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.
This talk explores worry and anxiety during these challenging times. Some themes include: How the Buddha’s instructions on thoughts gone wild differ from modern mindfulness approaches to worry and anxiety. Questions raised include: What do our experiences with worry and anxiety have in common? What appeals to you about the Buddha’s teachings on anxiety? What appeals to you about modern mindfulness approaches? Do you have any practices that you use that you find helpful with anxiety? Is there a new practice you might try to incorporate as you work with your own anxiety?