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Second Life Spotlight - Maya Takeda

Linden Lab


Today we’re shining a spotlight on Maya Takeda, a mentor and voice-guided meditation leader in Second Life. Her work at the Mindful Cove  offers a haven for relaxation and community connection.

Second Life Spotlight - Maya Takeda.jpg

How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I joined Second Life in 2011. I've immersed myself in the vibrant world of Second Life, a journey that began when a fellow user in another 3D chat platform introduced me to its wonders. Intrigued, I delved deeper into what Second Life had to offer, marveling at its advanced features and the freedom to create personalized content like skins and clothing. What truly captivated me was the ability to communicate via voice chat, a groundbreaking aspect of virtual interaction.

In the same year, while pursuing a foundation course in clinical hypnosis with the London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) Asia in the real world, I discovered an opportunity to merge my passion for relaxation techniques with the immersive environment of Second Life. As I honed my skills, focusing particularly on relaxation methods and steering clear of trauma-related sessions, I realized the potential of Second Life as a platform for offering guided meditation and hypnotherapy in real-time voice sessions. 

However, my journey also led me to explore the adult side of Second Life hypnosis, driven by curiosity and suggestions from acquaintances. Though briefly intrigued by this unconventional approach, I soon realized it wasn't aligned with my intentions of sharing genuine experiences, knowledge, and skills with the community. It's essential to dispel misconceptions about hypnosis, emphasizing its role in mental and emotional well-being rather than mere adult entertainment in Second Life. Through my work, I aim to provide meaningful support to Second Life residents, highlighting the therapeutic benefits of hypnotherapy and meditation beyond the stereotypes portrayed in mainstream media.

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How do you think a virtual environment enhances the meditation experience compared to traditional, physical settings? Do you feel it affects the sense of community and connection among participants differently?
There are a lot of advantages to having a session in a virtual environment. Participants are nestled in their own cozy havens, whether it's their serene bedroom or a favorite spot, enveloped in familiar comfort. There's no dress code – they can simply wear what feels right in the moment. Many seek anonymity, finding solace in using avatars to represent themselves. With no forms to complete or IDs to verify, joining a session is effortless. All it takes is logging into Second Life with a reliable headset and computer, connecting with participants from all corners of the globe in a shared journey of relaxation. 

My experience during the challenges of COVID-19, Second Life became a sanctuary, uniting residents in group sessions without worry. I was requested to do a lot of voice-meditation sessions tailored to various communities in Second Life, offering a calming respite to their members during uncertain times. Yet, as with any endeavor, there are occasional setbacks. Weather, tech glitches, or real-life obligations sometimes disrupt planned sessions. It's disheartening when I can't fulfill commitments, and I'm grateful for the understanding of the Mindful Cove Committee, particularly my dear friend EllaPavlona, who occasionally had to step in to cancel sessions at the last minute. Though frustrating, it's a reminder to embrace flexibility and compassion on our collective journey toward peace and relaxation.


You are a mentor at Mindful Cove, the Welcome Hub, as well as the Belli Hub, so you play a significant role in supporting new Residents. What do you find most rewarding about mentoring, and could you share a memorable experience where you felt you made a difference in someone's Second Life experience?
In my experience as a mentor, I've had the privilege of serving in three distinct roles: Mindful Cove mentor, Second Life mentor, and Bellihub Mentor. Each position comes with its own set of responsibilities. 

As a Mindful Cove mentor, my primary duty is to lead voice-guided meditation sessions for members of Mindful Cove and all residents of Second Life. 

As a Second Life mentor stationed at the Welcome Hub, my focus is on helping new residents navigate the Second Life viewer, understand their avatars, and get started in this virtual world. 

Finally, as a Bellihub Mentor, I assist residents with questions related to Linden Homes. 

Despite the differences in these roles, they often intersect and complement each other. For instance, I've formed friendships with new residents at the Welcome Hub who have also attended my meditation sessions in Mindful Cove. Engaging with individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and geographic locations has provided me with valuable insights into effective resident management. Being a mentor goes beyond just being sociable; it requires patience and kindness. 

