How long have you been coming to MOI events?
Since January 2020
How did you get interested in meditation practice?
I’ve had passing interest in meditation since I was a teenager. My mother is a very spiritual person and she introduced me to yoga and meditation, and I started practicing yoga regularly when I was 18/19. I took up meditation more seriously a couple years later at first to mitigate some anxiety symptoms, and ended up sticking with it after seeing the overall life benefits beyond just trying to feel better or be less anxious.
Share a memory or feeling you have about MOI.
My favorite MOI memories have been attending the weekend retreats in Schuyler, NE! It was also amazing to have an online community to meet with weekly while the COVID-19 pandemic created so much isolation in mine and many other’s lives.
What does your meditation practice look like?
While I’d love to say that it’s consistent and always the same week to week, that’d be an unrealistic portrayal of who I am! I have a space in my home with my cushion and mat that’s dedicated to my practice. Whenever I’m called to my mat I can find myself there and will sit between 10 to 30 minutes.
Share a favorite quote, mantra, intention or saying that is currently guiding you in practice.
Something Johnathan said stuck with me at the last retreat I attended: “No one can be harder on yourself than you and no one can be nicer on yourself than you.”
What is your definition of sangha?
For me, sangha means a sense of community and being there for our fellow community members.
Name a book on the dharma that you consider a must read.
The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
What are you currently working with in your practice?
Recently, I’ve been working with consistency. I have a job that tends to not have a set schedule, so to have a consistent practice for me requires a lot of resolve. And, lately I’ve been drawn to a practice that is more self compassionate and showing compassion toward all beings. I’ve been learning to befriend the judgmental and critical voice in my head.
What has mindfulness and/or mediation helped you with?
My biggest accomplishment is my increased connectedness to myself, my friends and family, and my community.
Tell us about one success story you have had on your dharma journey.
My biggest success was being able to make it through my first silent retreat in Schuyler. Though it was difficult, and at many times I contemplated leaving, I was able to make it through, and I was proud of that.
Tell us about one challenging story you have had on your dharma journey.
Self compassion has been a historical struggle, but it is one that I will continue to work on.
Finally, what are some of your other interests outside of the dharma?
My biggest hobby that takes up a considerable amount of time is pickleball! I’ve been playing off and on since 2015 and have recently started to compete in tournaments. I also have my dog, Chuck, and we spend a good amount of time together. He is a therapy dog and comes to work with me (and has made a few visits to MOI).
Thank you, Mitchell! We are so happy you are a part of MOI’s sangha!