How I show up as my best self... 

I’m passionate about serving others. So maintaining my wellbeing and keeping myself fit, healthy and inspired means I can be the best me for the benefit of others. 

My meditation is essential. I want to be useful, supportive and receptive for others and I find that the more I meditate, the more I can cultivate these qualities. Doing my morning Meditation means I have access to mindfulness throughout the day, in my classes and toward myself. With this I’m able to hold space and my lens of perception and awareness is widened beyond myself as to encompass all others, the environment and any situation I may be in. My attention is sharpened and I’m able to respond intelligently and compassionately to whatever arises. 

On balance...

Balance to me is authenticity! Yes I teach yoga and meditation and have a commitment to continually study and be consistent with my practice but I’m also human and sometimes skip a day or eat a ginormous bowl (or 3) of pasta with a glass (bottle) of wine. In everything we do we must find the ‘middle path’ where we are not too loose and not too tight. When we notice ourselves becoming too slack, too casual we tighten up and visa versa when we notice we ourselves getting too strict or rigid, we loosen a little. Do this with a mindful attitude though; no judgment, attachment or aversion and plenty of acceptance


Find Lucienne’s upcoming workshops and happenings on her site.

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