What people are saying

Swami Kriyatma

“It is one thing to talk eloquently on the subject of mindfulness and it is another thing to actually practice mindfulness. Melli is one of those select few who walks her talk.”

Swami Kriyatma – Mangrove Mountain, Australia

Charmaine Burke

“I am enthralled when I listen to Mellissa teach because there is a delightful mixture of gentleness and incredible power that comes through her message. She has intelligent ideas, a strength of experience, and a driving passion to help the world in an area that is most neglected – the mind. If we tuned in to her message, we would make profound changes in our lives. She is a voice that must be heard.”

Charmaine Burke – Sydney, Australia

Claire Toohey

“Did this weekend meet my expectations? Above and beyond. These days at the ‘Art of Mindful Living Retreat’ have been a life changer”

Claire Toohey – Newcastle, Australia

Penny Moyes

‘The Art of Mindful Living’ Retreat with Mellissa exceeded all my expectations.”

Penny Moyes, Western Australia

Beth Phelan

"Melli gave an inspiring and uplifting presentation on 'Changing your world from the inside
out' in the Happiness and Mindfulness stream at the Happiness and Its Causes Conference
2017. The session was packed with many delegates not able to get into the room - evidence of the popularity of the topic. With insights into how to apply the essence of the world's wisdom traditions in practical ways for a more peaceful and meaningful life, Melli's presentation was a highlight of the conference for many of those in attendance."

Beth Phelan - Conference Director, Happiness & Its Causes

Laura di Francesca

Hi Melli. It's  been a while since I first  came to your 'Art of Mindful Living' retreat and I could write pages and pages on how the experience changed my life.

After receiving these poems today I thought I'd quickly write and let you know that I'm a completely different person to who I was before I came to your retreat.

I'm more patient, kinder, I listen to people and give only peaceful advice when asked. I'm patient and kinder to myself and ALWAYS try to step back and live in the moment as much as I can.

I have even found the strength to listen to and to be kind to the people that seriously hurt me and drove me to depression in the first place and with that have learnt a lot about self respect and acceptance.

I'd love to another retreat one day and continue learning and practicing in that blissful environment.

Thank you so much.

Laura di Francesca - New South Wales, Australia

Penny Jones

“I got a lot from the program and am very excited to 'come back to reality' with a renewed sense of calmness and confidence.

I really enjoyed learning from you, and hope to join you for another of your programs soon.”

Penny Jones - NSW, Australia

Shrini Gopalan

“Hi Melli, thanks so much for the miraculous weekend retreat. I couldn't express the gratitude enough as after attending the course I feel amazing. Thank you!

Shrini Gopalan - Sydney, Australia

Susan Chin

"Dear Melli I just wanted to thank you again for a fabulous weekend of mindfulness. It really was a life-changing experience for me and I appreciated all the love you put into every little detail to make it so special. Your intelligent and engaging approach was inspiring and I particularly enjoyed your gift of storytelling and the lovely parables and the poems you shared with us."

Susan Chin - NSW, Australia

Sue Scott

"Thank you Melli for providing such a structured program and holding such a beautiful space for us all in which to explore mindfulness. After practicing meditation and attending other courses this has been truly the most powerful and meaningful. I realised that I had been striving on an intellectual level to achieve a relaxed state when paradoxically it's in the letting go that you reach that state of awareness. Thank you and bless you."

Sue Scott - NSW, Australia

Victoria Mizrahie

"I thoroughly enjoyed the entire retreat and couldn't thank you more for the love and compassion you showed to me and everyone else. I'm already missing your beautiful smile and the life-changing teachings you have shown me. Thank you so much for everything."

Victoria Mizrahie - NSW, Australia

Jenny Skipper

"Thanks so much for a wonderful and inspiring weekend Melli! I found the content totally relevant for me, and the way you explained it in simple English really got the message through. My 30 day challenge is going really well and my husband has even noticed  a change in my  'peace of mind'. I already look forward to my formal meditation practice!

Jenny Skipper - NSW, Australia

Swami Muktakiran

Mellissa's teachings have always generated overwhelming positive feedback. Her grounded and pragmatic approach to yoga, meditation and mindfulness are borne of her years of experience with these practices, Mellissa's inspired teachings demonstrate her authentic understanding of yoga and meditation and how they can be integrated into daily life.

Swami Muktakiran - Manly Yoga, Australia

Swami Samhita

Mellissa's abilities as both a yoga and mindfulness teacher have seen many visitors return time and time again. She brings intelligence and warmth to her retreats whilst communicating her vast knowledge in a very down to earth way making it clear and relatable to all who attend her class.

