Janice Lynne Lundy: Cultivating a Heart of Compassion

I share through this space in a similar manner as through my personal living space.  It is always such a delight for me to host friends in my space–I love that we share together and all that they reflect to me is internalized and integrated into my own creative expressions.

Today I am delighted–thrilled beyond words!–to share energetic space with Janice Lynne Lundy.

When I began my first site almost four years ago, Jan was one who shared her wisdom and knowledge and so gently encouraged and guided me as I began to settle into my personal truth and allow full creative expression of that truth.  I am drawn to Jan’s work because what she presents in terms of material and essence is similar to my own in that it is heart based and genuine. Yet, Jan has this ability to take the most profound truth and present it in such a beautiful, simple manner that I can readily grasp it and living it seems very do-able rather than overwhelming.  Jan’s work (and life) reflects to me the quiet power and strength of living your truth fully, and allowing that truth to guide you as you create in all realms.

 

Jan Lundy is an author, educator, retreat leader, interfaith spiritual director,

and the editor of “Buddha Chick Life” online magazine.

 

J: If we may start with basics.  Your site is called Awakened Living.  May you share with us a little about the meaning of these words and your vision as you create through this site?

Jan: Joy, thank you so much for sharing your sacred space with me and for these wonderful questions. I feel very blessed and grateful to be here with you and your readers today.

I like to think of Awakened Living as a “gathering place.” A sacred space where a woman can come and know she will be seen for who she is. She would also gain insight as to who she can become—what fullness of self she could embrace.  The website (and all the work I do) is dedicated to providing women with what they need to live “in an awakened manner—with clear, open minds and wise, compassionate hearts.” This, I believe, describes the journey to living an awakened life: inner calm, clarity, compassion, and wisdom. And doing so in a world that can be oh, so challenging!

J: May you share with us a little about your philosophy; how did you find your voice?

Jan: “Awakened Living” has been my focus since the mid-1990s. This came as a result of my own “awakening.” I was living a very fast-paced, stress-filled life; a woman trying to do it all and be it all for everyone, everyone but herself. After a string of health issues that resulted in complete burn out, I took one year off of “life” (work and commitments) to reclaim myself, and my well-being. I longed to feel peaceful inside and I was determined to do everything I could to make that happen. I was so tired of being tired and feeling overwhelmed by life! I knew there had to be another way to live. I learned that peace comes, choice by choice, and it is up to each of us to make that wise choice, moment to moment.

This is how I found my voice, Joy, and a new way to live. By giving myself permission to be; to make healthy, new choices; and to feel the results of those choices over time.  And once you’ve done that, you can’t go back to living the old way. You are awake. Life only gets better and better—even when it’s difficult—because you know how to choose peace for yourself no matter what is happening in life.

J: I wonder, when you are creating and doubt surfaces (does doubt surface?), what resources do you rely upon as you continue to create? And, if I may ask, what would you consider is the source of your power?

Jan: I have a deeply creative nature, Joy. I believe I was born with it. My creativity IS my source of power. This feels divinely sourced to me. It comes from Something larger than myself and it resides deep within me at the same time. It is ever-present. All I have to do is quiet myself to access it. It feels very holy and it does need to be honored or I simply can’t function. Creativity is my essence and my expression of myself in the world.

In the words of Matthew Fox, “Creativity is where the Divine and human meet.”

If doubt surfaces, I know it is only the voice of my ego trying to keep me small and quiet. I pat it on the head and say, “Thanks for visiting, but I don’t want to play today.” Most days this works!

J: You have chosen to embrace technology by creating your first video blog.  In launching this series, you stated that you were initially hesitant and had fear.  May you share with us a bit of your internal process as you embraced this new feature?  And what is your vision as you move forward with this technique? 

Jan: Video is the new “way” of connecting with people. I am such an old-fashioned, non-techie Chick that I resisted having to learn how to do this. I’d much rather write or create audios that feel “natural” for me. Video does not.

