meet malika warda
We wanted to introduce the faces behind cntre space, starting with Malika. Remmy sat down with Malika and this is what they wrote for you guys.
We hope you enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about you and how you got to be where you are (running a meditation & mindfulness space)
So I teach meditation and yoga and recently co-founded cntre space, which is a contemporary meditation and mindfulness studio.
I’ve ended up here for many reasons but a big part of it was that I didn’t want to work or study in a job or industry that I didn’t enjoy, so it took a lot of trial and error, studying and learning different things, none of which felt right, but all of which influenced where I am now. I also have supportive family and friends.
Meditation came about spontaneously, which prompted lots of soul searching, and really helped me to tune in to my own inner wisdom and guide. When I was 22 I was in Japan with a guy who I was no longer in a relationship with, we had just broken up but we still decided to go away together. It was a strange situation to be in, and so I started practicing yoga at a small yoga studio in Nesiko (powder yoga). I was just in awe of the teacher and after the first class I left knowing that when I returned home to Perth I would commit to the practice of yoga and become a teacher.
Eventually I went and trained in Bali and became a teacher, and I started teaching yoga straight away. I’ve also completed other various trainings since then.
Opening cntre space was a natural progression, years of being devoted to the practices of meditation and yoga and cultivating something that was authentic and honest.
Where did your meditation journey begin, how has it had an impact on your life? Why do you meditate, personally?
I stumbled upon meditation about 7 years ago quite spontaneously. I was in my bedroom one night when I decided to just close my eyes and be still, I wanted to see what would happen, it's as though I already knew on some level that it was time to start this journey. It wasn't that I closed my eyes to "meditate", I didn't really even know what meditation was back then, it was more that I wanted to explore something deeper about myself, and I did. I ended up writing a small passage of poetry from this initial experience and it became something I did regularly.
For a long time I would sit and close my eyes and just ‘tune in’ and I would go on these inner journey's, discovering aspects of myself, learning and writing about what I was experiencing which was quite mystical and heart and mind opening. The whole time I never actually realised that I was delving into the world of meditation - which I believe to be the greatest blessing, mostly because it meant that I had zero expectations or ideas of what meditation should or shouldn't be which kept me open to all possibilities - this has definitely shaped the way I teach meditation today.
So now days I meditate because it's a part of who I am, it's totally natural like an extension of who I am, and it's a path I'm walking.
Who are some of the influences or experts in your field that have had an impact on your practice?
SO many influences! Of course Ram Dass, anyone who knows me knows my absolute love for Ram Dass. And then all the teachers I’ve been fortunate enough to train or practice with and also anyone who I’ve taught, it’s all impacted my practice and teaching, and then there’s mother nature, our greatest teacher.
Could you tell us about some of the powerful experiences you have had through meditation? perhaps milestones in your practice that you think are worth mentioning?
It’s easy to look at the highs and think of them as most powerful. However, more recently I went through a few months where every time I would come to sit for meditation I would fall asleep, it was really disheartening and frustrating because it was right before we were opening cntre space and it would have been nice to have those quiet moments in stillness, especially as things were really busy and chaotic. I learnt a lot from it, patience and perseverance and once again to trust in the process, and to accept where I was at.
Every experience is powerful though, even if we don’t recognise it, on some level things are shifting and building and breaking and we’re being transformed.
We know you have recently had your book (cntre space) published, could you tell us about how this came about and what inspired you to write this book?
Cntre space is another collection of poetry and insights, some of which are quite abstract. The book is a reflection and interpretation of my own meditative experience.
There is a lot of stigma attached to meditation, why do you think this is and how does cntre space hope to overcome this?
Hmmm, I think because we can get so caught up thinking our way is the right way or this lineage is where it originated from so it must be right and we don’t give ourselves a chance to come to our own understanding. We follow all the “right” steps and get too focused on the technique or the method and never really experience the truth that is beyond the path, or method or teacher, we take it all too seriously, when really, all methods and paths are just meant to be a pointer to something much more real.
Cntre Space offers various meditation and mindfulness practices with an emphasis on self-practice and even non guided classes, to give people an opportunity to find something that they resonate with, but also, to help people tune in to their own inner guidance/ wisdom…..well this is the intention behind it anyway.
If someone is interested in beginning meditation, what advice would you give them?
If you’re interested in beginning meditation recognise where that urge comes from, we’re wiser than we sometimes realise, honour it. Everyone’s understanding of meditation will be different so try not to compare or judge your experience. Commit to it for a while, don’t just do it a couple of times and give up on it, maybe 10-15 minutes to begin, again this depends on the individual. There are many different meditation practices, find something that resonates with you or find a teacher who you vibe with but also know that you are your greatest teacher.