Swami Samhita - Satyananda Yoga Academy, Australia


This retreat (beautiful minds) was exactly what I was looking for and I didn't even know that I needed it! I was asked to join a friend on the retreat and I'd always wanted to learn more about mindfulness so I decided to go without really researching the course, the provider or the ashram but I left the ashram on sunday feeling so relaxed, calm and at ease with myself and my surroundings. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone interested in improving themselves. Melli makes everyone feel welcome and her advice and teachings are relatable and easy to implement into your daily life. The best weekend that will last with me forever.

Hayley - Australia

H. Krammer

Beautiful Minds is an introduction - or a refresher for all. It reminds us of what instinctively and spiritually what we may already know but more so how to get back on track so we can be our innermost selves within ourselves and with others.

H. Krammer - Australia

Therese Kelly

I thought the whole course was great! Melli knew the subject inside out. I loved the way she was so down to earth, spoke in language that we could all understand and used analogies and parables to illustrate a point.

Therese Kelly - Australia

Robert W. Smith

I thought I knew my own mind but one mindful weekend with Melli was another whole voyage! When was the last time you gave your brain a holiday or truly listened to somebody, learnt about your brain or thought about what you are feeding your mind...all in the company of like minded people!

I've never been happier
than living in the Now
why not come aboard
and let Melli show you how.

Robert W. Smith - Australia


The 'beautiful minds' retreat was sensitive, insightful and full of practical solutions. I would recommend to anyone who is enquiring into their life.

Warwick - Australia

Karis and Paul

The beautiful minds retreat gave us a greater insight into the workings of our minds. Melli is a fantastic communicator and facilitator. A wonderful follow up from the Art of Mindful Living retreat we experienced in 2014.  Looking forward to the next one! 

Karis & Paul - Australia

Wendy Murdoch

What a wonderful place (Mangrove Mountain ashram) to go and get peace of mind!!I shall return to keep my spiritual awareness well oiled when I feel like I need a top up!! Thank you Melli!

Wendy Murdoch - Australia

Donna Armstrong

Sometimes in life you come across people who just have it together. You know the ones – they are centered, content and calm. They are in the moment and truly living the good life. They are not focused on what-if or preoccupied with what-has-been. They are not distracted by the dramas of modern life to the detriment of what really matters.They are here and now. They are energised and intrinsically happy.

These individuals are like walking angels. They are the ones who have been put on this earth to teach us things. Important things that we cannot always learn on our own no matter how hard we try. If you are lucky enough to come across one of these people in your lifetime, hold onto them, make the most of them and learn all you can from them. Mellissa O’Brien is one of these people.

Donna Armstrong, , Sydney

Swami Chintanshuddhi

"What struck me about Mellissa's teachings on mindfulness was how she was able to offer simple, creative and practical ways to integrate mindfulness into daily life. As a meditation teacher myself, I gained valuable insight from Mel's calm wisdom." 

Swami Chintanshuddhi - Australia

Frank Bergman

"Melli’s mindfulness weekend seminar in the beautiful Mangrove ashram has had a lasting impact on my life. 

Melli has a level of authenticity and truth that makes her class a truly unique experience. I have gone through a few retreats and even mindfulness classes, but she has such a comprehensive, structured and yet spiritual way to share her own experiences. 

Fantastic! Was it worth the money? Every Penny!! Will I book again? Certainly! Did I like the retreat - no doubt, what a magic place.

Food, staff, and everything else - just fantastic! Thank you so much! "

Frank Bergman-Australia


"This retreat has brought my senses to life and has made me realise that so much goes by unnoticed when we are living in a 'normal state of  mind.' I feel more able to smile at the mind and try not to take it too seriously -- I am not my mind! I feel more alert and full of vitality -- thanks Melli."

Jen -- Sydney, Australia


"Coming out of a stressful period with some health issues my body and soul were crying out for some nurturing. After the mindfulness retreat I went on with Melli I'm feeling like I'm right back on track in just three days. Melli's content and practical exercises are excellent and her personal style and approach is wise, genuine and humorous making the overall experience very satisfying and enjoyable!"


"This retreat has given me practical tools to use so that I can choose to live my life mindfully and with peace and grace. Thank you Melli for embodying what you teach and share so beautifully!"

Samantha -- Central Coast NSW, Australia

Jonathan Scott

"I enjoyed learning more about mindfulness and in particular the opportunities to practice. The setting is beautiful and my time at Mangrove Mountain is well spent."

