“Creativity, Mindfulness, and Meditation are Sister Practices” -An Interview With Mariana Orkenyi

Salomé Gómez-Upegui
4 min readJun 26, 2019

Growing up in Brazil with parents who practiced Spiritualism Teachings, Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher Mariana Orkenyi has forever been drawn to spiritual practices. “At our house, there was time for breathing, a prayer, and a circle, we would read parts of different books, and we would regularly talk about spirituality,” she told Mindful Feminism.

As Mariana got older, she began doing some exploring of her own, dabbling in practices like breathing awareness and Kundalini yoga. She felt attracted to embodied disciplines that reinforced a mind-body connection. And when she left her home country for Mexico and then Barcelona, she regularly incorporated these into her life.

During her 20’s, she got a Masters in Cultural and Arts Management, and in her words, pretty much “flowed” through this second decade of her life.

Mariana’s thirties, however, coincided with a big move to Los Angeles that brought on important changes and trials. “When I moved to LA, I hit a bottom that was really hard for me,” she recalled. “In this bottom, I shut down all the things I’d been doing my whole life, and I was completely disconnected, so I really had to see how I would reshape myself.”

“Dry” is the expression she used to describe her arrival in this new city. “Things were not the way I wanted them to be. It was like life talking to me, and asking, ‘what are you going to do now?’ The flow I had in my twenties wasn’t there anymore, and I was resenting that. I was resenting the city, the culture, I wasn’t feeling accepted, I felt like I didn’t fit in, and I was in that inner search for a long time.”

Her comeback was a splendid one. After deciding to slowly get back into her spiritual customs, and seeing the positive benefits that meditation had on her body and mind, Mariana knew she wanted to get “really deep into it” and for “the nerd in her” as she said laughing, this meant doing a year of mantra-based meditation teacher training.

She recalled the realization that came as soon as she began to teach the practice: “I knew that I needed to get deeper tools, to understand more, because once you start to sit and meditate, once you start teaching others to…