Practice Kindness In Meditation

3 min Article Meditation & Mindfulness
Human beings are capable of limitless kindness, if only they can tap into it.
Practice Kindness In Meditation

Once a high-powered banker, Emma Slade is now a Buddhist nun who founded Opening Your Heart to Bhutan, which brings children with special needs joy and the opportunity to build meaningful lives.

Here, she talks about finding inspirational teachers, taking a practical approach to her practice, and what people misunderstand about meditation.

Q: How did you first discover meditation?

A: From a young age, I found myself fascinated by images of the Buddha sitting peacefully in meditation, along with the question of what meditation is.

I was lucky enough to encounter inspirational teachers in the West and the East, and they continue to help me learn and explore the practice.

Q: What’s your top tip for a beginning meditator?

A: Cultivate kindness in your mind toward whatever is going on and be gentle with yourself as you learn a new skill.

Q: What are your favorite topics to focus on in your classes?

A: Whatever topic I am focusing on, my role as a guide and teacher is to listen to the needs of students and skillfully support them. In all my teaching, there will be an emphasis on the practical and the compassionate.

Q: What are some common misunderstandings about meditation?

A:From a yogic and a Buddhist perspective, meditation is a formal practice of knowing the mind and deliberately cultivating states of mind that lead to happiness. This can be done in many ways, formally and informally.

The purpose of meditation is to bring to the surface the limitless kindness and wisdom a human is capable of, not turn off all thought as if we have prematurely died.

Q: Other than meditation, what daily tools do you use to feel your best?

A: I believe in a life built on simplicity and caring for others. With these two qualities, everything else comes easily.

Expand your capacity for kindness, through this course Awaken a Compassionate Mind by meditation teacher Yeshe Rabgye

Header photo: Brook Pifer/Stone/Getty Images

About the Teacher

Emma Slade

Emma Slade

A business trip to Jakarta changed the course of Emma Slade’s life. The chartered financial analyst was working in fund management when she was held hostage at gunpoint. She resigned from her financial career and began exploring yoga, meditation, and methods of wellbeing with the ultimate aim of turning a traumatic episode into wisdom and conditions for thriving. “A deep passion of mine is to understand things and people as they are and how they became to be,” she says. “I love to do work that is meaningful and helps others; nothing brings greater peace within.” On Emma’s first visit to Bhutan in 2011, her interest in Buddhism as a science of the mind strengthened after meeting a Buddhist lama. Eventually, that led to her becoming the first and only Western woman to be ordained in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan as a Buddhist nun. She was named Ani Pema Deki, which means “blissful lotus” — a title she is doing her best to live up to. She’s been leading yoga workshops and retreats since 2003, and in her role as a coach, she supports clients in areas including mental resilience, defining purpose, and leading with integrity. Emma is the author of “Set Free,” which details her inspirational story.
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