Jonathan Scott -- Central Coast NSW, Australia


"It is amazing how in two days it is possible to learn such life changing skills that will last a lifetime and at the same time have such fun. Thank you."

Annie -- Canberra, Australia


"The 'Art of Mindful Living' retreat with Melli is a 10 out of 10. I enjoyed all sessions and recommend it  to anyone wanting to learn about mindfulness."

Graham -- Central Coast NSW, Australia

Anne Mooney

"Thanks again Melli for making mindfulness and spirituality so accessible to us mere mortals. You should be so proud of yourself as you've made a massive impact on so many people. It's incredible to be able to make sense and gain peace in such a crazy world! I learnt practical logical ways to practice mindfulness in my everyday life."

Anne Mooney -- Manly, NSW, Australia


"Mellissa (Melli) thanks for sharing your life learnings in such a peaceful, understandable way. Thank you for your mindfulness. I learnt more about myself and how to be mindful in my everyday life."

Ross -- Sydney, Australia

Ambile Borges Dario

"'The Art of Mindful Living' retreat was a great experience. I loved the meditations, breathing exercises, yoga nidras and the food too! Perfect place to relax and review our values in life."

Amablie Borges Dario -- Blue Mountain, NSW, Australia


"I loved the passionate, playful and loving presentation and the gentle fun approach. I strongly recommend Melli's retreats."

David -- Manly, NSW, Australia


"The course does not provide overnight transformation but gives you the knowledge and tools so you  feel completely calm and assured that change is possible.  By the second night, I was picking up negative thought patterns as they entered my head and calmly letting go of them. It was very easy the way things were explained and I enjoyed practicing mindfulness."

Georgia -- Sydney, Australia


"Melli I found this experience extremely interesting and eye opening. I'd recommend it to others for sure."

Katie -- Sydney, Australia

B. Fitzgerald

"Melli, I most enjoyed your presence and energy. I would recommend your course for sure."

B. Fitzgerald -- Sydney, Australia

A. McDonald

"Melli provided me with real insight into how the mind works, and how I can use this knowledge and various strategies to help me through periods of grief and also everyday life. This retreat was very well structured and I enjoyed the way in which Melli shared her knowledge. It was a 10 out of 10 experience."

A. McDonald -- Sydney, Australia


"The Art of Mindful Living retreat was excellent. I highly recommend it. The content is practical and Melli's presentation skills are great."

Gina -- Sydney, Australia

Matt West

"Three valuable days to learn, experience and consolidate practice of techniques to improve mindfulness in meditation and daily activities. Melli, Namaste."

Matt West -- Sydney, Australia

Jenni McCredie

"A delightful time out from everyday busy work and family life. A complete immersion in mindfulness amongst the beautiful surroundings of the ashram. This has given me the skills I need to make mindfulness part of my everyday life at home."

Jenni McCredie -- Australia


"This course has certainly given me the tools to start my mindfulness life. Look forward to receiving your list of books by email to further develop my learnings. Thank you!"

Barbara -- Central Coast, Australia


"Totally enjoyed the 'Art of Mindful Living' retreat. It provided a wealth of information in a gentle nurturing way and provided an opportunity to find out more about myself and ways that I can live in a calmer world amongst the crazy business. I have new tools to take home with me that can change my life. I highly recommend this course."

Julie -- Central Coast NSW, Australia

Tim Guthrey

"I enjoyed everything about this retreat. This place is amazing - the food, the atmosphere, the mouna (silent periods). In my opinion everything was just perfect. I learned to take things in with a more open mind. Highly recommended!"

Tim Guthrey -- Sydney, Australia

Mitchell West

"I really enjoyed this retreat. It was such a great experience. The atmosphere was so peaceful and relaxing. The mindfulness course was amazing. I recommend going."

Mitchell West (14 years of age) -- Sydney, Australia

Susan Wallace

"I found knowledge to help me deal with stressful issues and really enjoyed the peace, quiet and yoga in a safe environment with lovely people. Mellis is so lovely to learn from."

Susan Wallace -- Sydney, Australia

Belinda Anderson

"I have twin 20-month old sons. It's like groundhog day at our place! This course helped remind me to stay present and I loved being with like minded people. My mantra has always been 'This too shall pass.' I'm adding, 'Enjoy the ride' to that now."

