Sunday, December 10, 2017

Director of talent management company shares how success is linked to a kind & humble heart

This Australian model stumbled upon India 10 years ago, and is now a co-owner and director of a talent management company that represents over 25 models forging careers in New York, Paris, London, and Milan. His second major turning point in life came when he was introduced to a meditation system called Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong).
He has introduced and paved the way for budding Indian supermodels like Pooja Mor in the international arena. But his life is not just about the glitz and glamor—behind this huge success lies a very humble and kind person.

Mark in his modeling days. (Image courtesy of Mark Luburic)

Mark Luburic was born in Sydney to Croatian parents, who had migrated in the late 60s from Croatia. At that time, Croatia was under the communist rule of Yugoslavia, so they were seeking to move to a country where they could have a more free and better life. At the age of 5, Mark’s family moved to Brisbane, and that’s where he grew up.
As a young lad, Mark dreamed of playing professional football but knew that he wasn’t going to make a career out of it. With a few friends’ suggestions, he approached an agency, and that’s when he took up modeling as a career. As a model, he traveled to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East—meeting many great people on his way.

Mark with his wife, Gunita Stobe. (Image courtesy of Mark Luburic)

In 2006, his life took a major turn; Mark and his wife, Gunita Stobe, came to India as models. While in India, they realized that there was a large gap in the Indian market as compared to overseas. Thus, the need to start an agency that worked at an international standard arose.
“The concept of beauty in India is so different from the rest of the world,” Mark tells “Here the benchmark is Bollywood, whereas overseas clients are looking at beauty more diverse. So we set up a talent management company called Anima Creative Management and began promoting models that represent every part of India, from the south to the northeast.”
With this big step forward, they enjoyed great success both in India and overseas, and also paved a way for the models to set up international careers.

Mark in his modeling days. (Image courtesy of Mark Luburic)
Mark says: “It sure isn’t as easy it seems, as there is a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into it. From managing the models, photographers, hair and makeup artists, and finally putting together a great portfolio and promoting them in the industry at large is no easy feat. It sometimes requires working round the clock, attending events and networking with various individuals.”

In 2012, which was four years in the business, Mark started to feel the stress and restlessness that came with working seven days a week.
“After some time, I felt I needed to drink a few drinks to be able to handle the crowd, and to get through the nights,” he says. “Even on non-event days, my release would be to get home and share a bottle of wine, crack open a few brewskies, or smoke a sheesha pipe to unwind. After a while, the body starts to feel not so good.”

(L-R) Mark, his wife, Gunita, model of the year -Pooja Mor, and Hairstylist of the year- Keiichiro Hirano at the Vogue Beauty Awards/ Courtesy of Mark Luburic)
Mark then started to do yoga and went back to playing football with the locals. But the second major turning point came when in the same year, he was introduced to a meditation system called Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong). He says that with no second thought, he decided to give it a try.

Image courtesy of Mark Luburic.

“Well, I didn’t feel some earth-shaking sensation, but definitely a sense of unique calmness. This made me want to attend the second session and the sessions that followed. And after 3 weeks, I suddenly had no intention of wanting to drink anymore, or smoke anymore, and was just feeling amazing,” he says.

This arose in him a curiosity to find out more about the system, so his friend encouraged him to read the book, Falun Gong, that outlines the principles of the practice.
“I couldn’t put the book down, and I knew I had found something immensely special,” he says.

Image courtesy of Mark Luburic.
With all the benefits that Mark experienced, he was pretty shocked on hearing of the persecution that Falun Gong experiences in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

“I really couldn’t understand what was going on in China when I first heard about it. Here was this practice, in which I have benefited so much from and millions of others also, which teaches such gentle principles, was being brutally persecuted in China, and that by its own government,” he says.
 He felt so bad about it and wanted to spread awareness. Thus he started to keep flyers in his car, hand out information to people on the street and let as many people possible to know about persecution in China.

Practicing the fifth exercise of Falun Dafa. (Image courtesy of Mark Luburic)

When being asked about how he manages to create a good work-life balance, he said that he owed it to the principles of Falun Dafa, namely—Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance.
“I am now able to make more rational and calm decisions, during high pressure, both at home and work. I am also more considerate of the people I work with and try to understand the situation from their perspective and find solutions to their problems, instead of getting worked up like I used to in the past.”

Practicing the second exercise of Falun Dafa. (Courtesy: Mark Luburic)
Mark says, “Modeling can be very challenging, so we try our best to keep everyone’s expectations real, and to concentrate only on the things which are in the model’s control, which is their beauty regime, their fitness, being punctual, polite and humble at all times, and professional. When one does all these things well, then they give themselves the best chance of success.”

