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AMY BLACK

Nashville Tai Chi & Wellness
Singer/Songwriter
Mindful Nashville Leadership Team

What does mindfulness mean to you?

Mindfulness is a way of living. It helps me to appreciate, accept and enjoy life as it is. It also helps me relate to myself, others and the world at large in a more open and peaceful way and to let go of things that I once was so bound too (ego, outcomes, perfection).

What initially led you to begin your practice? 

I signed up for the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class at the Osher Center (Vanderbilt) not having much knowledge about it. I was nervous and felt a little uncertain, but quickly began to realize how much it was helping me. I got so much from the program that I continued on, taking Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and then a Professional Development Mindfulness program in order to deepen my practice.

How do you practice?

For formal practice, I do sitting meditation on my own and with groups. I started out using the app Headspace, which was super helpful, but have learned from some great teachers to guide myself through meditation. I also practice tai chi, a form of moving meditation, with my husband. My informal practice is ongoing. I’m much more aware now of my reactions to myself and others, and am often able to notice when I can be more compassionate, open, humble or accepting to what’s happening both inside and outside of myself.

How is tai chi a form of mindfulness?

My husband, Ryan , and I run Nashville Tai Chi & Wellness. He’s the instructor, I’m a student. Tai Chi is a great form of moving meditation. Once you learn the postures, you can move from thinking about doing the moves “right” and focus on the breath as you move. It’s a great practice for those who do sitting meditation and those who don’t. Some people who find sitting challenging, really take to tai chi because they find movement works better for them.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
 

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