Belinda Anderson -- Sydney, Australia

Heather Williams

"I didn't realise how much I needed to attend this retreat until I did. Mellissa is very realistic in her expectations of you, and encourages you to also be easy on yourself.  She gave lots of practical examples and skills to use in daily life, conveyed by example the sense that living mindfully is very worthwhile and achievable. Thank you Mellissa, I have a feeling that this will change my life, for the better!"

Heather Williams -- Sydney, Australia

Margot Abrahams

"This was a huge game changer for me. I went so much deeper than just tools on how to be mindful. I learnt that my old beliefs that I have felt have been 'blocking' me or holding me back are from the past and do not exist in the present moment. Now I have the choice to drop them completely or change the perspective of it completely. This weekend ... I got it! ... with thanks to Melli! I definitely recommend this retreat!"

Margot Abrahams -- Sydney, Australia


"A practical beginner's workshop into the mindfulness journey -- Ideally everyone should spend time looking at our minds! It would be a much more centered and considerate community. I'm really glad I made the time to come. Thank you Melli."

Katrina -- Sydney, Australia


"I learnt valuable tools to use everyday and discovered some interesting things about myself. I enjoyed the whole experience."



"Mindfulness is such a simple concept -- you just need to be aware of it and find ways to incorporate it into everyday life. At the 'art of mindful living' retreat I got lots of practical tips for doing this."

Lisa -- Canberra, Australia


"Melli, I most enjoyed your calm and eloquent approach, making these teachings clear and accessible to me. The retreat was wonderful -- I felt overwhelmed at the beginning, but have moved to a place where I feel truly excited about embarking on my mindfulness journey at home (I'm really hoping that my partner and children will benefit from having a calmer and happier person around them -- harmony in the house!). Thank you, Melli for your calm, wise and inspiring teaching this weekend."

Karen -- Sydney, Australia


" Where to start ... I learned so much about my own mind and body. Why my thoughts race constantly, how to slow them and take a step back ... My biggest discovery is that my mind is not the same as me, it is judgmental and always questioning and always racing towards the future or dwelling in the past. I AM a separate, more constant entity and when I  am in the present and just witnessing my thoughts instead of fighting them, I am still and content. All these in three days. Thanks Melli!"

Lynsey -- Sydney, Australia

Josie Alonso

"Mellie, I just wanted to let you know that I am doing well at being mindful since the retreat last weekend. It has really helped me feel an inner peace that I have not had for years and years. Thank you!"

Josie Alonso, Australia

Kerri Pietsch

"I would happily recommend Mellie to anyone searching for mindfulness. She explains everything so beautifully, but also has such a calm, peaceful energy, you can't help but feel inspired to bring mindfulness into your life."

Kerri Pietsch - Canberra, Australia

Carol Boman

“Thank you Melli for your amazing retreat. I have loved soaking up your wisdom and I found myself continuously nodding, acknowledging and learning. This exceeded my expectations. I thought i would relax and learn a few things but this has been life changing”

Carol Boman -Sydney, Australia

Mary Simmonds

“Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom so caringly. I always felt safe and cared for and ready to explore new things, new thoughts and ideas”

Mary Simmonds- Sydney, Australia

Anu Ganesh

“Mellissa’s teachings and techniques were easy, inspiring and educational. I will take a lot of what I learned into everyday life”

Anu Ganesh - Sydney, Australia

Jeremy Mohamed

“What did I enjoy the most about this weekend? The Mindfulness sessions with Mellissa. She makes it so fascinating and keeps you constantly engaged. I’m looking forward to follow up sessions”

Jeremy Mohamed- Sydney, Australia


“Thanks Mellissa, for your openness and your energy this weekend. I love how you talk about your own experiences and give very down to earth practical tips on ‘the art of mindful living’. I feel i now have tools to better deal with stress and busy-ness in my life back home"

Helen – Sydney, Australia

Hannah Perkins

“Since being on retreat with Melli I have noticed there is a certain grace in my existence – I am easing into some big transitions taking place in my life right now (particularly remission from cancer), I notice that I am less bothered by the external happenings, and more trusting that it's all going to be ok. I love that Krishnamurti quote “I don’t mind what happens” – I wouldn’t say I am totally there, but I am learning to not ‘mind’, and falling in love with the present moment more every day.”

Hannah Perkins, Newcastle, Australia

Richard Cowell

“Thank you for giving me the ability to have more peace, more understanding of what it means to be fulfilled and happy. Through cultivating mindfulness I have learnt to manage my anxiety and enjoy life so much more.”

