I want to thank you for exploring my blog and my website. I know there are lots of choices of what to read online. I’m excited you found your way to my site.
I am using a sunflower metaphor to help remind me of why meditation practices are so important in my life. I’ve struggled over the years with being bored by meditation and weaving in other practices that enlivened me and brought me wisdom. I’m using this blog to share discoveries and ideas about life and meditation and perhaps insights about both.
I’ll start with how the sunflower emerged.
In January of 2014 I was sleeping in a hotel room in Los Angeles and feeling pretty discouraged. After nearly 25 years of meditation practice, I had decided to try my hand at tteaching. I enrolled in a training program at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and I loved my program and my teachers, Diana Winston and Marv Belzer. But I had a nagging awareness that the contemplative practices that had really sustained me through the highs and lows of the last 25 years went BEYOND mindfulness meditation. And I was struggling with questions about how to honor the truth of my personal experience with broad contemplative practices and dream work while embracing the richness of my UCLA training program that focused centrally on mindfulness meditation.
I fell into a restless sleep and woke to an evocative and memorable dream. This dream offered a guiding framework for me that could weave together an approach to mindfulness practice that would honor the mindfulness meditation training I was receiving at UCLA yet also meaningfully integrate awareness practices that went beyond basic ‘mindfulness’ and involved the arts and dream and the unconscious. My dreamed framework was exemplified by a sunflower (I’ve explained it in the sidebar on this page). This three-fold framework guides my teaching, my writing, and my own practice.
I’m learning and growing and discovering. A voice in process. A heart unfolding. I am excited to share this journey with others, like yourself. I hope we can all find the openness of the Sunflower.