M is for Meditation, Mending, Minimalism, Mushrooms and Music


“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

-Dalai Lama

While this statement might oversimplify the challenges facing humanity, it does acknowledge the power of meditation to build health and happiness, and with as many variations on meditation techniques as there are people, we might all use this simple tool to build peace.

Whether that’s the walking tradition taught by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, a yoga class at your local neighbourhood house, or playing guitar in the evening instead of watching TV, your favourite meditation can create calm and clarity.

Qi gong, tai chi and yoga classes are taught at all our neighbourhood houses: Livingstone St Community Centre, Rosanna Fire Station Community House, Watsonia Neighbourhood House, Diamond Valley Neighbourhood House, Greenhills Neighbourhood House, Contact Community Centre.

There are sure to be options even closer to home as well, whether in local shopping strips or home-based studios. Ivanhoe Aquatic presented this free meditation session https://fb.watch/7iQTb0t4cY/ Ask around your neighbourhood for recommendations.

If you don’t have time for a class this week, you might settle for a mediation app. Smiling Mind is free, made in Melbourne, and a part of the mindfulness program being implemented in many Victorian primary schools. Their research confirms that just 5 minutes of meditation a day makes difference.



When you think of mending, what do you think of?
Mending can apply to both the physical and the relational world.
Mending what you have is a great way to extend the life of the items you own and minimise waste.
Have you gotten into mending clothes, other belongings or your relationship to self/others/our world?

Image: darning grey socks with blue, white and red yarn

Some local resources…

Men’s Shed options


With less stuff, less time organising.
With less rushing, more rest.
With more fresh, local food, less wasteful packaging.
With more connections and fun, more resilience.
How much is enough for a happy and healthy life in Banyule’s suburbs?

Image: young adult sitting in a park at the base of a tree reading while the sun is shining from not far above the horizon

Melbourne mum Erin Rhoads aka The Rogue Ginger blogs about her version of a minimalist, zero waste lifestyle. Her articles set out solutions for caring for the Earth which are relevant for most of us. Alongside the usual tips for avoiding plastic, there are ideas for reforestation in your local area as a kind of footprint offset, and her latest discoveries of interesting avenues for re-homing uncommon household items.

If you know of anyone in Banyule writing about their experiences of living a full life with a small footprint, let us know at reimaginebanyule@gmail.com

See also Decluttering


Autumn and Spring are when we see our local fungi and moulds. In addition to the usual advice of not consuming any unless you are 100% sure of the identity of what you are consuming, there are some general rules that we’ve learnt that can help us to tread more lightly while discovering our local fungi:

  • Image: child smiling with their homegrown oyster mushrooms

    Try to photograph fungi without touching to prevent disturbance.

  • If you deem it essential (ie. for food or medicine) to pick a mushroom then do so by cutting it off just above the ground to ensure that the delicate mycelium below is unharmed. Please don’t pull it out of the ground.
  • If you’d like to pick mushrooms for food then consider growing them at home. It’s a fun easy project. There are local mushroom companies. Please see our map or the map on the local food connect website to discover your nearest mushroom grower. Some may even offer discount bulk orders so if you get together with family, neighbours or local community then it becomes more economical too.
  • Consider contributing to the fungimap database by inputting your sightings so that we can all better understand our local fungi and moulds/slime moulds.

Are you a local fungi enthusiast? Are you aware of any Banyule residents offering fungi workshops? Please let us know and we’ll add them to our map.



Image: graphic of a tree branch with green leaves and 4 coloured birds perching with musical notes emanating from one of them

When on holidays at Tower Hill in between lockdowns we attended a cultural tour where a local Indigenous woman demonstrated playing a kangaroo skin wrapped around her knees as a drum. The sound was beautiful and a reminder that we can all make music with what we already have rather than by purchasing something new. Music has the ability to heal us from the inside out, the ability to connect us to country, to one another and even to memories. Who are your favourite local bands/musicians?

Perhaps you are a local musician interested in spreading the word about treading lightly? Would you like to be added to our map?