Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses (bodhicourses.org) an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation center in Mountain View, California (imsb.org). She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience, and has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, (Wisdom Publications, 2008). She has extensive experience practicing and teaching mindfulness, loving kindness, concentration, and a broad range of approaches to liberating insight. Since 2006, Shaila has continued her study of jhana and insight under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw, and authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011).
In this talk, Shaila Catherine suggests that everyone is responsible for their own state of balance. She explores several practical areas for cultivating a balanced approach to practice including: aligning the body posture with the force of gravity, recognizing how mindfulness brings a balanced relationship to sensory experiences, and cultivating a non-reactive attitude toward both pleasant and unpleasant feelings. We learn to quickly restore our emotional balance whenever we find ourselves entangled in stories or personal dramas. We refine our ability to apply balanced effort in the way that we engage with meditation. And we continuously refine the powerful balance in the meditating mind by perceiving how the five spiritual faculties and the seven awakening factors are affecting our attention and understanding.