Interview with Mark Bunn

What inspired you to write your first book?
My main inspiration was seeing how confused everyone was about health and well-being. Every week there seem to be a new studies or fad telling us what the next miracle cure or great panacea. The problem of course was that what was being recommended change every week and everyone, including myself was totally confused.

After studying the Eastern traditions of healthcare, I realized that health and well-being was actually extremely simple and that there are simple, profound wisdoms of health that has never changed since the dawn of time. Reminding people of how truly simple and common sense health can be is what inspires me to this day.
You promote a lot of 'Eastern’ health wisdom now - how does that all fit in?
As soon as I finished playing football, I traveled to Southeast Asia to work for an aid organisation. Whether in Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos, I was struck by the fact that most of the remote villagers were extremely poor and had little or no access to Western health care, yet seemed remarkably vibrant, and nearly always happy. In Cambodia, I traveled out to little villages with a Western nurse and an Indian Ayurvedic doctor. After the doctor had treated the villagers I assisted in administering the locally grown herbal medicines. I really loved this first hand experience of traditional health-care…except for when I was almost married off to a young local villager, after offering her my bottle of drinking water. Apparently, this was a cultural symbol of a marriage proposal!

Anyway, having come to appreciate the profound wisdom such cultures possess, I came back to Australia. After witnessing the irony of people everywhere with million dollar houses and supposedly the best health system in the world, being riddled with stress, depression, anxiety and chronic illness, I started formal training in Ayurveda. Combined with another two years living with and traveling around Australia with a brilliant husband and wife team of Ayurvedic doctors, it really hit home to me how much we can learn from these wise, time-tested traditions of knowledge.
Who first inspired you in the area of health and wellbeing?
My family has always been a great inspiration. My mum was one of the first into the mind-body area of health and really introduced me to the power of the mind. When I was 16 she gave me a book called ‘You’ll see it when you believe it’ by Dr Wayne Dyer, which really started me on my journey. My dad played football, cricket, tennis, and ran marathons, so was a great example of staying fit, as well as being a great support (and taxi driver!) in my own sporting life. My brother Paul helped build up my confidence, as although he was seven years older and much bigger than me, I used to always beat him in whatever sports we played. (At least that’s how my selective memory recalls it!) And it was my darling sister Claire and her husband Michael - a state cricketer at the time - who introduced me to meditation when I was just 19. This is actually what led me into the traditional Eastern health sciences and what I do today.
How does a typical ‘healthy’ day in your life look?
Like most people, I have the odd day that is a bit crazy and not entirely healthy. However, my healthy days involve waking up between 5am and 6am. If the sun is up I do a few minutes of sun gazing - the ancient practice of looking at the early morning or late setting sun for short periods. It is understood to promote many psycho-spiritual and physical benefits, including regulating the body clock, balancing the hormones and stimulating the neurochemistry of positivity – the only downside is that everything else you look at for the rest of the day is bright orange! This is usually followed by a morning cleansing drink of room temperature water, lemon and turmeric or a cup of boiled milk with various herbs and spices. The foundation of my day is my morning and evening meditation. I still practice Transcendental Meditation or TM, which I’ve been doing since I was 19. It’s my most precious time of the day as it allows me to not only de-stress and recharge physically, but most importantly, to have more peace and calm mentally and emotionally (most of the time!!!). It’s like a having a mini-holiday twice a day and wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Breakfast might be a ‘super green juice’ - blended seasonal fruits, plus dates, raisins, linseeds, olive oil, and spinach or kale. If I’m not travelling, Karen and I have a nice lunch as our main meal and dinner is a much lighter meal. There’s usually some exercise, either early morning or straight after work, and nights are usually spent hanging out with Karen or with my family when I’m in Melbourne.

* Note; things don’t always work out as planned, so I have an ‘80 percent rule’. That is I try to do 80% of what’s healthy, 80% of the time. 20% of the time I just do whatever is easy. For example, I eat really healthy when I’m at home (natural, whole foods), so that when I’m travelling or eating out I can just relax and have a bit of a junky treat or not stress about eating foods I wouldn’t normally eat. I believe enjoying life is No.1.
Is there a significant quote or saying that you live by?
‘To remove the darkness, bring in the light’ – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

I love this analogy as it’s all about focusing on ultimate solutions instead of getting consumed by problems. In life, we all have good and bad things happen. We can spend our whole life analyzing the past, or trying to ‘work through our problems or issues’, or, we can go to that place within us, that is completely beyond problems. If we come home and our house is in darkness, we don’t stumble in the door and try to remember where all the furniture is so that we don’t bump into it or knock something over. We simply ‘turn on the light’. Maharishi explains that in that one instant, by simply turning on the light, the darkness is removed. Throughout history the great yogic and religious teachers have told us to go within. Rather than fighting problems outside, we do better to focus on ‘increasing our light’ inside. Then everything becomes more enlightened.
Published 2013-09-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health
Price: $17.95 USD. Words: 82,350. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Alternative medicine, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Aging well
Combining 6000 year-old Eastern wisdoms of Ayurvedic medicine, ancient spiritual teachings, natural health secrets, and the latest modern science, you will be reminded of 7 of the most timeless (yet commonly forgotten) secrets of health & happiness. Based on the age-old science of Ayurveda and the world's healthiest & longest-living people, any 25 pages will change your life forever.