About MeMy name is Giovanni Dienstmann, I’m the creator and the writer here. I have been actively seeking personal growth and a deeper meaning in life since I was a teenager (I’m now on my mid 30’s). In this process, I have practiced meditation daily (for the past 17+ years, totaling over 8,000 hours at this point), read hundreds of books, tried several different practices, spent time on retreats with masters and instructors around the world, and nearly became a monk a couple of times.

Throughout my life, I have invested a lot of energy, study and experimentation on optimizing my mental and emotional states – and overcoming all limitations, especially those imposed by fear, attachment and ignorance, has been an area of focus for me.

All this practice, learning and training has radically transformed my mind and view of the world. As a result, I now live a fearless, peaceful, and fulfilling life.

I’m not a guru or a spiritual master – but a practitioner on the way, sharing the powerful tools and insights that have helped me thus far. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned (and still learn), to empower people to grow, live well, be happy and free. This site is here to serve both your personal improvement and personal transcendence (depending on your needs and interests).

My work is to translate and “update” the tools and teachings of world-wide wisdom traditions so that they are easily digestible for the 21st-century person. In this process, I also seek to integrate lessons from modern science and psychology.

The results of my work are in the form of:

Contact me if you want to run a meditation program in your school, college, company, or health center.

Fun facts about me:

  • I only check Facebook on Fridays
  • Apart from meditation, I’ve had a series of obsessions in my live: Kung Fu, magic tricks, chess, Japanese language
  • Every day in my life starts exactly the same: early rising, half a cup of water, 40 minutes of yoga, cold shower, and 2 hours of meditation
  • It takes more time to select the images for my posts than to write them 😉

Meditation-Australia-Registered-Teacher-300Academically-wise, I have a bachelor degree in Law and Sociology, a post-grad in IT, and this year I’m soon starting a Masters of Science in the Psychology of Coaching. Finally, I’m a registered meditation teacher under the Meditation Association of Australia, categories of “Personal Development Meditation” and “Spiritual Meditation”.

I’m passionate about helping people develop greater self-awareness and mastery over their mind and life. This is the motivation behind this blog.

[If you are from a traditional spiritual background, you might be asking yourself some questions about my work. So, here are the masters that influenced my journey, and here are my thoughts on meditation and charging. Having said that, apart from my posts under the “spirituality” menu, all my work here is secular by nature.]




Philosophy:Master your mind, master your life! 

Mission: To bring meditation and personal growth to a million humans.

LiveAndDare.com is a site for mature people who feel they want to get more out of life. Whether this takes the form of an interest to explore your own mind, have more well-being, grow as a person, or advance in your spiritual journey, this site is here to support you.

It has a non-sectarian approach to meditation and spirituality, and a non-BS approach to personal growth. Basically, I write about three things:

  • Meditation. My approach is eclectic pragmatic, and open. Whether you are interested in meditation simply to improve your physical and mental health, or for personal development, or for spiritual transcendence, I feel these posts will speak to you.
  • Personal growth. A non-BS, down to earth approach to personal development. It is not really about empty hype or dumb self-help, but practical psychological tools to hack your mind. I share insights on how to deal with challenging emotions, develop inner qualities, and build a foundation for a more fulfilling life. What I write is inspired both by learnings from wisdom traditions and modern psychology, as well as personal experiments and observation.
  • Spirituality. My approach to spirituality is also non-sectarian and pragmatic. I’m not trying to make you believe anything nor convert you to a specific religion. I’ve been exposed to several teachings and practices, and my posts on this topic represent my effort to put it all together in a way that people from different backgrounds and levels of interest can relate to. Sometimes these posts are more “basic” and introductory, at others are more hardcore, for people focused on enlightenment. To make the ancient wisdom accessible and simple, without dumbing it down, is my goal. As a matter of principle, I keep all content I produce around this topic freely available.

To bring meditation and personal growth to a million humans.

LiveAndDare is a place to learn and share all this amazing wisdom that enables us to live to our greatest potential – from the life lessons of ancient traditions to the modern science of positive psychology, neuroscience, and other systems. Some of these articles have so far been translated into French, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Romanian, Italian, and Portuguese.

This website is considerably costly to run (due to the large traffic and email list), yet there are no ads. I support my work via the online courses on meditation and personal growth (such as the Master Your Mind meditation course). The more I can support myself through this blog, the more time and energy I can dedicate to deepen my own personal practice, and continue to serve. And a part of this income always goes back to respectable teachers and monks, via retreats that I participate, books I buy, and one-on-one mentoring sessions.

I must disclose that I also earn an affiliate commission on some third party purchases made through the links to apps, books and some other products that I recommend – and for that I give you my heartfelt thank you. I only promote things that I believe in and am convinced will be beneficial to my audience.

The community grew quickly from the beginning (and is now one of the top meditation blogs). To see some stats and testimonials for its first year of existence, click here.

