INTRODUCING FIONA FALLO
PSYCHOLOGIST & REGISTERED MEDITATION TEACHER
Welcome to the Adelaide Meditation Studio where Fiona Fallo is the primary teacher. She was born and raised on Kaurna Yerta, with a large extended family. She is now mother to four great kids, wife to a loving Sicilian and involved in the mainstream culture of Adelaide which includes working, running kids to sports and music events, taking beach time and exploring the Peramangk ranges whenever time permits.
History with meditation
Her meditation journey began in the 1990’s with an interest in Buddhism. At University she took subjects about Buddhist contributions to Western Psychotherapy and developed an interest in Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings. With the completion of University studies in 2000 she focused on practicing “Engaged Buddhism” and benefited from the resulting presence of mind. In 2004 she committed to
attending weekly meditation classes at The Centre for Advanced Buddhist Studies (Adelaide) and practiced yoga with teacher Ms Plejewska-Suszko who is mentored by Yoga Master Shanti Gowans. During this time, Australian Indigenous philosophies were increasingly important to developing Fiona’s understanding of meditative practices.
She was introduced to Vedanta (a school of philosophy from 8th century India) in 2005 and studied
translations of Ramana Maharshi’s works. From then she took yoga twice a week and in 2010 began
meditating daily using general methods of stabilising and Insight. In 2012 she settled in to studying
Advaita Vedanta and experienced meditation methods based on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s teachings.
As is usual in this method; she committed to twice daily meditation which she has continued since. She learned from Mr Hoole, a meditation teacher in South Africa who was instrumental in refining the way she communicates about knowledge from the Vedas.
Fiona’s priority throughout the journey of meditation has been to discern and disseminate meditative practices that actually benefit daily life. Her journey has been shaped by connection to country here and by the love of our First Nation peoples and cultures.
Fiona has been continually engaged in meditation and yoga practices for the past 20 years.
She gained membership of Meditation Australia in 2015 and has been registered as a Meditation Teacher since then. She has a high level of understanding of the indications and contraindications of practicing meditation, which includes detailed knowledge of the cognitive and emotional processes involved in the various meditation methods she teaches. In addition to western psychological concepts and theories, she has a sound understanding of the Vedic philosophies of consciousness and of the specific mechanics proposed to aid meditative practices.
She maintains current knowledge of evidence-based meditations and relies on this knowledge to help choose the most likely beneficial practice for each individual. When indicated she uses assessment and screening tools (to recognise post trauma symptoms, personality vulnerabilities and risk) to guide meditation training and also invites participants to complete self-report psychometric measures (pre and post training) to accurately monitor meditation effects.
Academic and work history
Fiona has been working as a Psychologist both in private practice (since 2002) and as a consultant with Indigenous peoples of the greater metropolitan area of Adelaide (for 10 years), providing assessment and treatment of a wide range of mental health difficulties including post traumatic stress, addiction, depression and anxiety.
Her academic journey began when I was accepted to the competitive Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) programme at Flinders University in 1995. I conducted research into my three main areas of interest;
(1) Indigenous mental health, (2) Social justice and (3) Buddhist contributions to Western Psychotherapy.
She was awarded first class Honours and as the highest ranked female applicant (based on academic performance) in South Australia she received the only Scholarship on offer to study Clinical Masters in Psychology at the University of Adelaide. She completed the Clinical Masters degree in 2001, which included a thesis investigating “The Impact of Trauma on Maternal Care-giving”.
She is endorsed by the Clinical College of the Australian Psychology Society after completing advanced supervised practice.
Adelaide Meditation Studio approach to meditation
The meditation methods taught are practical and designed to benefit daily life, without arduous practice. Instead of fighting with the mind that is always thinking, we teach methods that make use of the mind’s natural tendencies so that the mind can rest When we make use of the mind’s natural tendencies, meditation becomes a relief.
Anyone who wants to learn, can learn
“The pre-frontal cortex is what makes us human. It’s responsible for our judgement and planning. When we’re under stress, that gets shut down so we become more impulsive. When we meditate, the stress reduces and the whole brain starts to once again function the way it was meant to so that we are able to be more insightful”. Dr Tim Carr on Catalyst (2010)
Rest is the basis of activity. Mental rest in meditation promotes efficient, wise action in daily life. What you are seeking for is already there. Rest within yourself. There is nothing else to do.
“I have arrived. I am home. There is nothing to do”. Thich Nhat Hanh