I was introduced to Vipassana meditation in 1990 when I took an undergraduate class on the “Social Psychology of Consciousness.” I meditated on my own until 2003 when I began sitting with the Flagstaff Vipassana Sangha and attending retreats. As a professor of sociology at Northern Arizona University I integrate contemplative practices into my teaching and writing. I have written about Buddhist Sociology as well as about how contemplative practices may help us address environmental crises. More recently I have had the opportunity to facilitate “mindfulness circles” and offer workshops on “Mindfulness for Social Activists.” I live with 4 wild beings (my husband and 3 children) and find their presence a continual reminder to breath and experience the aliveness of the present moment.
In this dharma talk on ambivalence, we explore the multifaceted nature of mixed or contradictory feelings and the discomfort it often brings. Delving into the concept from both every day and Buddhist perspectives, we discuss how the desire for resolution can lead to suffering, examining examples from relationships, jobs, goals, and moral conflicts. The talk emphasizes the discomfort of ambivalence and the potential for inner turmoil, while offering Buddhist perspectives on skillful means and mindfulness of ambivalence. The talk concludes with a guided meditation that encourages embracing ambivalence with mindfulness, compassion, and acceptance, promoting a non-attachment to outcomes and a deeper understanding of the interconnected nature of emotions.
In this dharma talk Janine explores the concept of loving awareness as an integration of heart-centered awareness and mindfulness. Beginning with the challenge of connecting awareness with love in everyday life, we delve into the heart-mind connection, addressing suffering, the three poisons, and compassionate understanding. The talk examines various facets of loving awareness, including compassion, gratitude, and acceptance, highlighting their interconnectedness. The talk concludes by encouraging personal exploration of cultivating loving awareness in daily life and includes a guided Loving-Kindness meditation.
In this dharma talk, Janine examines the habit of believing that our thoughts define us and the potential consequences. Insights from Buddhist teachings on suffering and the power of non-attachment to thoughts are explored. The talk concludes with a guided mindfulness practice aimed at fosters a compassionate relationship with thoughts.
In this dharma talk, the theme of being present with fear is explored, with lessons applicable to any challenging emotion. The talk emphasizes the power of present-moment awareness in overcoming fear. By cultivating compassion, empathy, and a focus on the present, individuals can navigate fear's grip and counteract fear-based narratives that pervade both personal experiences and the broader culture.
What happens to our practice when we are overwhelmed? In this talk, Janine shares her own personal challenges with sustaining practice during challenging times. She explores how following a middle way, even with practice, may help us meet each moment exactly as it is. Janine also shares how Buddhist teachings on the five hinderances and their antidotes can help us when we’re having trouble meditating and seeing clearly.
Anyone who has sat in silence for even a few minutes can observe the noisy inner world of thoughts, emotions and sensations that course through our minds and bodies. When we look carefully, stopping talking does not mean that we are silent. Yet, it is a first step. External silence is a portal into deep inner silence. This talk explores the possibilities for awakening when we take a deep dive into silence.
The What If Game is a playful way of working with your intentions around practice or shifting perspective around an area of practice in which you feel stuck. This approach arose for Janine after years of being frustrated with an aspect of her practice. Listen in and learn how to play the What If Game!
In this talk, Janine explores ways in which pain often leads to suffering. She offers three antidotes for not creating suffering out of our pain including: acceptance, being present with pain, and changing our relationship with pain. The talk ends with a guided meditation that helps practitioners consider ways physical and/or emotional pain turns into suffering and how we may experience pain without suffering.
Janine applies Buddhist principles and practices to reflect on COVID while she personally navigates the illness. In Part II of this two-part series, Janine explores the themes of introspection and patience when experiencing illness.