Most designs and infographics on the posts on this site are from Sepi Tajima, my wife, who has also contributed with ideas for posts and fully supports this project.

Please follow on social media and subscribe to this blog to receive exclusive content and resources. Or you can contact me here.

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Before you leave, would you mind taking a minute to tell me what you like to read about?

Share your thoughts here, so I know where to focus for future blogs and courses.

Welcome to the tribe!

  • Lauren Sampson

    Amazing content. Your research, knowledge and integration of the material is wonderful. Thank you so much for all of your efforts, your site is very helpful.

  • Matt Lubien-Vidal

    Greeting Giovanni, i am impressed with your art work and writings, i am a clairvoyant medium, reiki master teacher, Law of attract teacher and spiritual author with my second book to be published shortly. i am interested in using you art work within my books is that possible

    • Some of the images I got from the web and stock images sites. Other’s were designed by my wife. If you want to hire her work, contact her at http://sepitajima.com/

  • Arthur Hutchinson

    I’ve been on your site for only a few minutes and I already love it. Thanks for not bombarding me with pop ups. Looking forward to exploring your site! Thanks advance?

  • Kishor Mutkule

    I am strongly influenced by your High
    Mission: To bring meditation and personal growth to a million humans.
    Thanks for it.!

  • Ellen

    I am impressed that you make the results of your study and research freely available…for me, this indicates that you are coming from the “right” place, your heart.
    I have found your writings on Advaita very helpful. My challenge in this area is learning how to work with the suffering that pervades life for all beings. This is very painful for me and I have yet not been able to accept it despite any intellectual understandings I have gleaned from my study of Buddhist and Advaita texts.
    If you could address this issues, I would be most grateful.

    • Thank you for writing, Ellen!

      Suffering is indeed an intricate part of existence – hence why people seek spirituality and enlightenment.

      But don’t forget that it is the One, the same Consciousness, that is the sufferer and enjoyer of all experiences, behind the hearts of all beings. On the relative level of reality there is suffering, and ways to overcome it; on the absolute side of things, there is only the pure Awareness expressing itself as this universe and all beings.

  • selvakumar

    Dear Giovanni

    I am really inspired by your wonderful work in this website …….your honest intention ,love and compassion towards your brothers and sisters all around the world ….your sincere effort to help them in their personal and spiritual growth……..I am so happy to see people like you……..Hats off my dear!!!!

  • Arnishaa Ellsa

    Hi I came across your blog today. Truly like your introduction about yourself, lots of genuinity and sincerity presented. Transparent. I was looking for a meditation and benefits website and I came across yours. My roots are from the Hindu background and I chose the Christianity as my Faith. So being in this faith, especially the new age or charismatic Christianity always criticises meditation. However deep down I felt meditation is not about religion per say. It’s a universal language that applies to the wellbeing of the heart and mind. Sidetracking something good in the name of religion was a bit disturbing.

    Hence your blog seem the right place for all seekers. Tq

  • Courtney

    Hi Giovanni,
    The school district where I work has “Mindfulness” as a district goal. I came across your “Benefits of Meditation” article and I plan to use it with my students. 🙂 I have integrated meditation and reflection into my 6th-grade classes, and the students love it! It increases their creativity and writing abilities, as well as keeps them focused and inquisitive. Thank you so much for providing that infographic/poster, all the benefits, and the research to go with it!

    • I’m glad to hear my work will help you in teaching mindfulness to kids.
      You may also enjoy my weekly newsletters, for the “reflection” part.

  • ruzickaw

    Giovanni, I thank you for bringing together the different meditation techniques and Walking meditations. That is the reason why y subscribed.
    But then a saw your introductory video about meditation. And i must tell you, i was quite disappointed how you speak. After 7000 hours of meditation one should speak differently. First, one talks less and instead of so many words one gives the feeling of meditation. The few words come from deep down. One speaks slowly and with pauses.
    You speak too fast and you don’t have much body consciousness. Too many unnecessary movements of head and hands. So, after seeing you in that video i would not take any meditation course with you. Maybe after you accomplished 10000 hours of meditation. Anyway, thanks for the recopilation of the above mentioned material.

    • Hi Ruzickaw,

      Both in my articles and in my videos I am being authentically myself. I am an energetic person. So both what you read in the 7,000 hours post and what you see in the video are true to my experience – although I understand it might not meet your tastes and expectations. We all have different needs.

      Some people have the expectation that a meditation teacher should talk very slow, very little, or in a low and passive tone of voice. Many teachers indeed are like that, especially in the Buddhist tradition – but other’s aren’t. From my point of view this depends more on one’s personality and type of energy rather than anything else.

      Having said that, it’s natural that some people will connect more with one type of expression than the other. For some, the very thought that meditation will make them meek, silent, introverted and passive, is what prevents them from engaging in the practice.

      But it was good having your feedback. Thank you for writing.

  • Jay Palnitkar

    love you brother