Goodness and Meaning in Life. Manage Life With Greater Ease

manage life with greater ease
As I reflect on the season of Christmas, it’s difficult not to observe the various disruptions to peace on Earth, Goodwill to all that currently afflict our world.  Nevertheless, this Christmas message sustains hope and draws out the goodness that essentially exists within human beings.  Even more importantly, it opens the way for those whose ideals move them to make a difference – each in his or her unique way.

The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living.  The meaningful life adds one more component:  using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power or goodness.

Martin Seligman

This year, 2022, I have been privileged to attend the opening ceremonies of two significant Melbourne enterprises:

Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies – known as M3CS

Contemplative Studies Centre, University of Melbourne

3699775.jpgThese Centres have come into being because of the perceived need to offer widespread and proven meditative and contemplative practices to enrich and benefit the goodness of the human spirit.  The establishment of these centres has been enabled by the generosity of Melbourne businessman, Mr Martin Hosking, his wife, Dr Loreto Hosking and their daughter, Erica.

In concluding his address at the opening of the Contemplative Studies Centre at the University of Melbourne, Martin Hosking quoted the work of my mentor, Dr Ainslie Meares, (1910-1986).

Meares, a medical doctor, psychiatrist, author and poet, pioneered a unique style of meditation – the power of simply being still – for the purpose of assisting ordinary people to manage life with greater ease and consequently, with better health.  This work was radical at the time, and it transformed the lives of many – including myself.  And it is of course, at Meares’ invitation, that I have advocated and taught Stillness Meditation to others over some 40 years.

Shortly before his unexpected death, Dr Meares kindly honoured my work in his poetic book, A Way of Doctoring and I quote:

Tethered to the home
By invisible bonds of anxiety,
Time and time again

Braved it to fight free
Only to be defeated
By racing heart and sweating hands
And fear,
The fear that’s not a fear
Because we know
There’s nothing to be afraid of.

She had called up the highways and byways
For help,
Seeking relief
From psychiatrists and psychologists
With a lengthy period of psychoanalysis.
“You are my last hope.”

Now she is free,
Free as the wind,
Spending her time
In helping others to overcome it
In the way she has done.

She is Pauline McKinnon.
She has written a book about it,
In Stillness Conquer Fear
Anyone afflicted with this condition
Would benefit by reading it.

Meares, Ainslie, A Way of Doctoring, Hill of Content, Melbourne, 1985

To have Meares’ innovative work now acknowledged within the context of such remarkable progress at Melbourne and Monash universities is an achievement of great importance to society.  May the ultimate work of these Centres bring knowledge, power and goodness and the outcomes of hope, healing and peace for the betterment of all – and, as it happens, in the true spirit of Christmas.


My warmest wishes go out to all … may joy and love and especially peace bless your lives at Christmas and within the New Year to follow.  I look forward to continuing our work to manage life with greater ease from February 2023.

Pauline McKinnon, December 2022