While this practice dates back 2,500 years, I discovered mindfulness practice initially through the present-day “secular” door. Now, I walk a profound spiritual path as a committed practitioner of Vipassana Buddhist Meditation, and have found true community at Insight LA under the guidance of Trudy Goodman. Previously, I had explored Zen and Tibetan Buddhist practice, but could not quite connect due to the cultural and religious contexts involved. However, over ten years ago, as an LCSW studying with Dan Siegel, PhD., I became aware of mindfulness meditation and developments in related neuroscience. This led to direct instruction at MARC/UCLA with Diana Winston, and next towards MBSR certification at the Center for Mindfulness/UMASS Medical Center, under the guidance of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Bob Stahl and Christiane Wolf. Currently, along with work and practice at Insight LA, I am in the Dedicated Practitioner’s Program through Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Presently, I teach MBSR, Basics of Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation for Parents classes through Insight LA. Also, I provide mindfulness training in-services for school teachers. Outside of Insight LA, I teach on-going weekly mindfulness groups for people touched by cancer at the SIMMS/MANN Center for Integrative Oncology/UCLA and The Benjamin Center Cancer Support Community.
On a more personal note, mindfulness practice has helped me to address maladaptive patterns of perfectionism and achievement, which only left me feeling constantly stressed, restless, unworthy and anxious. When I stopped working for the first time in my life to care for my then two young children, I experienced a crisis. I realized I could not just “be”. I possessed everything Western culture equates with “happiness”, yet I felt strangely unsatisfied deep down. In addition, I have always struggled to accept the truth of death/impermanence. Until I found this path, I was burdened with a pervasive undercurrent of existential anxiety, which caused chronic gastrointestinal issues. Thankfully, through this practice, I have found great healing, refuge, peace and true happiness. Currently, I live with my husband, two children, two dogs and two chickens in the Hollywood Hills.