Where you live?
How did you come to meditation?
During high school and college, I was a member of Sodality, a group dedicated to Mary in the Catholic Church. Meditation was a regular part of our practice.
What inspires you to meditate?
I have always been drawn to that “still small voice within”.
What does your meditation practice look like?
Most days I do 20 minutes of shamatha meditation using the insight timer. Then switch to loving kindness meditation for the people on my list. Finally, depending on time and need I might move into tonglen.
Do you have any rituals or routines that support your practice?
I try to sit in the morning just after I have gotten dressed. I sit In front of my altar. When I am finished I often read whatever book I am studying.
How is your life different because of meditation?
I think I am calmer, more grounded, and more present in my life. I have less need to control how things should be and I am more prepared to observe and accept what comes along. I admire the moral teachings of Buddhism and think I am more connected to others.
What are the biggest challenges you have encountered in your practice?
Obviously the biggest one is consistency. If I slip out of practice for a couple of days because my routine changes I can miss meditation for days while barely noticing. I am shocked and wonder how could I let slide something that is so important to me. Sometimes I will go through periods of distracted ness or strong feeling that make it hard to stay focused and not just run stories in my head.
What advice would you share with someone who is just starting a meditation practice?
Just do it. Sit no matter how you feel. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Connect with a group. The love and support of a community is huge! Stick with Kelly. She is an amazing teacher!
What does your heart most long for?
To belong to a community of people who are making a difference in the world.