Richard Cowell – Sydney, Australia

Ingrid Stansfield

“I've had a wonderful time attending this course. Mellissa has provided a wonderful learning environment that enabled me to see the true benefits of being mindful, combining this with yoga and meditation. I’ve already thought of ways to keep the practices in my life, now that the course is over. It’s had such a positive effect already, and even though I have been to other courses previously, something about Melli’s gentle style and openness to individual differences really made her course a success. Can’t wait for the next course Melli!”

Ingrid Stansfield – Sydney, Australia

Kathleen Moore

“My weekend with Mellissa learning the keys to mindfulness was such a treat! Melli has a calm and confidence that allows her to share her passion and knowledge in a way that is inspiring and everlasting. She is organised yet relaxed, and the techniques I bought home with me have given me confidence to manage everyday challenges as a new mother and bring a new found balance to work and enjoying the magical moments that is my life.”

Kathleen Moore – Brisbane, Australia

Cheryl King

“I can say with absolute confidence that after completing Mellissa's Mindfulness course it has changed my life for the better. Prior to Mellissa's course I was unable to grasp the concept of mindfulness or understand the benefits.

Mellissa has a natural talent for relating to people and through talking about her personal experiences and giving examples of how the mind works I could relate these to my own feelings and experiences. I especially loved her idea that when mediating instead of berating yourself for losing yourself to thought instead congratulate yourself when you find you are actually in the moment! This has worked wonders for me and continues to keep me motivated during my practice. I've already told a couple of my friends about my experience from going to your course and they’re all quite interested in joining your next mediation and mindfulness course. Many Thanks Melli!”

Cheryl King – Sydney, Australia

Anne Mooney

“Mellissa’s thoughtful, calm and pragmatic teaching makes meditation and mindfulness accessible and achievable for everyone. Mellissa’s use of reasoning and research gives meditation credibility as a means to good health and well-being. Meditation makes a lot of sense now, and Mellissa’s patient and intelligent guidance makes it really enjoyable.”

Anne Mooney – Sydney, Australia

Amarananda Saraswati

“I found Mellissa's teachings to have a very positive blend of authenticity, practicality and generosity of spirit.”

Amarananda Saraswati – Manly, Australia

Lyn La Cava

“I had the pleasure of attending Melli’s Mindfulness Class in a beautiful setting on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.  Although I had some previous experience with Mindfulness and with meditation, I found it very valuable and enlightening, not to mention relaxing and centering.  Melli is an excellent communicator and presents a wonderful blend of knowledge, experience and insight – spiced with fun and humour.  I learned practical applications to my life, giving me tools to move through the day mindfully, with tranquility.  At the same time it was a spiritual experience, as with Melli’s leading I was able to reach a deep, restorative meditative state.  With her blend of compassion, wisdom, perception and sweetness, Melli is a delight to be with and I am very glad to have joined her on this journey.”

Lyn La Cava – Austin, TX

Steve Fitzpatrick

“I attended Mellissa’s Mindfulness and Meditation course as a complete beginner. It was a fantastic course that I really enjoyed and Mellissa is a great teacher, leading the class through mindfulness practice, meditation and yoga. Mindfulness has allowed me to control my thoughts and better manage the stresses of life. Thanks Mellissa”

Steve Fitzpatrick – Sydney, Australia

Krista Smith

“As a complete novice to the world of meditation only just four months ago, Melissa has been instrumental in my learning’s. A subject so broad and profound it is easy to get lost in the history and belief of different practices and how one should conduct or explore such a large complex subject.

But Melissa has an air and grace about her that makes you feel relaxed and joyful; she takes you on a journey of self-exploration that is both descriptive and practical so you can experience what it feels like to be mindful. Melissa’s passion and knowledge of research in this field gives her incredible power which is translated through her teachings. Melissa gives you a gift to connect to your inner self and tools to quieten/ master your mind in a world that doesn’t stop.”

Krista Smith – Manly, Australia

Peter Nankervis

“The structure of the Mellissa's course is excellent which makes it suitable to all stages of development and different learning styles. Melissa brings practical hands on experience with passionate delivery to make it a very worthwhile. Is there anything more relevant that people need in our society than this?”

Peter Nankervis – Sydney, Australia

Dominique Smith

“Mellissa’s authentic and generous spirit make her an inspiring teacher. She presents a world of information in a concise and accessible way. I met Melli at a vulnerable and anxious time in my life. She was able to calmly create a space that felt safe enough for me to learn and practice the skills that could help me through these difficult emotions. I plan to attend more of these courses and workshops on my journey of mindful living.”

Dominique Smith – Sydney, Australia