Location: Madison, WI

When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so?

I have been an angry person for as long as I can remember—grumpy and angry. I would go days without noticing my own body, often undernourished and in physical pain. Being in nature has always been an important experience for me—a disproportionate number of my peaceful moments have occurred there. Reading and listening to the works of Pema Chodron allowed me to realize that I could have that feeling all the time!

Did you take a class? If so, what sort of class did you take?

I did go to a meditation introduction and attended group meditation, and I listened to many CD’s, but no formal class.

How has mindfulness made a difference in your life?

I struggle to guiltlessly prioritize taking care of myself, both inside and out. Inner Peace is not “time wasting”—it is a powerful tool with which we could transform society.

What do you do for your livelihood and does your practice of mindfulness affect that?

I am a musician and teacher. I find that if I walk on stage or into the classroom after I center myself, I can think more clearly and create less repetitive-motion pain.

Is there anything else you would want people to know about mindfulness and you?

Between Qi Gong, meditation, and my dog, I am so much happier than I ever have been before!