Chris is one of my oldest MBSR students. He epitomizes living the practice of mindfulness and takes a serious, and also light-hearted, humorous approach with himself and his students. He’s one of the kindest people I know. He recently completed Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield’s meditation teacher training and is starting his own business: Do You Mind? Mindfulness Meditation. Learn more about Chris’ path:
What first drew you to mindfulness?
I first just tried meditating by myself for shorts periods, maybe 10-15 minutes. I was intrigued by it and also was looking to figure out what I’m supposed to be ‘doing’. I had a friend who had taken some mindfulness training, so I had it explained to me.
What brought you to take Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?
I was looking for some structure for my practice which was very much at the beginning stages. Yes, just pay attention…but how?
Why do you continue to practice mindfulness meditation?
Let’s just say I took to it. The practice, that is. I discovered there are much more wholesome ways to be with my experiences. There are ways other than worry, stress, regret, blame, and fear. I can meet my moments with kindness, compassion and without judgement. Wow, this was revolutionary to me! Finding this, and experiencing the benefits of meeting life in this way, even a little, was enough for me to keep up the practice.
How did MBSR help you grow?
The training is top notch. I learned how to tune into my body…my whole body…and my mind. What to do, how to pay attention, and how to meet my experience. It wouldn’t have worked for me if Allison did not provide the most welcomed container and kind hearted teaching. This is a huge part of what allowed me the safety to undertake these practices.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
It wasn’t long after taking Allison’s MBSR class that I really thought about becoming a teacher. Mindfulness meditation is the most beneficial practice I have ever come across as far as my own mental wellness and I had been searching for a long time. I thought what could possibly be better for me than to learn as much as I can about this and share it with others.
How has this practice changed the way you live or your outlook on life?
The way I live my life has shifted greatly. I am dedicated to meeting all of my experiences head on. The difficult ones and the wonderful ones. I want to be present for all of them. My habit was to avoid difficulty, isolate my emotions, and stay hidden for safety. That is a recipe for an unfulfilling life, I found out. The number of kindhearted sincere people I’ve met on this journey is unbelievable. I have found the true value of sincerity, authenticity and vulnerability. Yea, that guy didn’t used to exist.
Chris is currently offering online meditation every Wednesday evening from 6:00-6:45 p.m. MST / 7:00-7:45 p.m. CST, which is through Web of Connection, a local group in Manitou Springs, Colorado. All are welcome. For more information or Zoom link about this meeting, future offerings, and to get on Chris’ email list for a weekly reminder, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More classes, meditation times, and website are coming soon through his own business – Do you mind? Mindfulness Meditation.