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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Introducing Janice Lundy and the Buddha Chick Training


I first met spiritual writer and teacher Janice Lundy when she dropped by my blog several years ago. I drifted over to hers and found her book, Your Truest Self, which I found a lifeline to well being and sanity. Her voice, both written and spoken, is sweet, wise, and comforting. Through the years we've been mala friends and I've learned a lot from her. She inspires me with her can-do, compassionate approach. Today she's answered my questions about her work.

Janice Lynne Lundy is the woman behind "Buddha Chick™" and the creator of "The Mindful Makeover Kit." She is an educator, interfaith spiritual director, retreat leader and celebrated author of 6 personal/spiritual growth books for women. Visit her at BuddhaChick.org and AwakenedLiving.com

The giveaway part: She's generously offered to give one reader a copy of her course, "The Buddha Chick™ Mindful Makeover Kit", which she describes below:

"The Mindful Makeover Kit empowers women to live physically calm, mentally clear, openhearted lives, handling life's challenges with ease. 12 hours of downloadable recordings, Workbook, Buddha Chick™ Affirmation Cards, and private mentoring support. Nothing short of a complete life makeover with mindfulness and self-compassion."

Over the next day or so, she'll drop by and read and answer comments—leave a comment and you'll be entered into a drawing for the course.

And she's giving everyone an online, stay-at-home retreat you can follow in one day on your own schedule. Just click on the link with the photo of the woman with her feet up to get to the retreat--------------------------->

Welcome to all. Let's enjoy our conversation!

*****
Janice:

Laura, thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog today. And hello to all of your lovely friends! It’s pure delight to be here. Let’s string some beads of wisdom together, shall we? Malas of mindfulness and compassion.


Q: What’s your “job description” at this point in life?

A: Oh, my what a question! Transparently, I do see myself in the mentor stage of life. Old enough to know “some stuff” that is worth sharing; young enough to feel great passion around supporting others on their spiritual journeys—and having the energy to do it!

I was a classroom teacher for many years and am back doing that—online this time, which is great fun because it is borderless and you get to meet so many kind people. I’m a Spiritual Director and love serving as a companion to someone who is on a path and wants to live with greater calm, clarity and wisdom. I adore writing and developing creative projects so that “job” never feels like work. In fact, I would like to have more time to write. I have so many books in me!

Last year, I gifted myself with a 30-day retreat in the tropics. I planted myself under a very old banyan tree (Bodhi tree) and not unlike the Buddha, “sat” for a month. Though most of my sitting time ended up in writing. I was in heaven.

I am also a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend. To be present to each of those roles and the people I love brings me great joy.


Q: Who do you emulate or admire greatly?

A: Powerfully, peaceful people: Gandhi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, my own teacher (in the Vipassana tradition of Buddhism) Sylvia Boorstein. Most of my adult life, I have longed for inner peace because it eluded me. I often say that I inherited worry genes from my father’s lineage and anxiety genes from my mother’s. I was a nervous child and a fretter. That’s why I resonate so deeply with Sylvia’s work and why she is my spiritual director and teacher. She is a recovering “fretter” and always startled easily. Me too! To find personal peace has been my passion and path for the past 20 years. (My next book by the way is aptly titled, Pockets of Peace. )


Q: What are you trying to establish in creating Buddha Chick™ and Dharma Sisters Circle? Can you describe them both?

A: Both of these efforts are the result of my passion to provide women with a safe place, a sanctuary, where they can explore and get in touch with their true selves.

Buddha Chick™ is the culmination of my life work: a mindset, a process with a set of practices, a lifestyle, and an interspiritual community that promotes living from our essence (through our basic goodness) for the benefit of all beings. At BuddhaChick.org, through classes, retreats, and training (especially “The Mindful Makeover Kit”), we breakthrough all that prevents us from embodying our innate peace, love, joy, generosity, kindness, and more.

To do this good work within sacred community is powerful. We can support one another. No one wants to journey alone. And with so many of us being non-affiliated spiritually, or living far away from practice centers, the internet can provide a positive space to do this. I created BuddhaChick.org and its programs for this purpose. I love connecting with women, sharing and growing together.

DharmaSistersCircle.org is an online membership community. We practice Buddha Chick™ principles, sit at the feet of wonderful guest teachers (in June it will be Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche), and convene in groups of special interest: “Mindful Moms”; Khanti (“patient endurance”), a healing circle for women with ongoing health issues, etc. Everything we do at both sites is rooted in mindfulness, loving-kindness and compassion. It is very exciting!


Q: What inspires you and gets you going in the morning?

A: Beauty. Natural beauty may be my greatest inspiration. I am very blessed to live on a gorgeous Bay. To be greeted by water every morning is pure joy. And I have an enormous perennial garden in my backyard, so green things lift me up. And also my husband, he inspires me. He is my beloved, a true spiritual partner and my creative partner too. I love knowing that when I get up in the morning I will do what I love the most—to write, connect, journey with others. I am very aware how lucky I am to be able to live in this way. It’s a simple, contemplative life. I say “Thank you” a lot!


Q: What helps you sleep at night?

A: I do Metta! Loving-kindness (meditation) practice. I am pretty faithful about it. It is, for me anyway, the antidote to everything—anxiety, insomnia, worry, self-doubt, a closed heart, you name it. I learned Metta from Sharon Salzberg and Sylvia. I studied it privately with Sylvia for two years. Last year, she encouraged me to begin teaching it and I offered my first Metta retreat in Michigan. Metta has been my lifeline and my invitation. Plus, the Buddha himself promised that if we did Metta, we WOULD sleep peacefully and have peaceful dreams. It’s true! If I could suggest one spiritual practice to everyone, regardless of faith tradition, it would be Loving-kindness practice. It will transform your life if you let it.