Truthfully, I’ve never loved the camera, though I was a model for many years and did video and film work. I still have vestiges of vanity. I was deeply “programmed” to always look good. My ego loves to tell me (still!) that I must look and sound absolutely perfect to do even a simple video. Alas, we are all a work in progress! When I can get beyond that, and forget I am being filmed, I know I can simply speak from my heart about my passion and the ego will disappear.

In these short videos—I call the series “Portable Peace” —I hope to offer practical strategies and techniques for accessing inner peace wherever you are. I share the practices I use myself on a daily basis. They have helped me create profound peace in my life. I was originally planning to write a book on this but decided to do a “video book” instead.

 J: You have this beautiful sense of love and peace and joy about you. Within your life, how do you find your center, what brings you peace?  And what brings you joy?  

Jan: Thank you, Joy. If what you say is true, my peace has been hard won. It has been a very long journey to feel more calm than stressed. Nothing really brings me peace. Peace lives within my core, my essence, and all any of us has to do is drop down in to experience it. It doesn’t go anywhere. We are the ones that move away from it.

But, yes, there are elements of life that help me access inner peace. Being in nature is probably #1. Nature is my “God connection.” Music. Beautiful words and books. Silence. Loving family and friends. Breath. Water. I might consider these things “tools,” that when drawn upon, help me access my innate peace.

Peace and joy are intertwined for me. The pleasure of feeling at peace is my true joy.

J: I wonder, do you have any routines that you follow?  Is there a “typical” day for you?

Jan: I rise and enter my day slowly, honoring silence. The first 30 minutes are spent in gentle self-nurturing activities. Bay gazing. Drinking tea. Light reading. Connecting with my husband. Listening meditation.

Then my day begins, which is often a long day on the computer. I stop often during the day to take breath and stretch breaks; connect with the Bay that I live on or my garden. I have to write something everyday or I feel bound up inside. I eat lightly and healthfully. Most days I am able to do as Thich Nhat Hanh advocates, “Breathe, go slowly, smile.”

I bake and cook. I connect with my 3 adult children over the phone. We do not have a television so my husband and I rent movies and watch them in the evening. We are big movie fans, but only movies that uplift, inspire, or make us think. No violence. I monitor my input carefully for I believe as the Buddha taught, “With our thoughts we make the world.” I am very blessed in my lifestyle but I’ve consciously created it for myself. I made choices. I want to live and breathe peace and compassion. I lead a rather a monastic existence but it suits my nature. Others, I’m sure would consider it very boring, even odd.

J: You are the editor of Buddha Chick Life” online magazine.  May you share a bit about this magazine with us?  How would you like us, the reader, to use what is presented through this wonderful resource?

Jan: My husband and I published a holistic living (print) magazine for many years and I loved being the Editor. I enjoy bringing people together to create projects and offer resources that uplift and inspire us. “Buddha Chick Life” is my latest endeavor in this area. It is a magazine and community dedicated to helping people live with mindfulness, loving-kindness, and compassion.

J: You offer an online retreat “Cultivating a Heart of Compassion” this weekend of March 24 and 25, 2012 (the participant chooses which day to attend). May you share with us a little about this retreat…the message and the process and the vision?

Jan: At the pace most of us are living, we simply must take time to stop, rest, and restore ourselves or we pay the price.  It is vital that we move away from the world, even for a while, and go “in”; to take as good care of ourselves as we do others. But we don’t do this, not on a regular basis.

Statistics indicate that the majority of people (U.S.), especially women, say they are exhausted. The online retreat I am offering is one way that we can stop and engage in sacred rest. Take one entire day off to be with your sacred self. We can also use this time “in” to learn something new.

This year’s retreat focuses on compassion and we’ll learn and practice “Metta Meditation” together. Metta (“loving-kindness” or “unconditional friendliness practice”) is the most powerful mindfulness practice I have ever found. It has completely transformed my life since I began using it. It has eliminated anxiety and worry and has opened my heart toward myself and others in ways that I never expected. It is a profound practice that was taught by the Buddha himself.

I am delighted to be able to teach it with the blessing of my friend and mentor, Sylvia Boorstein. I trained with Sylvia for 2 years. I do hope that many women will register for the retreat and give themselves permission to BE instead of DO for just one day. And to offer themselves the loving-kindness that they so deserve.

