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So Much Space

As you slow down and turn in… Suddenly there is so much space. Breath where none was to be found. You are already held by something vast.

~ Matt Licata

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All You Need is Within

Listen to the wisdom of this moment, the Truth of your own heart.
Feel what you feel and rest in being completely as you are.
All you need is already and always within.

~ Marissa Knox

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Community Spotlight: Sumina Bhatti

Where do you live?

Austin, TX

How did you come to meditation?

I started meditation in 2015 through Kelly Lindsey’s weekly offering, and loved her very approachable, and gentle style of teaching.

What inspires you to meditate?

Peace of mind, overall wellness, and ability to be more empathetic with people in my life.

What does your meditation practice look like?

I try (try being the operative word!) to have a daily practice of 20-30 minutes, however, for the first 3 years, I really only had a practice once a week or so, sitting with the class. Even with once-a-week attendance, I found there to be enough benefit to continue going to classes.

Do you have any rituals or routines that support your practice?

I have a meditation area in one of my rooms, and a small shelf with some candles and incense with my meditation cushion. I feel having a dedicated area helps to give me a ‘space’ to sit and practice that feels special.

How is your life different because of meditation?

So many ways! I find that I am calmer overall, a better driver, eat more mindfully (and have lost some weight…. nice side effect!), am able to connect with people on a deeper level as well.

What are the biggest challenges you have encountered in your practice?

Keeping consistency. Life gets in the way a lot and my practice becomes inconsistent. Also, having a busy and active mind. Often, when I am sitting on the cushion, my mind feels wild and untamed. However, I stay with it as well as I am able to.

What advice would you share with someone who is just starting a meditation practice?

Just start! Focus on a few minutes a day. There are wonderful apps and online opportunities, so there’s no excuse!

What does your heart most long for?

For each of us to be connected to our truth.

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The Center of Our Being

May we all grow in grace and peace, and not neglect the silence that is printed in the center of our being. It will not fail us.

~ Thomas Merton

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Community Spotlight: Lauren Hubele

 

Where do you live?

San Marcos, Texas

How did you come to meditation?

I came to meditation when it was prescribed to me by my primary care doctor. I had a recurrence of melanoma cancer which is the disease that took my mother’s life when she was only 25. Facing it a second time was a huge shock after I thought I had taken important preventative steps and made significant life changes. Apparently, there was still room for me to grow and change. While it took several years for me to cultivate a committed practice that first suggestion by a very evolved practitioner changed my life.

What inspires you to meditate?

The answer to that question changes over time. Right now what motivates me is what seems to be occurring off the cushion. The self-awareness I have gained is both remarkable and humbling. I now can catch myself repeating a behavior I thought I moved beyond- but the fact that I catch myself and can stop it is amazing. I also find that I am much more able to show up, connect, and reap the benefits of experiences I never could take in before. This is not only a gift to myself but to my children and my husband.

What does your meditation practice look like?

Two years ago I committed to practicing first thing each morning and I’ve kept to that schedule wherever I am. At home in San Marcos, we have a screened in porch off the kitchen and I love to sit just before dawn as the birds begin their day. I set up my mat and Dakini Meditative meditation cushion each night before bed so there is nothing to break the flow. I have a dream of a walking meditation path in my back garden- perhaps I can create one this fall.

Do you have any rituals or routines that support your practice?

Same time, same place, unless I am traveling. I am a creature of habit.

What are the biggest challenges you have encountered in your practice?

This year I had some close encounters with my shadow self. I found it extremely uncomfortable to sit with the parts of myself that I wasn’t particularly proud of. On days it was just too much to bear I would read. Thich Nhat Hahn’s book on Fear brought me great comfort.

What advice would you share with someone who is just starting a meditation practice?

Having a community, a Sangha, to practice with weekly, is always helpful but even more so when you are just beginning. If you can not locate a community near you I would suggest joining one online like Karuna’s Mind Oasis or Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project. Both offer rich and rewarding classes as well as opportunities to sit together.

What does your heart most long for?

Building a community here in San Marcos, my new hometown. While I love the versatility of meeting online I do spend most of my day on the computer and would love to connect with individuals where I live.

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Simplicity, Patience, Compassion

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.

― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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