8 / 259 Glen Osmond Rd,
Frewville SA 5063
T: 61 8 8379 9001
F: 61 8 8379 9012
B. Mus. (Piano), Grad Dip (Policy and Administration), PhD.(Political Philosophy)
Lisa first met meditation in the early 1990’s taking piano lessons with Graham Williams while studying at the Elder Conservatorium. A keen student of yoga for over twenty years, it was only when she needed meditation to sustain the focus, confidence and determination to complete a PhD in political philosophy (Flinders University), that she established a regular meditation practice. Lisa’s intellectual work underlining the importance of awareness, as a basis for constructive, creative action, has strongly informed her commitment to meditation.
Since 2001, Lisa has combined her academic work with piano teaching and her roles as Membership and Admin Coordinator at Lifeflow. In 2009 she joined the Lifeflow teaching team.
Along with her love of philosophy (especially Emmanuel Kant and Hannah Arendt), and music (especially playing the piano, and Bach, Brahms and Keith Jarrett) Lisa also loves walking around Mt Lofty, living at Henley Beach, retreats at Kurlana (Lifeflow’s Riverland Mallee Sanctuary), interior design, patch working, India, and spending time with family and friends.
Two minutes with Lisa Hancock
What brought you into contact with meditation?
During my final year studying at The Adelaide Conservatorium in 1990, I began piano lessons with Graham Williams. I wasn’t interested in meditation at that time, but Graham’s clarity and commitment, and his skill as a piano teacher – his ability to communicate exactly what was needed – made me think there must be something to meditation.
Did you have to do anything differently to make room for meditation in your life?
During the first few years, I really didn’t like sitting down to meditate – I found Iyengar Yoga suited me much better. It was only when I began to attend structured classes in 2003, and needed to use meditation to get through the PhD process, that I established a regular practice. I now make time to do a little yoga and meditation on work-day mornings, and allow for a longer formal meditation on the weekend. I also make sure I get some retreat time in at several points in the year.
What difference has it made?
I’m a lot more aware of my feelings and the effect of my actions on other people. I’m also more able to draw on my own resources to keep myself happy. I come from a very community-oriented, people-focussed family – I had little sense of myself apart from my family and friends. I still love my contact with people but it tends to be richer now.
Meditation has also helped me to better focus at the piano, to trust my ability to think and reason, and to have more confidence generally.
What has surprised you about doing meditation?
The way that life keeps opening up and unfolding in ways I don’t expect; and that through this process I feel more and more like myself. Also, that finding contentment can be very simple – it depends so much on state of mind.
What do you enjoy most as a Lifeflow teacher?
Guiding people through meditations and sharing in the pleasures and surprises of this experience.
Any personal suggestions or tips for beginners?
Just do it – don’t try to get your meditations ‘right’. Meditation actually works regardless!
Is there a piece of advice you have received regarding your meditation practice that stands out?
Two little reminders have helped:
First, “The space is always there.”
And also, especially when you are starting out, be gentle and patient with yourself.
Other passions in life?
I particularly love walking around the Mt Lofty Ranges, sunrises and sunsets, the beach, retreats at Kurlana [the Lifeflow Riverland sanctuary], teaching and playing piano, listening to classical music (Bach & Brahms!) and jazz (Keith Jarrett!), philosophers Hannah Arendt and Immanuel Kant, Rumi poems, working with fabric, interior decorating, and spending time with close friends and family.
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Life in Balance
A practical Australian handbook for understanding and getting what you want from your meditation practice. Find out more