We had the good fortune of connecting with Meryl Arnett and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Meryl, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Often, there is a mistaken notion that meditation is solely about ourselves. On the surface, it might seems that meditation is an individual practice, and its benefits and wisdoms are only relevant to the individual.

In truth, the teachings of meditation show us the symbiotic relationship between the world-at-large {the outer world} and the inner world of the individual. This relationship between inner and outer shows up in our connection to nature, to our communities, and ultimately to all beings everywhere.

Within my meditation students, I see poll workers and protestors, activists and organizers, caretakers and compassionate listeners. Meditation is a practice of continually waking up to the suffering of the world.

In many ways, meditation ultimately becomes a practice of caring for oneself so that we are healthy enough to stay actively engaged in the care of our communities. We learn that compassion is not a finite resource, and in fact, the more we cultivate compassion for ourselves, the more we have to reflect out into the world.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have spent the last 10 years as an entrepreneur. After becoming a certified yoga teacher, I left my job in PR and begin to teach private and group classes full-time. Several years later, I opened my own yoga + meditation studio, Sacred Chill {West}, with my friend & business partner, Octavia Raheem. In 2020, our studio closed amidst the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was an incredibly hard time. Yet, in the midst of this transition out of studio ownership, I entered into a partnership to c0-create a new meditation app: Shoreline.

With each iteration of my work, I got a little clearer on what I struggle with, what I am good at but do not enjoy, and what I am here on this earth to do. With the release of Shoreline earlier this year, I’ve settled into a role that feels like it checks all my boxes.

Shoreline is a partnership between Clinton Jarvis {the founder}, Gordon Hempton {an accoutic ecologist}, and myself to create an opportunity to be with nature even when you can’t be in nature. The meditations I create tend to focus on the symbiotic relationship between the inner world and the outer world; combining the sounds, archetypes and experiences of the natural world as opportunities to understand our inner experiences more deeply.

This passion for the inner/outer world connection is why I am so proud of Shoreline. For the user, Shoreline offers the opportunity to listen to guided meditations paired with stunning, unique soundscapes from the natural world. There is also the opportunity to listen to unguided soundscapes when you want to connect with nature without any guidance.

Some of my current favorite meditations on Shoreline:
The Call of the Wolf – a meditation focused on the animal wisdom of the wolf archetype paired with the sounds of the night forest in Northern Michigan and the call of a wolf pack.

Coin in the River – a classic Zen koan as offered by John Tarrant Roshi paired with the sounds of a California river bank surrounded by forest.

Drops of Moonlight – this practice is an invitation to slow down, cool off and drift towards sleep as we listen to the sounds of the Hawaiian surf reflecting the moon and gentle insect hum at night.

I have always loved creating and practicing meditation, but the addition of Gordon Hempton’s unparalleled nature recordings has given me access to experiences, I wouldn’t have had otherwise – like meditating to the actual sounds of a wolfpack howling at the moon!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow; this is a tough question after a year of staying at home because of COVID… While I didn’t eat out during the last year, I did spend a ton of time outside. Some of my favorite spots are trails within or very close to the city that I enjoy exploring –

The Big Trees Forest Preserve in Sandy Springs
Sweetwater Creek State Park for hiking and canoeing
Chattahoochee River trails – I favor the Paces Mill area
Blue Heron Nature Preserve – so fun with kids!
Heritage Park in Cobb Co.
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Take-off from L’Thai Organic Cuisine saved me during COVID, and I’ll continue to eat there forever. And, after getting vaccinated, I was most excited to brunch at Le Petit Chou and have fresh oysters at The Optimist again.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that have had a huge impact on my life and where I am in my career. In particular, I want to shout out my Teacher, Tracee Stanley for her wisdom, guidance and teaching over the years. I also want to acknowledge my long-time friend, Octavia Raheem for her love, her willingness to ask the important questions, and her unending faith in me. These two woman have played an enormous part in the work I have done and where I am today.

Website: merylarnett.com

Instagram: instagram.com/merylarnett

Other: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/shoreline-meditate-to-nature/id1493956030

Image Credits
Photos by LeeAnn Chisolm Morrissette & Stacy Wills

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.