I bring my experience of nearly 40 years of self-exploration and healing practices to assist others in cultivating the four basic areas of mindfulness – of the body through physical sensations and breath; of the mind through thoughts, images and emotions; of feeling tone - pleasant, unpleasant and neutral; and of the universal laws of impermanence, it's not personal, and when there is attachment there is suffering that apply to all experiences.
The benefit of mindfulness in these four areas, simply put, is we are able to recognize where we are stuck, how we get stuck and how to move forward. Our difficulties will usually arrive in one or two areas, perhaps an insistent story or a pain in the body. By expanding our attention to the other areas of mindfulness we can achieve a deeper understanding and level of acceptance in relationship to the problematic issue.
We will explore these difficulties by using a combination of techniques: discussion; the learning of skillful tools and processes; physical movement; Reiki; and learning how to reign in the activities of the mind.
When I first became a student of individual mindfulness training with Denise as my guide, the landscape of my life was plenty rugged. I will be forever grateful for that internal compass that pointed me in Denise's direction. Within the heartfelt and gentle space of our sessions, I was able to begin that journey of turning inward and turning outward for healing that changed my relationships with myself, others, and the world around me. Grow. Learn. Be well. These are the messages I carry in my heart-mind everyday. I wish them for you, too. And, Denise, thank you for these gifts.
I started working with Denise in mid-2016. I was looking for a practitioner who could help me bridge the gap between therapy and my own sense of lack of embodiment. I was not sure what this was going to look like… it seemed like joining a yoga class was not the answer I was looking for. Yet there seemed to be no person like Bassel van der Kolk , Gabor Maté or Peter Levine in Reno. Luck and intuition lead me to Denise’s Mindfulness Movement class. It was the perfect place to start. I decided to work privately with Denise in addition to the class. Denise has lead me through Peter Levine’s Trauma Releasing Exercises and acted in concert with my therapist in helping me work through unresolved childhood trauma. Much of our work focused on teaching me mindfulness techniques and basic Buddhist dharma. These tools and teachings have helped me daily to stay grounded and more in alignment with how I want to be in the world. My work with Denise has helped me both personally and professionally. I can honestly say that I am more myself than I have ever been. And I am also content knowing this is a lifetime journey and ongoing daily practice. It is a journey that is giving me great joy and meaning.
Denise lives what she teaches and is a wonderful model and inspiration. She is an observant listener, a caring mirror, and a thoughtful reflector. She brings her whole self to her work, even on rare days of when she does not. In that way, she models how to show up with integrity and humanness when we may not be operating at 100%. Denise is very skilled in movement practices that promote self-care, healing, and embodiment. Her work is accessible for all sizes and body types. It is particularly helpful in overcoming body shame and self-judgement.
My work with Denise has been life transforming in ways I cannot fully begin to describe. I greatly recommend her Mindful Movement classes as well as individual sessions.
Many years ago a friend and I were talking about those rare moments in life when we have the compassion, composure and courage to turn and face both ourselves and the world, at once unshielded yet protected by our vulnerabilities and sometimes troubled histories. My friend and I referred to this as standing in the center of our own hearts. For most people it’s something that only happens infrequently, but once experienced, it offers a fleeting view of ourselves at our most skillful. Informed by a humility that only comes with trust in ourselves and full embrace of both our sufferings and joys, standing in the center of one’s own heart makes an indelible mark on the memory as seeing one’s own Buddha nature.
When I began working with Denise one-on-one as my meditation teacher, my practice was in something of a mess. Though I’d been meditating for several years, I had difficulty focusing and began to question my reasons for continuing to sit. I hadn’t stood in the center of my heart in a long, long time- to the contrary, I often found myself either detached from my internal life or so self-consumed I was unable to see beyond my own little bubble. I had few thoughts on how to integrate the dharma’s lessons into my life in any meaningful way. Denise recognized my struggles and as we began to examine the Buddha’s teachings and their relevance, I gradually became more optimistic that I might someday be able to acquire some small amount of equilibrium and regain a sense of purpose within the framework of my practice.
In Denise I found a compassionate teacher who has the patience and perseverance to work with those like myself, who have been pierced by life’s arrows but haven’t been able to bear looking at the scars that remain. She teaches without judgement and respects her students by demonstrating the qualities she encourages, rather than telling them what to do. Under Denise’s guidance, my ability to apply the dharma’s lessons in my daily life have increased and I find myself better able to meet life in the moment, with a new openness and a more accepting frame of mind.
That being said, my life hasn’t transformed overnight. Addressing one’s past disappointments and suppressed emotions is painful, even with a good teacher like Denise to act as a guide. I’m still waiting for the pink pixie dust to rain down on me. I continue to struggle at times, all too often I falling short of my own expectations. But in the years I’ve met with Denise I’ve observed some distinct changes- when I make mistakes, I’m not as harsh with myself as I used to be. I’m more aware of the kindness and generosity of people around me and far less likely to take them for granted. I have tools for settling my emotions that I lacked previously, even if I don’t always remember to use them. My capacity to reveal myself in a genuine manner, without getting lost in self-absorption, is improving. I still don’t stand in the center of my heart as often as I’d like. But I’m confident that the qualities Denise is helping me cultivate will lead me to find myself there more and more as my practice unfolds.
In order to make the practice of mindfulness accessible to everyone there is no set fee for service. Please give what is skillful to your current situation and that which supports the continuation of what is being offered.