August 9, 2021
Residing at the intersection of leadership and mindfulness, Shawn J. Moore, M.S. creates sacred spaces for self-inquiry and personal discovery. While leadership resonates with him deeply, it is his personal and spiritual practices that allow him to continue to show up for himself and others. He is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), sound practitioner, meditation teacher, Yoga Nidra teacher, reiki practitioner, and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, with training in Mindful Communication and Brand Identity. In addition to holding community space through classes, he provides training in leadership and strengths-based development, and workshops in mindfulness and meditation. He has contributed workshops, practices, and educational opportunities for various yoga studios and colleges, Yoga International, Omstars, Melanin Yoga Project, the Human Rights Campaign, and Lululemon.
Q & A with Shawn Moore
How did you first discover meditation? Who or what inspired you to meditate?
Meditation has had a presence in my life since my junior year of high school in 2004. I have been a bookworm my whole life! I found a level of safety, escapism, and sanctuary in reading. In my IB English course, we were prompted to read Siddartha by Herman Hesse. The book outlines the spiritual journey and self-discovery of the titular character, Siddhartha, during the time of the Gautama Buddha. The story of self-realization, fulfillment, and wisdom resonated deeply with a kid in Baltimore, exploring his own identity, career aspiration, and place in the world. That book became the doorway to my interest in Buddhism and meditation. From there, I continued to seek books and authors that allowed me to explore the practice. Pema Chodron provided my next access point to the practice of meditation. As I navigated through college, meditation became the grounding force in my life, with a practice that has carried into my adult life. I look back on a 17-year practice, meditation has become a safe haven – a space of deep rest and self-inquiry.
What’s a valuable lesson or insight you uncovered during your meditation journey?
Meditation is a personal practice. By that very fact, everyone’s practice will and should look unique. During my own exploration, I would see and hear how other practitioners’ practices looked and felt mine needed to mirror that. AS I facilitate workshops on developing meditation practices, one of the tips I share is to make the practice fit your unique needs. From the time of day to the place in which you meditate, to the style of meditation – you have the agency to shape the practice to honor yourself and your needs. We can continue to evolve our practice in ways like creating an altar that honors your spiritual needs, creating the right vibe with aromatherapy, incorporating sound into the practice, and more, we just have to quiet the mind to make those connections.
What’s your favorite meditation technique and why?
My favorite meditation technique is lovingkindness or Metta meditation. The Pali word “Metta” is commonly translated as “lovingkindness”. This meditation technique is designed to intentionally direct good wishes and a sense of benevolence for oneself and others. It can be easy to forget the power of intention and mindset and taking the time to direct more compassion and healing into the world. In addition, as someone who has focused a career in servant leadership-based work, It can be easy to continually pour from an empty cup. Metta meditation is a gentle reminder that before you give to others, that refilling your own cup should be centered. Once our own cup is filled, we are better positioned to pour back into the world, from a wellspring of peace, joy, and equanimity.
While there are many versions and translations of the Metta Prayer, the one I use most often in my personal practice:
May I be happy
May I be well
May I be safe
May I be peaceful and at ease
When you have established a sense of lovingkindness for yourself, you can then expand the practice to be inclusive of others.
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