1 Giant Mind is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and research into the effects of ‘Eyes Closed Silence’ (ECS). The mission is to have 100 million people around the world all meditating at the same time and have the world’s leading researchers study the affect. Jonni Pollard, Executive Director and one of the Co-founders of the project tells us more.
Yogi Times: You have been invited to join the “I AM DOING IT” project, Yogi Times’ global outreach to the communities worldwide to be “doing it” - raising consciousness within their community…how are YOU doing it in your own community?
Yogi Times: And can you tell us why you are “doing it” the first place?
Jonni Pollard: I am doing it because I know no other way...I'm choice-less is the best possible way.
Yogi Times: What has been the most challenging aspect of your personal journey, and how has that strengthened you?
YT: What gets you out of bed every day?
YT: Who was your greatest teacher, and why?
YT: Was there a defining moment in your life that placed you on your current path?
Jonni Pollard: Unity Consciousness
Jonni Pollard: The most inspiring people to me are those who dedicate every moment of their lives to that deep impulse to serve the greatest need we face on the planet right now. I consider this to be the elevation of consciousness so that we as humans may waken to our role in creation and live harmoniously with each other and nature, ever evolving into higher expressions of this understanding.
Yogi Times: Jonni, 1 Giant Mind is going from strength to strength and gaining real momentum across the world. Can you please tell us about the project and how it all started?
Jonni Pollard: 1 Giant Mind is an exciting adventure of discovery into how our individual and collective states of consciousness affect our individual and collective realities.Some may have heard the ancient proverb “As is the mind, so is the world”.
1 Giant Mind wants to objectively explore this notion through a variety of scientific disciplines, to further understand how the use of our individual and collective mind states, may actually affect the material universe.
There have been some fascinating studies conducted around the world that indicate that when large groups of people come together in simultaneous eyes closed silence, there are measurable, observable positive effects beyond the group. There appears to be some sort of spill over affect that is powerful enough to positively alter people’s psychophysiological states. This in turn appears to affect human health and behavior in many positive ways.
We’re engaging the worlds top researchers, PR and Marketing experts, world leaders and prominent figures to coordinate an experiment campaign over the next 7 years that will ultimately involve 100 million people around the world by 2020. What do you think might happen if 100 million people from all around the world united in eyes closed silence…1 Giant Mind intends to find out!
YT: What drives you in this project, why is it so important to you?
Jonni Pollard: I’m driven by the greatest need of our time, which for me is the need for humanity to remember that we are profoundly powerful creative beings with the capacity to flourish in our highest states of existence and coexist in a creative partnership with each other and nature as a whole.
1 Giant Mind is an experiment to explore what power lay inside the human mind, to what degree can we affect change with our minds and if so, is this affect amplified when we unite collaboratively. There are so many questions to ask, so many things to explore in this realm.
The simple act of uniting in eyes closed silence for a few minutes everyday with a very specific intention to simply ‘be’ at the same time as millions of others, might well be the single most powerful thing we can do collaboratively right now to effect the kind of change that we need to see in our world.
YT: Could you talk a little bit about the‘Eyes Closed Silence’technique and what affects that has on the body and mind?
Jonni Pollard: Eyes closed silence refers to any technique or mental process such as meditation or prayer that triggers what is known as the ‘relaxation response’.
The relaxation response is defined as a protective mechanism against stress that brings about decreased heart rate, lower metabolism, and decreased respiratory rate. It is the physiological opposite of the ‘fight or flight’ or stress response. When we trigger the relaxation response on a regular basis, we are creating the ideal conditions to repair from the ever accumulating stress in our systems.
Stress is at the root of all the dysfunction in our minds and bodies. Remove stress and we have a real opportunity to flourish.
Imagine a world full of aware, adaptable, empathetic, authentic humans…mmmm yes please!
YT: Can you explain the strategy on how to engage 100 million people into a worldwide meditation?
Jonni Pollard: By presenting the scientific facts, clever authentic meaningful marketing, celebrity endorsement, government and corporate support, awesome events and some very cool technology that we will be releasing very soon via a smart phone app : )
YT: What does 100 million people all sharing the same Eyes Closed Silence experience(ECS) look like to you and what impact do you think it will it have on the world?
Jonni Pollard: This is a huge question. We aren’t entirely sure what it looks like in terms of how exactly it’s going to happen. We have a well thought out strategy but we are also aware that when something goes viral it takes on a life of its own and it organically defines itself. We are aware of this and have factored it into our game plan. We aren’t relying on a viral eruption however. We have strategized a global plan that will see a slow and steady growth of take up around the world over the next 7 years.
As far as the impact is concerned. This is also a big question. In short, if 100 million people practiced eyes closed silence on a daily basis, based on the studies that have been conducted thus far, we can hypothesize that there may be a significant reduction in war, terrorism, economic instability, we would see a significant increase in the quality of our health, environment and education. We will save trillion of dollars that we spend on health, defense and environmental disasters.
The most significant thing we would most likely see is 100 million calmer, happier, less stressed, more awake human beings getting around the place infecting everyone with their zest and enthusiasm for life.
YT: You are undertaking a massive project, who else is behind you?
Jonni Pollard: We’ve collaborated with some of the worlds leading scientists including people like Dr. Paul Zak, Proff. Constantine Korotkov, Proff. Roger Neilson to mention a few.
We have on our team some of the cleverest marketing and digital strategists in the world. We have an ever growing advisory board of influencers and connectors to people in every facet of human life, from religious leaders, political figures, prominent wellness figures, fortune 500 business executives. We will be naming these people when we re-launch our site in late August.
It is very exciting to witness the kinds of people this idea is attracting from all walks of life. It reflects the truly universal nature of the project and the timeliness and likeliness of its success.
YT: There are already many meditation groups worldwide that are trying to gather people to meditate, what is different to the 1 Giant Mind approach?
Jonni Pollard: This project invites everyone, not just meditators from a particular tradition or practice. Our marketing is totally accessible to the mainstream who know very little or nothing about Eyes Closed Silence and we make it an enticing proposition to take it up as a practice, where most of the other initiatives are mainly marketing to the converted, we are interested in casting the biggest net possible. All inclusiveness.
The second thing that makes us a little different is that we are a research and education not-for-profit organization. We are not claiming to bring about world peace or save the world. We are about engaging in a sophisticated scientific process of understanding the nature of human potential when we collaborate. We have no absolute defined outcomes other than to enhance the human experience. It’s an innocent exploration that can involve everyone no matter where you come from.
YT: Each time we see you, you’re always full of love, bright and calm. Could you share with us some ways in which meditation has helped you in your everyday life?
Jonni Pollard: That’s always nice to hear. I can’t name a thing that my meditation practice has not helped me with. It is a practice that intimately acquaints me with the essence of my being. When the experience of being is established as a feature of our waking state awareness, one can do nothing but experience the bliss of life. Bliss is our birthright and our destiny!
YT: Jonni, thank you so much for your time on sharing your vision with the Yogi Times community.