“I think the most important lesson we try and instill in our talents, is that everyone has their own path, and never to compare themselves to anyone else in the industry. It’s important to work hard, to follow the course of nature, and everything will work out fine,” he adds.

Practicing the fifth exercise of Falun Dafa at his office. (Courtesy: Mark Luburic)

Marks finds that the fashion industry in India is very different compared to New York or Paris as these big-fashion cities have been major hubs for a great many years. Whereas India, on the other hand, has only just begun to open the door to people from overseas for 10 years or so.
“But what’s really exciting about India is that there is so much of freshness and excitement here.”
“Generally speaking, I do see a lot of people smiling around the place which is very different to certain parts of the world, where the vibe comes off rather cold. I do enjoy that part of life here, as you can just communicate or connect with a stranger at any level of society here through the simple act of a smile,” says Mark.
For sure, this Australian has seemed to find a warmth that engulfs India!

Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) is a self-improvement meditation system based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. It was introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1992 in China. It is currently practiced by over 100 million people in 114 countries. But this peaceful meditation system is being brutally persecuted in China since 1999. For more info, please visit: and


WATCH Stories of Falun Gong Practitioners 法轮功学员的故事




“随着修炼的提高,许多人生终极问题得到了圆满的解答,对这个大千世界有了一种不迷不惑、安然自在的感觉,超脱了对命运的无奈、对前途的迷茫、对名利情的牵挂、对死亡的恐惧。这是一种难以言表的源于内心的自在、乐观、敞亮。” “我找到了真正值得我毕生追求的智慧、真理所在。”
“我说,历史上,人们为了争取自由,往往要付出很大的、甚至生命的代价。马丁·路德·金博士就是一个例子。记得吗?你给马丁·路德·金中心的评比作文中写道,‘马丁·路德·金博士的非暴力与自由的教导和理念,激励着我继续他的理想,将世界变的更美好。’爸爸当时听了很感动!当年金博士就是为了争取他们应享有的自由民主而进行和平抗争,可是金博士却被暗杀了,死的时候,还不到40岁。”“今天爸爸在做的是同样的事。爸爸没有害怕,更没有后悔。你们也不要害怕!”“这时,我的15岁的女儿抬起头对我说:‘Dad, I am proud of you!’(爸爸,我为你骄傲!)”

WATCH 中国感人故事

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Western Counseling Gets a Boost From Eastern Wisdom—The Mindful Practice of Falun Gong: Meditation for Health, Wellness, and Beyond

By Conan Milner, Epoch Times
For the last several decades, Westerners have been looking East for new approaches to health care. What was once the exclusive domain of hippies and New Agers has become mainstream, as millions of Americans now get acupuncture treatments or practice yoga as a way to heal and prevent illness. 
One Eastern discipline gaining attention among some health professionals is a mind-body practice with roots in ancient Chinese culture. The practice is called Falun Gong.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate at Union Square in New York. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

In a new book, “The Mindful Practice of Falun Gong: Meditation for Health, Wellness, and Beyond,” author, researcher, and counselor Margaret Trey discusses what research has to say about Falun Gong’s healing potential, and explores her own experience using the practice in counseling.

A new book by Dr. Margaret Trey looks at what science has to say about the health effects of Falun Gong.

Meditation as Therapy

Since the 1970s, psychotherapists have used Buddhist teachings as a way to help patients manage stress and alleviate physical and emotional pain. Trey noticed that Falun Gong could have similar benefits.
“I have had a lot of success integrating Falun Gong with my counseling,” Trey said. “During these sessions, it actually helps them to clear whatever their issue is. At the end of it, they feel a lot better.”
For many generations, Falun Gong was a secret practice passed from master to student before being introduced to the Chinese public in 1992, according to introductory materials to the practice. It was never intended to be used as therapy.
Like Buddhism and Taoism, Falun Gong primarily serves as a path to enlightenment, adherents say. Thus, practitioners spend time sitting in meditation; practicing slow, gentle exercises; and striving to meet a high moral standard in their everyday lives.
However, since Falun Gong directly addresses issues such as clearing the cluttered mind and overcoming the human inevitability of suffering, Trey finds that applying Falun Gong concepts in counseling can offer valuable guidance to lost or wounded souls seeking clarity and understanding.
“A lot of my cases are anxiety disorders. Getting them to do Falun Gong exercises in the counseling session actually helped them to calm down. I don’t know how it happens. I just know that it helps them,” she said.
One example Trey mentions in her book is a client named April (a pseudonym). April was plagued by anxiety, but she found that Falun Gong could immediately quiet her busy mind.
“I feel more relaxed, less anxious, and [have] less stuff buzzing in my head,” April said in an interview with Trey.
According to Trey, April was able to defeat “her inner demons one by one through counseling integrated with Falun Gong.” As a result, her confidence and self esteem grew, allowing her to overcome painful memories from her childhood.

