Meet Amanda Gilbert! Amanda is a modern day teacher, guide, and facilitator in meditation and mindfulness. She has been a meditator for 13 years, and teaches publicly, privately, and for corporations in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her passion for sharing meditation comes from her own life experience where meditation not only healed her from a traumatic life event, but catapulted her into living a life filled with meaning, purpose, optimal health, joy, and awakening.
Before dedicating herself to teaching full-time, Amanda was Center Director for The Aging Metabolism and Emotions Center at the University of California San Francisco, conducting clinical scientific research investigating the biological and psychological affects of mindfulness and meditation. Currently she collaborates on contemplative research, writing and publishing scientific outcomes on meditation. She is now an emerging expert in the field of teaching meditation, mindfulness, and the contemplative sciences.
Her formal training has been in Primordial Sound Meditation, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-based Eating Awareness, and she is currently training at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. She has been a student of many master teachers in both the Vedic and Buddhist lineage and has been an initiated teacher by her mentors for her authentic ability to transmit the teachings of meditation.
What rocks your bliss?
Awareness. Feeling connected to my center and to the flow and intricacies of the world around me all at the same time.
Describe your perfect day.
Waking up early without an alarm or to the soft melodic tones of the new iPhone Bedtime Sleep Tracker feature between 5 and 6 am. Finding my way to the tea kettle and starting some hot water. Breathing and stretching for a few moments as the water boils in the early morning light and quiet, taking a few sips of fresh squeezed lemon water, and when the kettle boils making a loose leaf chai with warmed coconut milk. Enjoying the chai for a few sips, and then lovingly arriving to my practice space and meditation cushion. A candle gets lit, a bit of scripture or prose gets read, and then beginning my daily meditation practice for a sweet 30-45 minute sit. From there, a perfect day has already happened, and anything after morning practice is often nothing but magic. Walking also adds to a perfect day as it too is an opportunity to practice mindfulness in nature or the city streets, and being able to spend time sharing meditation whether through teaching, writing, or researching. My perfect day comes to a close with a feeling of a full heart and gratitude for another day meaningfully lived.
When do you feel most creative and alive?
I feel the most potential coming out of meditation and feeling the “post-meditation effect” that happens during the moments after a formal sit. Here, I am filled with inspiration, insight, creativity, and a sense of wise excitement for the day, like knowing whatever I turn my attention to will nourish and support not only myself, my goals, and my desires, but will support all of the work and people I encounter along the way!
Share a huge goal you are rocking.
Launching The Daily Practice, an online mindfulness platform making meditation and mindfulness resources accessible to anyone interested regardless of location, schedule, and financial means. I have a deep fire for wanting to bust down the barriers to learning meditation that we are encountering in contemporary culture.
If you could get on a plane right now, where are you going?
Point Reyes, California
How do you handle setbacks?
Setbacks, obstacles, challenges, and trauma have been some of my greatest teachers and definitely some of my most life defining moments. Now, I handle them knowing that there is wisdom to be uncovered, and growth to be experienced. This doesn’t mean I don’t go through the full range of emotions, thoughts of uncertainty, and moments of fear. I allow these to be experienced with the knowing that this too shall pass and somewhere the silver lining is present.
How do you come home to yourself?
Through my daily meditation practice.
What are 3 ways you rock the self LOVE?
Tea, I am a lover of all delicious teas, especially matcha! So enjoying a cup of tea is always a moment of self love and nourishment. Honoring the choices I make around living my most optimal life by being a non-drinker, refraining from refined sugar, and eating raw chocolate when I want. These choices all make me feel fully me. And showing up to an additional sweet sit of meditation in my own home or with other practitioners gathering with the shared intention to live our best lives.
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