Dawn Mauricio has been practicing and studying Insight Meditation since 2005. She has completed numerous silent residential retreats in Canada, US, Thailand, and Burma, including a 3-month silent retreat at Insight Meditation Society. We asked her to answer three questions.
What has meditation brought to your life?
Where do I begin! Meditation teaches me to see clearly, things I don’t normally see because I’m distracted, hiding, overlooking them, or running from them. It also gently reminds me how I take so much of this amazing life for granted. Everyday things like the breath or being able to walk are gifts that I tend to forget when I’m wrapped up in my own world. Yet, with sincere practice, I remember that they are indeed precious, and I don’t need to wait for an illness that threatens to take them away to remind me. With the help of meditation, I have also begun to see that the acceptance of who I am in this moment is a radical act of healing that is my birthright, and that no matter how many people tell me they love and accept me and think I am worthy, only I have that capacity to free myself of false beliefs right here in this moment. Meditation has also made me more compassionate, not just to myself but to others, too. In practice, I get to explore the intricate ways joy feels, or confusion, or having a strong opinion. I become so familiar with my experiences that when I’m faced with someone who is full of joy, I remember how it feels and can rejoice with them, or when someone has a strong opinion, I remember the hardening, protecting, controlling qualities, and I soften. Basically, it gives me permission to fully be me, which allows me to let others fully be themselves, too.
What food couldn’t you live without?
My mother’s pancit! Pancit is a traditional Filipino dish made of very thin rice noodles fried with soy sauce some citrus, and some variation of sliced meat and chopped vegetables. Every time I see her and for every holiday, I ask her to make some. Eating it reminds me of family holidays and special occasions, and brings up in me feelings of warmth and love.
In whose body would you like to reincarnate?
The still-living South Korean Buddhist nun, Jeong Kwan. I came to know her through her breathtaking episode on Netflix’s Chef’s Table (season 3, episode 1). Her days seem to be spent in quietude, something I’ve recently committed to with a drastically reduced teaching schedule, and her practice of Buddhism is seamlessly integrated into what she does daily, particularly as the monastery cook. According to her, « There is no difference between cooking and pursuing Buddha’s way. » I deeply admire her ability to see the magic of this practice in something we often take for granted, yet have numerous opportunities daily to revere it like she does – food.
Don’t miss Dawn at Expo Yoga 2018!