My journey with Meditation began in 1989. A daily solitary practice, reading a passage and silent reflection. Most often I enjoyed doing this practice at the beach and in nature. Fast forward to 2002, when I was introduced to insight meditation through a friend who was exploring for himself. I attempted to "meditate". With no direction or teacher, it was extremely difficult. I did not know what I was supposed to be doing.
I finally found a simple book by Stephen Levine, A Gradual Awakening. I used this book for a few years. My only group experience was lacking, as only three people came that night.
Fast forward again, to 2004, where I found a book by Stephen's son-Noah Levine, Dharma Punx. I couldn't put it down. Luckily, he had recently moved to LA. I went to his class and he became my teacher and mentor. His style, generosity,compassion and kindness was one I wanted to emulate. I sat with him every chance I got. I found for the first time, a freedom from my mind's bullying. I went to my first weekend retreat-not knowing it was a silent retreat. This experience changed my life. I wanted to follow in his footsteps, to teach, to become a counselor. The joy I felt from the inside out was completely healing and overwhelming.
This was the beginning...However, life was still life. With challenges and feelings; loss, sadness, pain, disappointment, fear, bouts of depression and happiness.
I continued with my studies and training with Noah and went to graduate school. I became an empowered meditation instructor and started a group in Boulder, CO and later took over a shoot-off in Denver, CO. I am happy to say this little seed grew into four groups in the Denver area. We built a strong connection with a Buddhist Nun, named Amma Thanasanti, after a few of us from my group attended a daylong retreat with her. She had just left her monastic community and returned as a solitary monastic to the States. The community in Denver and larger community supports each other in ways I never could have imagined.