Researcher, counselor, and author Dr. Margaret Trey integrates elements of Falun Gong into her counseling. (Daniel Ulrich)

April’s therapy tapered off 15 years ago, but she still continues to practice. “Falun Gong is never far from my mind,” she wrote in a recent letter to Trey.
Unlike April, most of Trey’s clients don’t go on to adopt Falun Gong practice. However, Trey says that integrating some elements of Falun Gong during appropriate times in a counseling session has helped many make breakthroughs and reach insights that were previously elusive.
Another of Trey’s clients, Oskar (not his real name), presented a lot of problems that typical counseling techniques couldn’t touch. Oskar was an adult in his 30s but had the mental age of an adolescent and a history of aggressive, even violent behavior.
“I would explain the principles of Falun Gong to him in very simple terms,” Trey said. “I wasn’t sure if it would help him, but somehow they stuck in his mind.”‘
As his treatment progressed, Oskar told Trey about an argument he had had with his girlfriend. During the altercation, his girlfriend threatened to leave him, so he grabbed a kitchen knife to stop her. But as he recalled something he learned from Falun Gong, Oskar reconsidered his action.
“I remember you said that I must show compassion and consider the other person first, so I did,” Oskar told Trey. “And I didn’t hurt her. I put the knife down instead. I showed compassion, but she still left me.”
Falun Gong isn’t a treatment strategy like cognitive behavioral therapy—and it is not appropriate in severe mental illness—but it can be used in the clinic alongside more conventional techniques, Trey says. According to Trey, Falun Gong makes a complement to Rogerian-style counseling.
“Rogerian philosophy is a counseling approach with three principles: empathy, unconditional positive regard for the client, and congruence during practice. I immediately saw how the three principles of the Rogerian technique correlate with the three principles of Falun Gong: truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance,” she said.

Mind and Body

While Trey’s experience finds that Falun Gong may be good for mental health, evidence shows that it may also be beneficial to physical health as well.
“In my studies of neuroscience, I’ve seen that the mind is very powerful,” Trey said. “If you can change your mind, you are on the road to health and wellness. The power of the mind is very important.”
To examine the healing potential of Falun Gong, in 2007 Trey conducted a pioneering study known as the Australian survey. The survey was developed as part of her doctoral dissertation at the University of South Australia. It compares the health and wellness effects of Falun Gong as perceived by practitioners measured against a control group of non-practitioner participants.
The results strongly suggest that practicing Falun Gong has a positive effect on both physical and emotional health.
In designing her study, Trey looked to researchers who had considered health effects with other spiritual disciplines. One such influence is Dr. Harold G. Koenig, director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University.
The prolific Koenig has published over 400 scientific, peer-reviewed publications and 40 books on various medical subjects, but he’s best known for his insights on religion. Koenig’s controlled trials show that practicing religion and spirituality actually helps people improve their health and well-being.
“Koenig is a Christian, so all his research shows the health and wellness impacts of practicing the Christian faith,” Trey said. “I cited his work to give a rationale for my own research.”
The Australian survey reveals that Falun Gong practitioners rarely take medication or see a doctor, yet this group scored much higher than the non-practitioner control group in every health metric.
“Before they started practicing, the Falun Gong group had a lot more health and medical problems than the non-Falun Gong group. After practice, they reported significant improvement in their condition,” Trey said.
According to Dr. Heather Mattner, a health psychologist and adjunct professor at the University of South Australia who served as an advisor to Trey, the Australian survey demonstrates the powers of stillness, peace, and awareness for those who practice Falun Gong.
“[Trey’s] study indicates that Falun Gong brings important benefits for many individuals suffering illnesses, compromised mental health, and chronicity, in safe, sound, and satisfying ways that defy medication and typical curative processes,” Mattner wrote in a forward to Trey’s book.
According to Dr. John Court, a retired professor from the University of South Australia who served as program director to Trey when she was designing the Australian survey, Falun Gong demonstrates the same underlying values found in all spiritual traditions.

A person studies the central text of Falun Gong, “Zhuan Falun,” which outlines its moral philosophy and principles. (
“We should not be too surprised that strong benefits are reported, since the processes involved in practice are similar in many ways to other transpersonal and behavioral approaches, and strengthened by some careful advantages (regular practice, variety of strategies, emphasis on personal empowerment and moral improvement,)” Court wrote in a forward to Trey’s book.

