How long have you been coming to MOI events?
A little over 3 years
How did you get interested in meditation practice?
I was introduced to meditation about 15 years ago when my parents began contemplative practice. In the fall of 2018, I attended an MOI event at the Kaneko in Omaha. I had some questions about meditation in regard to its effects on PTSD symptoms. Johnathan took a few minutes to talk with me after the event was over. Through this connection with MOI, I eventually began my Vipassana practice.
Share a memory or feeling you have about MOI.
During a personal low point at the beginning of the COVID pandemic I attended an MOI Tuesday night Zoom class. Afterward, three of the teachers stayed on late to chat with me. They listened to some of my struggles and offered encouragement, kind words and non-judgmental support. I’ve never had someone I barely know do that for me. I still smile when I think of it!
What does your meditation practice look like?
Just me, my cushion and all my conditioning bubbling to the surface. But seriously, it’s a beautiful disaster of imperfection and the radical acceptance of myself.
Share a favorite quote, mantra, intention or saying that is currently guiding you in practice.
Just for today. I will not worry, I will be kind, I will not anger, I will be grateful, I will live with honesty and integrity. Just for today.
What is your definition of sangha?
A support system of like-minded people brought together by a shared desire to end suffering.
What are you currently working with in your practice?
Currently keeping the khandhas in awareness, remembering that I am not them
What has mindfulness and/or mediation helped you with?
My ability to focus on what’s in front of me, stay in the moment and let go of some of the expectations I put on people and situations. Acceptance and love for myself is a big one, too.
Tell us about one success story you have had on your dharma journey.
My first retreat. I had physical pain, self doubt and mental anguish so intense I almost left. And then it softened and some of the hard shell protecting my heart and soul began to melt away. Such freedom!
Finally, what are some of your other interests outside of the dharma?
My family, friends and clients. True-crime and houseplants. Collecting rocks and fossils and crystals (before it was trendy!). Learning new things! Baking and cooking, recently a lot of new soup recipes.
Thank you, Erika! We are so happy you are a part of MOI’s sangha!