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.
Header photo: Brook Pifer/Stone/Getty Images