Q: What are you proudest about?

A: Being alive. Surviving and thriving through some very difficult times. Coming out the other side with dignity and grace. And, now, on most days anyway, a peaceful heart. Knowing that, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama reminds us, just to live is a precious gift. “This one precious life,” is a mantra I often repeat to myself.

And what will I do with that precious life today? What will YOU do?



17 comments:

Denise said...

Great interview. I love what you are saying! Will definitely check out your website Janice

And your malas on etsy are really beautiful.

Coleen said...

Great interview, Laura and Jan!

Jan- You have succeeded in what you set out to do, because the Dharma Sisters circle and BuddhaChick.org ARE safe sanctuaries (at least for me!). Being a part of these communities has changed my life, forever. I bow to you, for creating such a sacred space for all of us.

Laura- I recently ordered the Buddha Chick Metta mala and I LOVE it. It's one of the most special things I have ever owned. I couldn't even get myself to wear it the first couple days, it is just so beautiful, all I could do was sit and stare at it!

Love to you both! xo

Melody said...

I'm finishing up one of Jan's courses, "Your Truest Self." This came at exactly the right time in my life. Jan's gentle and wise guidance has opened up my mind and is challenging me to grow and do some long-overdue spiritual work. I recommend her highly.

Jan said...

Hi Laura and her (our) lovely friends, what a pleasure to be here. May we all bow into compassion together. :-)

Denise, nice to meet you! Yes, please check out Buddha Chick. We are having alot of fun there and always welcome new Chicks to join in! And, yes, Laura's malas are just beautiful. I have several of her wrist malas and they are very special.

Coleen, thank you for the kind comments on our communities. I love that we have created something safe online. Spiritual growth is such an intimate, precious thing and to have a supportive, compassionate (deeply caring) community to do it in is a real treat. I am glad that your soul has been nurtured there. xo

Jan said...

Melody, so nice of you to stop by. My heart is so happy knowing that your course at Buddha Chick has opened you up to the best parts of yourself. We all deserve to shine and fly free, yes?

Linda said...

Allow me to affirm that Jan's efforts ARE being established - as more and more women will attest to. I being one of them.

Laura , thank you for inviting Jan in as a guest blogger, for here, I've found yet another wonderful blog spot to which I will return time and time again.

Laura said...

Welcome, it's nice to meet you all! Thank you for answering my questions, Jan.

I have great hope that this kind of mindfulness and shamatha training combined with self-compassion can help many, many women and thereby their families, friends, and the whole world. Dharma Sisters and BuddhaChick are a great means for this. Being online means it can reach beyond physical boundaries!

Go Jan!

Mary MacGowan said...

Jan, thank you for another lovely interview!

Dharma Chicks has given me a new outlook on life - very subtle but important. Like Jan, metta (lovingkindness) meditations have changed my life; I'm finding myself more compassionate and mindful of the beauty inherent within every living creature - in even the most mundane situations - the grocery store, or, say, at the drive-through bank window.

Thank you Heart of Compassion Malas!
Mary MacGowan

Jan said...

Hi Linda,
Thanks for stopping by. I am very happy you are here in support of Buddha Chick training. It really touches my heart. I love how all of us growing together, don't you?

Mary,
So nice to read that Metta is changing your life. It is powerful! Who would have thought that 4 simple phrases of blessing could cause so much transformation. Sylvia calls metta a "purification of the heart." I believe it is that!

Jan said...

Laura, yes, isn't Peaceful Abiding Meditation (shamatha) so brilliant. To rest into the breath instead of trying to make it be "something." We give ourselves over to this potent force and it changes us....For sure!
Thank you for your kind words and support, as always. And coming from a long term Buddhist practitioner, this means a lot to me. xo

LauraX said...

Beautiful interview my friends! May we all sleep peacefully this evening, and wake up refreshed to start a new day tomorrow. I am so grateful to be a part of the Buddha Chic/Dharma Sisters community where I connect with you two lovely ladies and so many other beautiful souls.

Michelle said...

This is a great interview with intriguing questions AND answers!
I am excited to hear about the new book,Jan! The community you have built for women is truly inspiring! Living in a rural area, and being "unaffiliated," I find comfort and community through your work!

Jan said...

Hi Laura, thanks for stopping by. Yes, we are blessed whenever we are able to grow in sacred community, that's for sure. I am grateful that integrous online communities are available because so many people are disconnected from truly supportive groups or feel isolated. Who would have known years ago that the internet could provide such connection...:-)

Michelle,
Thanks! Yes, you speak for many in rural areas (I am 5 hrs. away myself from any sort of "practice community.") I am glad you find support here...

Chris L. said...

Thank you Laura for having Jan as a guest. I would not have ever heard of this had you not posted. Jan, thank you for the Buddha Chick Retreat. I just received it by email today. I am looking forward to a day next week to treat my self to a special day. I needed a fresh "voice" in my somewhat stagnant practice. Namaste, Chris

Jan said...

HI Chris, very nice to meet you. I am glad you followed through and found the blog. VERY glad you are going to gift yourself with the Retreat. I am confident you will really enjoy it! Be good to you...

Jan said...

HI Chris, it is really nice to meet you and I am glad you picked up your free retreat. I hope you will gift yourself with a beautiful day "in" and savor the gift of being present and compassionate to yourself...Blessings

Laura said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting, ladies. Chris won the drawing; enjoy your gift, Chris!
And if your name wasn't picked, please follow the link in the post to Jan's at-home retreat.