I have always been a Seeker, fueled by a deep yearning to heal the searing pain that has been with me for as long as I can remember. The teachings of yoga and meditation, as passed on to me by my teachers, have provided me with tools to engage with life more effectively.
Meditation has many definitions: removing the fluctuations of the mind, elongating the space between thoughts, thoughtless alert awareness in this eternal moment. It was an inner state that I was yearning for because, truth be told, I needed to find a new way to deal with being me amidst the vicissitudes of life.
When my emotional life was spinning out of control, I used drugs to create the illusion of inner serenity. When a tender nerve inside was too tender, I would reach for the cigarettes or potato chips. The endorphin highs of sex and backcountry hiking were ways to escape into the singularity of this present moment. There was emotional backlash towards anyone who triggered my hypersensitivities around being told what to do. My independent, freedom loving nature was a trauma response to a fear of being trapped. And, of course, there was always work and achievement as a means to alleviate existential anxiety around feelings of worthlessness.
Through the practice of Vipassana meditation and Yoga, I learned to slow down the rampant mind-stream and gain insight into my inner world. In being with my fears and my suffering, my cravings and desires, a new relationship with myself formed, one based on equanimity and self-compassion. Inner peace and lasting happiness was the by-product of this process. Slowly, slowly, as I became more connected to the eternal stillness within, I slowly, slowly stopped doing things that caused ripples in that pond.
We are all travelers on this path. May the simple sharing of my path in integrating the teachings of my teachers be of benefit to you in your journey. Please take what works for you, and leave the rest.
Linda stumbled upon meditation in 2008, at her first 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, as taught in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. She quickly became hooked on the practical life-transforming practice of meditation, completing another seven retreats since then. After meeting her fears of being with herself, she chose to meet her fears of others, by engaging in communal living at Shoshoni Ashram for 4-6 weeks every year for 4 years.
Along the way, she became a registered yoga teacher (Radiantly Alive - 300 hr vinyasa training), with specialized training in yoga for addiction recovery and trauma recovery. Linda discovered myo-fascial release while practicing Ashtanga with her beloved teachers, Prem and Radha Carlisi, in Ubud, Bali. The deep emotional and physical release of tension in her fascial network brought grace and strength into her yoga practice, and her life. In the words of her beloved teacher, Prem Carlisi, “The physical is spiritual. The prison is the temple. It is only by embracing reality that we can seek to transcend it."
Since 2011, she has been sharing the teachings of meditation and yoga into the community of Fairbanks. In recent years, Linda has been combining the ancient wisdom of meditation and yoga with studies into the science of addiction, attachment and trauma. Her workshops are practical and enlightening, and whole-heartedly punctuated with empathy, personal stories, humor, research, practical tools, applied knowledge, and experiential wisdom. Her professional experience involves working in inpatient, outpatient and community environments with individuals in recovery from addiction, trauma, anxiety and depression, using the tools of meditation, yoga, and breath work.
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