Your Vocation and/or Hobbies: Attorney representing employees in civil rights and wage disputes. I like to hike, snowboard, run, cycle, and be with my wife and dog. I also like to volunteer by teaching meditation.
Years Meditation: 15
How has meditation been of benefit to you? Meditation has primarily benefited me by supporting me to become friendly with myself. Before meditation I was extremely harsh, judgmental, and unkind to myself. This also was reflected in my perceptions of others. Meditation supported my self-awareness to such an extent that I could see how I was unnecessarily beating myself up, and consequently I have become more kind, relaxed, and less stressed. I am also much more relaxed around others. I have learned to better understand the nature of my own mind, which is wonderfully life altering.
How has Seattle Shambhala been of benefit to you? Seattle Shambhala has benefited me by providing a safe and friendly “home base” to explore who I am. This is not always pretty as I have had to face my fears, negative habits, and aspects of my behavior I would rather not address. However, the teachings and teachers at Shambhala have provided a safe space to explore those difficult issues and learn from them. I have also gained friends – and even met my future wife at the Seattle Shambhala center. Meeting her and sharing my life with her has to be the single greatest gift I have ever enjoyed.
What’s your favorite activity, open house night, holiday or other center program? and why? I honestly don’t know how to answer this. I love open house nights when I connect with the speaker, which generally happens. I enjoy holidays because I get to share time with friends I may not have seen in awhile. I love most programs, because I get to connect with profound teachings that I can put into practice. I also like just being in the community room, getting to know people better.
What was your first experience at Shambhala like? My first experience at Shambhala was somewhat terrifying, while also ironically experiencing the most spacious, kind meditation instruction. I was terrified because I was suffering from a depression at the time and I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone by simply going to the Seattle Shambhala center. The meditation instructor was amazing in how he paused and deliberated with his choice of almost every single word. He modeled being present, spacious, and kind – and I immediately recognized how precious the practice could be based on his very presence.