Finance and Operations Manager
Bachelor of Adult Education
Ann joined the teaching body at Lifeflow early in 2000, after completing 10 years of Lifeflow meditation training as well as 20 years practice in yoga. She discovered yoga in her late teens and it was the calm and vibrant state that she experienced during yoga that led her to question what was happening and seek to develop this further through the discipline of meditation. Meditation also provided Ann with a framework to put into practice her long held understanding that life is short, valuable and to be lived as fully as possible.
Her management and training experience within Human Services has given Ann a good foundation for both teaching and administrative work within the Centre. She is the Centre’s Finance and Projects Manager, a member of the Management Committee and has participated in the positions of Secretary, President and Treasurer over many years. "Even though I lead a very full life, having a regular Lifeflow meditation practice has enabled me to bring a level of calmness and joy into my everyday actions."
Married with one daughter, her other interests include spending time in nature, growing fruit and vegetables, cycling, swimming and travelling.
Two minutes with Ann Calvert
What brought you into contact with meditation?
In my late teens I found a book on Hatha yoga. I began practising the exercises and this led me to joining a yoga class when the opportunity arose. At the end of each class I always felt very calm and alive and it was this experience which really interested me. At the time I was living overseas in Scotland, and I remember walking home after class, through a relatively strange city on a dark winters’ night, and not feeling any fear, just a sense of being awake to my surroundings. It was an experience of tremendous freedom.
I continued my yoga practice as it also gave me an inner discipline which I found rewarding and a few years after my return to Australia I was introduced by a friend to Lifeflow. I was very grateful to find an organisation that promoted a body of work, provided wonderful facilities and structured guidance for students. For me, it was like finding gold!
Did you have to do anything differently to make room for meditation in your life?
I was already accustomed to a daily practice through my yoga training; however, this had lapsed with the birth of our daughter, Lyrian. She was 18 months old when I became involved in the meditation centre and for the first year the only way I could practise regularly was to set up a meditation area in the shed!
What difference has it made?
When I first began meditation work I would often feel selfish going to classes or on retreat, rather than spending time with my family. However, it soon became obvious that the benefits of calm and emotional balance I was enjoying would flow onto those around me. I have discovered that the quality of the time you spend with people is just as important, if not more so, than the quantity of time.
What has surprised you about doing meditation?
In the West meditation is often portrayed as a rather dreamy hypnotic state which didn’t really interest me. However, I discovered through practice that whilst meditation creates a quality of calm, it also produces a very dynamic and alert state of mind.
Meditation has also helped enormously in sorting out priorities, simplifying my life and learning how to find quiet joy in each moment.
What do you enjoy most as a Lifeflow teacher?
It gives me a lot of pleasure to teach meditation, sharing the fruits of a meditation practice with others: to see how quickly and simply people can experience the qualities of a calm mind and relaxed body and the relief this can bring. I also appreciate and enjoy working alongside a committed group of fellow teachers.
Any personal suggestions or tips for beginners?
Patience and perseverance are very important. Keep practising and don’t look for results, just let things unfold at their own pace.
Is there a piece of advice you have received regarding your meditation practice that stands out?
Breathe in, breathe out.
Other passions in life?
My other passion in life would have to be the natural environment. It is such a good teacher and I love having the opportunity to immerse myself in nature. I am sure this has something to do with being raised close to the majestic beauty of the deep south of New Zealand.