Although Falun Gong research is still in the preliminary stages, the studies available thus far present a similar picture to Trey’s survey. For example, in a 2005, peer-reviewed study of Falun Gong, published in the online journal of the American Counseling Association, a team of U.S. medical doctors found superior gene expression and improved immunity among Falun Gong respondents compared to non-Falun Gong respondents, indicating that Falun Gong could influence gene expression, enhance immunity, balance metabolic rate, and promote cell regeneration.
In the most recent study on the practice, published as an abstract for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in 2016, 97 percent of cancer patients reported complete symptom recovery after practicing Falun Gong. The average time for symptom recovery was 3.6 months after starting the practice. 

Changing Perceptions

Earlier this year, Trey was invited to do a 90 minute presentation on her approach to using Falun Gong in counseling and psychotherapy for the American Counseling Association—the biggest counseling organization in the world. She says the support she received from colleagues has been tremendous.
“In the counseling profession, it is very widely accepted now that Eastern meditative practices are beneficial. Spirituality and counseling is a big thing at the moment,” Trey said. “I have had so many counseling students, both masters and doctoral, and even professors tell me that it was great that I was doing a study of this.”
Trey is continuing her research of Falun Gong with a new project she calls “Hearts Uplifted,” which looks at case studies of individual Falun Gong practitioners and their miraculous experiences with healing and perseverance. In the future, she hopes to see Falun Gong put to the test in randomized controlled trials, similar to evaluations of yoga.
“They have studied yoga for cancer, sleeping disorders, anxiety, stress reduction, all different kinds of problems, but we have a long way to go, Trey said. “Studies on the health and wellness effects of Falun Gong are still in their infancy. I hope that people will contact me with interest in doing further research.”
Trey’s work also has an unintentional political edge. While China conducted its own surveys demonstrating remarkable health and wellness effects of Falun Gong in the late 1990s, the reputation of the practice suffered a devastating blow in 1999, when then Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin waged a brutal campaign against Falun Gong in an effort to eradicate it from the country.
To justify the torture and imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners, the discipline was labeled a cult, and the regime spent years disseminating anti-Falun Gong propaganda designed to demonize the practice.
Though these ideas were discredited years ago, Trey expects that one likely outcome of her research is that a more complete picture of the Falun Gong phenomenon will emerge.
“Falun Gong is beneficial for overall health and wellness improvement, as the findings from the Australian survey have indicated, and it is good as a lifestyle and spiritual cultivation,” Trey said. “Also, as a counselor I find that sharing this with clients brings them something they can appreciate and take away.”


WATCH Health Recovery Miracle from Cancer (With English Subtitles)


澳洲出新书 探究法轮功健身奇效背后奥秘

【大纪元2016年07月17日讯】(大纪元记者Conan Milner报导,张小清编译综合)几千年前,人类就在打坐冥想,而直至最近,科学研究才开始探寻其背后的奥秘。在康复方法要经临床验证的年代里,研究人员正在评估古老静修方法的健身功效是否真的名不虚传。
新近出版的图书《法轮功的正念实践:引向健康和更高层次的静修》(The Mindful Practice of Falun Gong: Meditation for Health, Wellness, and Beyond,暂译)则力求从科学角度探究传统佛家修炼大法的健身功效。与瑜伽相比,对法轮功的科学评估仍处于起步阶段。但该书作者玛格丽特‧特雷(Margaret Trey)博士指出,目前掌握的数据已显示出法轮功具有强大的祛病健身潜力。

健康顾问兼作家玛格丽特‧特雷博士自2001年以来一直研究法轮功。(Daniel Ulrich)







以上的调查也发现,法轮功学员节省了大笔医疗费用——医保支出约计7,000万元人民币。一位中共官员曾告诉“美国新闻与世界报导”(U.S. News and World Report),当时社会上广传的各种气功,包括法轮功在内,每年能为国家节约1,000亿元人民币。


此项研究萃集法轮功学员的超常案例,特雷根据获得的启示将其命名为“心灵提升”(Hearts Uplifted)。所有案例都直接来自法轮功学员的生活故事,许多都超越了一般人的坚忍程度,凸显了修炼者生命中的重大转折点。


2003年秋,画家芭芭拉‧舍费尔从7米高的工作台摔到地上,多处重伤,几个月后却比出事前还健康,她说是学炼法轮功让她神奇康复。(Photo by Oliver Trey)

“心灵提升”研究中的一个突出案例是芭芭拉舍费尔(Barbara Schaefer)。她的故事已被特雷收入她的新书。




观看: 从癌症康复的奇迹