One memorable experience stands out: I encountered a new resident who was struggling with her avatar and on the verge of giving up. Through a private voice chat, I guided her through avatar customization and familiarized her with the viewer interface. Witnessing her joy and gratitude upon achieving success was incredibly rewarding and reaffirmed the importance of mentorship. I believe my fellow mentors share this sentiment, finding fulfillment in assisting residents on their journey in Second Life.


Could you give us a deeper look into the variety of experiences and resources available at Mindful Cove for Residents seeking mental well-being and support? How does Mindful Cove facilitate a supportive community for individuals exploring mindfulness and meditation?
Mindful Cove is a serene oasis within Second Life, dedicated to promoting mental health and well-being as outlined in its land covenant. Open to all residents, this Community Gateway offers a range of facilities to nurture the mind and spirit. From cozy cafes to inviting lounges, residents can engage in text or voice chats, fostering connections and support. Central to Mindful Cove's offerings is its library, stocked with resources on relationships, mindfulness, meditation, grief, and loss, including audio clips for easy access. 

My signature Chill Session With Maya Takeda invites participants to unwind and find inner peace through guided meditation. But the offerings don't stop there. Mindful Cove hosts live performances by talented musicians like Rulie Cisse and lively music sessions with DJ Kain. Personally, I find the art galleries and exhibitions held here particularly captivating, adding a touch of creativity and inspiration to the tranquil setting. 

Speaking of which, the region itself is a masterpiece of calming tranquility, thanks to the meticulous landscaping by EllaPavlona. It's a place where you can easily lose track of time, immersing yourself in the soothing ambiance. For those curious to learn more about Mindful Cove, Coughran Mayo and EllaPavlona are the go-to contacts for further information.

You also manage two different YouTube channels, could you share the inspiration behind each channel and the type of content viewers can expect? Additionally, how do you integrate your Second Life experiences into your video content, and what do you hope your viewers gain from your channels?
Initially, my YouTube channel called Maya Takeda SL was a space where I shared random adventures in Second Life, but gradually, I began to focus on showcasing Asian heritage and cultures. You'll find me delving into traditional attire, often crafting my own mesh clothing to capture that authentic essence. As the channel evolved, I started creating my own sounds, humming, lullabies, and voice-overs to steer clear of copyright issues. 

Then came my second YouTube venture, Peaceful Mind, where I curated a collection of voice-guided meditation and hypnotherapy sessions from my experiences in Second Life. Notable highlights include my workshops on Hypnotherapy in Second Life at SLB19 and leading voice-guided meditation sessions at SLB20. While these videos serve as personal keepsakes for my memory bank, I also hope they offer viewers a glimpse into my Asian heritage on Maya Takeda's channel and provide some much-needed relaxation through the Peaceful Mind channel.

Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL who inspire you and whose work you admire.
One of the Second Life residents who truly inspires me is my dear friend, Karthikeyan Engineer, the brilliant mind behind MADRAS. His sheer creativity and intelligence in crafting mesh products never fail to astound me. What truly sets him apart is his selflessness; he's always willing to share his tips and expertise with budding creators in the Second Life community. Karthikeyan's generosity and willingness to assist newcomers not only enrich the creative landscape of Second Life but also foster a sense of camaraderie and support among creators. His actions exemplify the spirit of giving back, ultimately contributing to a more vibrant and inclusive virtual world.


Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.
To join my voice-guided meditation, you can join the Mindful Cove`s Group using these links:
Meditation And Hypnotherapy - secondlife:///app/group/3e511271-a6a6-4752-ed5b-70f6240e854e/about
Mindful Cove - secondlife:///app/group/344bb28d-2739-2987-c8e7-dddaa5c28d14/about  

Check out my YouTube channels:
Maya Takeda SL: https://www.youtube.com/@mayatakeda 
Peaceful Dream: https://www.youtube.com/@peacefulsdream 

Watch this beautiful video produced and submitted by Maya for this Spotlight interview

Thank you, Maya, for your invaluable contributions to mindfulness, mentorship, and cultural enrichment in Second Life, making it a more connected and serene community for all.

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup 

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