As the Buddha said, “You can search the whole world over and not find anyone more deserving of loving-kindness than yourself.”

Jan has so generously gifted this site with one complimentary Cultivating a Heart Of Compassion “Retreat Kit”.  The Kit will contain all the materials, recordings, etc. for a day of Metta – Lovingkindness.

Each reader who leaves a comment addressing the following question will be entered into a drawing for the retreat kit.  The winner will be randomly chosen Tuesday March 27, 2012 at 9pm (PDT).  May you share with us one action step that you may take to honor the concept of slowing down and the principle of loving-kindness in your current life?

**The winner of the retreat kit raffle is Aimie Benko!  Thank you:) – March 28th-Joy**

Thank you, Jan! Thank you, dear reader! *Excellent* indeed:)

Much peace and abundant love,

Joy

Reminder: Experiment. Explore.  Experience.

 

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Comments on: "Janice Lynne Lundy: Cultivating a Heart of Compassion" (33)

  1. Love this interview! To allow for the creativity of the divine to surface, we need retreats like the one you’re leading. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to remember to BE!

    • Glad you enjoyed the interview, Leeann. And very glad you are joining us for the retreat! May your being-ness be blessed.

      • Hi Leann,

        Welcome to my site:)

        I love this affirmation: “To allow for the creativity of the divine to surface”–invites infinite possibility through creative expression–exciting and empowering!

  2. Being a Buddha Chick myself, it’s such a pleasure to “meet” you, Jan through Joy’s insightful questions. This resonated for me especially: “Nothing really brings me peace. Peace lives within my core, my essence, and all any of us has to do is drop down in to experience it. It doesn’t go anywhere. We are the ones that move away from it.”

    I slow down everyday through meditation and through walks in nature. My life is blessed!

    Thank you for this inspiring interview.

    • Sandra,
      Lovely to meet you! I am glad to know you as a Buddha Chick too. :-) I am also glad to hear that peace lives in you and that you know how to access it. Music to my ears.

      • Hi Sandra,

        I am glad that you and Jan have “met”. You are both two very grace filled Buddha Chicks!

        I love that you are so present and aware; your creative process inspires me greatly:)

  3. Jan,

    Great reminders on mindfulness as a path to peace. I like the idea to breath, go slow & smile!

    Sitting on my porch watching the clouds, birds & world go by is a favorite way to slow down. Prayer for others has become a loving kindness practice.

    Joy, thanks for sharing your heart & home with us & Jan!

    • Hi Brad,
      Sounds like we are kindred spirits. I’ve got a wonderful porch to sit on and gaze at my garden. Listening to and watching the birds is one of my fave pastimes. Soul nourishing! Enjoy your peace…

      • Hi Brad,

        Such a peace-filled visual and practice—thank you for sharing:)

        I love the idea of a porch–when we lived on the boat there was a porch at the clubhouse, overlooking the harbor and it was one of my favorite places to be. I shall manifest a “new porch”. One of my favorites songs is by A Fine Frenzy and a line that speaks to me is: “watching the sky, watching a painting come to life”. Perfect :)

  4. Thanks Joy for introducing me to Jan- this resonated with me , “Creativity is where the Divine and human meet.” and like Jan I think that creativity is my source power and I so often forget that with being busy doing rather than just being. Creativity for me opens my intuition and hence my heart
    An inspirational empowering interview

    • Nice to meet you, Suzie! Glad your creativity and soul are in sync and flowing. Blessings to you.

      • Hi Suzie,

        I love this: “Creativity opens my intuition and hence my heart”–a very empowering place to be! And a very wonderful life affirmation :)

  5. jean sampson said:

    Hi Joy. I am so glad to meet Jan—-gonna check out the video in a minute! I use writing poetry to center me and bring me into the moment and peace. When I am writing a poem, I am totally engaged with the natural world, my childhood and all my senses. There is only the words, the images and how they work together, and that is, to me, magic. I never cease to wonder about how the magic of poetry works and what a priviledge it is for me to be involved in the process.
    It is wonderful to meet you, Jan!

