Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
- So how did it all start?
Hello everyone - I am Elva and I am the founder of Peace Lab. But I much prefer to calling myself the "Chief Experimenter", as it is a lab after all!
Having grown up in Mainland China, I left my family after finishing high school and came to study in Australia. As a child, I thought being a lawyer would be one of the most meaningful ways to change the world and help others. That's why I decided to study law at university. Since then, how to best manage stress and find inner balance have been a constant theme in my life.
Studying law as a non-native speaker of English in a highly competitive law school marked the start of my experiment with meditation. Since I was afraid to be judged as being too "alternative", I didn't seek out any teachers and started trying meditation at home. Even though I was inexperienced, I sometimes would feel being touched by a void of silence that was profound beyond description.
It was not until I started working as a solicitor I became more serious with meditation, as my stress level gradually reached a point of breaking. The competitiveness and the financialisation of the legal profession made me constantly question if I was cut out to be a lawyer in the first place. In addition, I became disheartened by my "chosen career" as I felt I was not really helping people.
In those challenging moments, it was only through meditation I was able to let go of the negative voice in my head, and return to the point of peace again.
However, life has a better plan for me. In 2013, I moved to Geneva, Switzerland to undertake a Masters in International Economic Law. My time in Geneva became the impetus for a total shift in perspective, compelling me to reflect and eventually to change my limited beliefs on the notions of success, career and life in general.
It was also in the summer of 2013 in Tuscany Italy, I encountered Laughter Yoga for the first time. There were strange moments as I came to realize that how we all innately wanted to laugh and to have joy, yet have been socially conditioned to be "so serious". I asked myself - "Why so serious with life"?
Having returned to Melbourne, I created Peace Lab in late 2015 with the hope that I can help people in a more meaningful way - by offering unique "experiments" for others to experience peace and joy in a purposeful and refreshing way!
At Peace Lab, "peace" comes in all forms - in stillness (such as in meditation), also in joy (such as in laughing sessions). But most importantly it is in the act of "Making Peace" with life itself, by accepting what life is and participating with life in each moment, that we will find genuine and lasting peace.
My own life has been enhanced by Peace Lab, and I sincerely hope it will enhance yours as well - Let's start the Peace Revolution!
- But why is it called "Lab"?
First of all, at Peace Lab we firmly believe that the search for peace and joy is like a grand experiment (if not the grandest), and our life itself is the ultimate laboratory for such a journey of discovery. Like all experiments, we may sometimes succeed, but may fail the experiment completely the very next day. However, this is OK, because it is simply the nature of life. So, please don't be too hard on yourself if you cannot meditate or you don't feel comfortable laughing, as it takes time, patience, courage and of course practice.
Secondly, after years of experiments and research, the power of our mind and consciousness has been unveiled by modern science. For example, through neuroplasticity we now know that our brains are rather 'plastic' and can form new neural pathways by consciously changing our perceptions, understanding and beliefs. Also, quantum physics, which explores the atomic and sub-atomic realms, shows the importance of the 'observer' as the basis of reality-creation in the physical world.
Have a wonderful day/night no matter where you are & may PEACE be with you!
Elva /张晶 (Zhang Jing)
Founder/Chief Experimenter of Peace Lab