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.