has been teaching meditation since 1978. He leads workshops internationally, is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif., and has taught his popular online Awakening Joy course since 2003. James coauthored Awakening Joy with Shoshana Alexander.
How much are you present for your own life? Most of us spend more time in our own inner world—worrying about the future, replaying the past, or lost in fantasy—than experiencing what life is offering to us right now. The present moment is where we can most directly be intimate with our life—touched by beauty and intimacy, while learning through the difficult lessons how to open our hearts.
When we develop a basic kindness towards ourselves, we not only learn to accept the difficult parts, but in the process embrace our humanity and see more clearly the beauty that's inside of us. We become less preoccupied with being “good enough,” and as we do that, we allow our goodness and true nature to shine through. As we learn to access our own beautiful qualities, we can also more easily recognize them in others. This becomes a gift to every encounter, a healing energy that awakens the goodness in life around us.