    • Jean, love your description of your writing process. Mine is similar. Fully engaged, body-mind-heart-soul. Timeless! Congrats and enjoy your beautiful journey.

      • Hi Jean,

        Thank you for sharing your process of writing poetry—sounds magical, indeed:) And of course, if you would like to email one to me, I would love to receive it:)

        I love how words may be enriching and empowering when we use and share them in such a way. One of the most beautiful gifts I have received is a poem written about a hike that I shared with a friend. The words captured what my being experienced in such a way that I may re-member that unexpectedly delightful magic time and again. Priceless.

  6. Jan,
    So glad to have found you through Joy. What a great story. Can’t wait to check out your website and online magazine.

    Great interview Joy!

  7. I love this question. Recently, I’ve become mindful of how I walk when I’m out and about. I tend to walk with my head down and not make a lot of eye contact. In trying to change this, I’ve realized that just lifting your chin a few inches makes the world look more beautiful; noticing more, I slow down. Meeting other faces with a smile reminds me of the importance of loving kindness.

    I thought this was a great interview–thanks so much to both of you. :)

    • Jess, lovely process you engage in. Thanks for sharing it. I call mine (similar to yours) my “Grocery Store Smile.” Thich Nhat Hanh style put a little smile on your face, make eye contact and hold it for a moment. People always brighten up! And it makes me feel good too, even if I don’t … if you know what I mean. :-) Blessings!

    • Hi Jess,

      Thank you for sharing:) I love the reflection about allowing the world to look more beautiful, slowing down, and smiling. Simple yet so powerful and transformative! It is my guess that as you receive the beauty, and you allow the smile, you are radiating beauty back.

      I began a practice of sending a silent namaste to everything as I move through World. What I receive back is a heart full of gratitude for all in my vision. Again, it is fascinating that something so simple can be so transformative:)

  8. Thank you, Joy, and thank you, Jan, for an amazing interview. Nature is for me, too, the number one place where I seek inner peace.

    • Talon,
      Blessings to you. So glad to meet another who is buoyed and inspired by our great Mother, Nature. Enjoy!

    • Hi Talon,

      The various ways that you share your experiences within nature inspire me and encourage me within my own life. Your vision and your gift with creative expression is one that delights me…thank you for sharing as you do:)

      I write about the ocean because I choose to live near it, so it is part of my daily life, but I find peace and joy in the hills and the forest and the sky and all that nature presents me with :)

  9. Aimie Benko said:

    jan i love affirmation and your insight which guides me.

  10. thanks to Jan’s Contentment course and some health issues, i am making more time everyday to stop, to simply sit, rest, breathe, and be with myself. i pay attention to my senses and to relaxing, letting go. from this practice, i feel less rushed and more moments of wellbeing arise naturally during my day. what a blessing and an act of loving kindness to myself and the world!

    • Katy, I appreciate your kind comments and I am so very glad that are finding ways to continue to be kind and gentle with yourself. Our spiritual practice is dailyness, for sure! Moment by moment awareness of what we need to be open, kind, grateful, healthy …. May you continue to be well and happy.

      • Hi Katy,

        As we welcome in Spring, your words are so refreshing! What a lovely affirmation: sit, rest, breathe, be. Such movement and potential in the feelings of those words–thank you for sharing!

  11. hello Jan and Miss Joy,

    I incorporate the standing tree and 1 legged bird yoga poses while I shower, Showering is metative to me while using all of my senses, I take this time to wash off the unwanted earthly grime of any less than pleasant experiances of the day. I get to feel,hear, see and even taste the water thus confirming my inner being and exsistance.

    • Hi Rosemary,

      *grin* I often meditate or clear my mind when I shower, but I can honestly say I hadn’t even thought of bringing yoga into my shower–what a powerful combination, the gentle stretch of yoga and the soothing properties of water. What a lovely way to invite “fresh” and “enlivening” into your day. Thank you for sharing!

  12. ‘Tis wonderful to hear about your meditative shower time. I highly recommend that to people to access a “Pocket of Peace.” A bath can work the same way, allowing all your “troubles” to slide down the drain. If we can get creative, we can find plenty of ways to access inner peace right where we are. Thanks for contributing yours!

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