CCFW asks Maya…

What inspired you to start teaching Compassion Cultivation Training?
I noticed the impact of CCT on my personal relationships when I was still going through the CCT teacher training. I felt more in sync with my feelings and more clear and courageous during difficult interactions. I was able to hold the sorrow of grief in an open tender light.In our culture, compassion is often perceived as a weak trait. Yet my grit and courage were manifesting actively when I was engaged in compassion training. I felt a sense of urgency to teach CCT and share what I was learning: that cultivating our inner compassion makes us stronger, more resilient, and more courageous in embracing difficulties.

What two take-aways do you hope participants get in you CCT course?
First and foremost, I want participants to experience how moments spent in meditation are moments of growth, nourishment, and self-discovery: it makes us more aware of values such as the interdependence of life and equanimity of all things. I also hope that participants learn how meditation can take many forms and shapes as well as be adapted to an urban busy lifestyle.

What have you learned through your personal mindfulness practice?
Initially, I resisted starting a meditation practice because I thought that power yoga was enough and that I wouldn’t have time (or use) for both in my life. I discovered that meditation was a catalyst for my yoga practice to become more meaningful, and more conducive to self-discovery and healing. Now I slow down movement at times and “observe” how my body and mind are doing. I am able to realize how connected thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations are, and I am less likely to disregard my sensations.

My meditation practice nourishes and manifests in all aspects of my life. For example, now I can see the red and orange leaves of a tree while stopped in traffic and let the awe sweep away the frustration. If an unpleasant memory about someone is gripping my stomach, I softly direct my thought towards the fact that this person is also a human being, and just like me they are thriving to be happy and free from suffering. I am grateful for the many ways meditation has given me tools for simple mind shifts.

Maya’s course runs from July 21 through September 8. Classes meet on Thursday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00pm. The cost is $275; scholarships and income-based fee reductions are available. Visit the CCFW website for details and to register.

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