Highlighting Our Students & Graduates – Shilani Perera
This month we want you to meet ACMM Graduate Shilani Perera! Shilani was introduced to meditation from a very young age and after a challenging experience was called back to meditation. She now manages a physio and wellness clinic in Melbourne and teaches meditation and mindfulness classes to groups and in private 1:1 sessions too!
Continue reading to learn more about Shilani’s journey:
Hi Shilani! Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi everyone, my name is Shilani Perera and I’m from Melbourne, Victoria. I’m a mum for my 16 year old daughter and my 13 year old son. I have been working with my husband for the past 16 years, managing our Physio & Wellness Clinic. It has always been my dream to offer different modalities of therapy through our Clinic and recently opened the doors to our wellness space in Hawthorn where we offer physio, meditation, yoga, Qi-gong, massage, kinesiology, acupuncture and counselling services.
My journey as the Practice Manager began when my husband and I opened the doors to our first Clinic in Canberra in 2007. I worked as a HR/Industrial Relations Officer in APS (Australian Public Service) and several private organisations prior to working in our own clinic. After graduating with a Certificate in Guiding and Teaching Meditation and Mindfulness in 2021, I now teach meditation and mindfulness to adults in group and one-on-one settings.
What attracted you to become a meditation teacher and study with ACMM?
Meditation has been a part of my life for many years. Meditation was first introduced to me through my family, my culture, being born in a Buddhist country. At the time, I practiced meditation without knowing much about it and why it was important. I have meditated on and off throughout school and university life and enjoyed the benefits that came with the practice.
However, I only came to a deep understanding of the practice since 2013 with our move from Canberra to Melbourne. It was a challenging experience as I lost many things in my material world, my identity as the practice manager and the stable structure I had built over in Canberra. I questioned everything about my life including my existence. I naturally fell back into the practice for relief from stress and anxiety, but discovered myself in that process. Coming back to Melbourne really opened my eyes to look within and explore who I was rather than blaming my outer world for how I was feeling. I realised that the answers lied within me, not anywhere else or anyone else.
Another reason why I was drawn towards becoming a teacher was having witnessed the lack of understanding of the mind-body connection. Many clients have walked through our Clinic looking for relief from chronic and complex pain. However, most of them did not realise that they needed to address not only their physical health but also other aspects such as emotional, mental and social health that may be interfering with their functional ability or quality of life.
I continued to meditate daily and something in me kept pestering me to share what I knew. Whilst I was contemplating on what to do and how to do it, my brother-in-law took his own life and I knew I needed to do something without any further delay. In 2020 I decided to formalize my experience and knowledge by completing the Certificate in Guiding and Teaching Meditation and Mindfulness through the Australian Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness.
How has meditation impacted you on a personal level – what are the benefits you have seen?
I no longer simply survive and float through life. I now have a purpose and that is to share my knowledge, wisdom and insight with others, to create a space and guide others to discover who they truly are through the practice of meditation. It has helped me to enjoy the beauty of life, enjoy every moment and be present rather than following my moods. I am much more understanding and non-judging of myself and others and feel more kind and compassionate towards myself and all beings. Also having the awareness of the mind-body connection has led me to make necessary lifestyle changes.
What does your personal meditation practice look like? What styles or types of meditation do you enjoy?
I meditate daily in the morning and I’m drawn more towards breath meditation, simply focussing my attention on the flow of the breath. I also enjoy practicing to other teachers’ guided meditation.
Do you have your own meditation/mindfulness/holistic business, plans to start one?
Yes I do. Alive Physio & Wellness is located in Hawthorn. In the Clinic I run practices for adults 2 times a week, one morning and one evening group session. I also offer one-on-one sessions for adults who prefer to have private sessions. My clients benefit from the practice as they take a break from their busy lives and learn to sit still and connect with themselves. They also become aware of the mind-body connection which leads to a strong, healthy physical and mental state.
We offer meditation, yoga and Qi-gong classes during the school terms throughout the year. Clients can book online for any one of these sessions at www.alivephysioandwellness.com.au
What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a meditation teacher?
Take the plunge. There has never been a better time to become a meditation teacher than now. We live extremely busy lives these days. Advancements in technology have completely re-shaped the everyday routine of us and we find ourselves not knowing how to switch off from it all and recharge. As a meditation teacher you have the ability and capacity to teach your clients how to quieten the mind and connect with themselves.
What have you enjoyed about studying with ACMM?
Studying at ACMM has been enjoyable and rewarding. The support I received from my coach and other graduates whilst studying has been invaluable. Even though the course has a structure, it comes with flexibility as we all have different lifestyles and commitments. When you study at ACMM you feel you belong to a like-minded, compassionate and professional community. It definitely is a non-judging, safe space to start your journey to become a meditation teacher.
You can find out more about Shilani’s offerings at:
Shilani Perera, Melbourne
Practice Manager/Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher
Alive Physio & Wellness