Alisa Dennis, Ph.D., discovered meditation through her study of metaphysics and ancient Christian mystical traditions. She's explored many spiritual traditions since then, including indigenous shamanism, which has broadened the matrices through which she understands the nature of human existence. Within Buddhism, Alisa practiced within the S.N. Goenka tradition of Vipassana and the Zen Soto tradition. She studied mindfulness through the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) at UCLA and completed a multi-year training related to integrating contemplative practices into psychotherapy. Alisa is also a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s 2017-2020 Teacher Training Program. Alisa has gravitated toward Insight meditation because of its emphasis on liberatory heart-opening practices and its growing community of practitioners committed to embodied awakening and transformative justice. Alisa is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in the Los Angeles area. She specializes in somatic oriented trauma release and integration work. In addition to drawing from contemplative wisdom traditions, Alisa practices depth psychology and dreamwork. She is passionate about the creative arts and exploring multi-dimensionality.
Understanding the truth of impermanence supports the practice of equanimity and cultivating equanimity strengthens our understanding of impermanence. We are often conditioned to want things to be different from how they are. Whenever we find ourselves thinking that things would be better if they were different, we are in our egos or separate selves. This creates suffering. This meditation is an invitation to explore first bringing compassion to the experience of dukkha, then opening to equanimity as space and acceptance of how things are in the present moment.
An exploration of Metta to ourselves as we are currently, or as younger or older versions of ourselves. Through this practice, we naturally come to understand how our bodies change across time, a reflection of the truth of impermanence.
Impermanence can be found all around us in Nature. Our bodies exist in Nature and so we are impermanent too. This is an exploration of mindfulness of death and dying as an opportunity to practice letting go while we are living, as preparation for focusing our attention with ease and alertness as we take our last breath in these bodies. Maranasati supports present moment awareness and the deepening of appreciation for life. The deathbed can provide an extraordinary opportunity to cultivate embodied awareness and compassion for self and others. An exploration of death not as the end of life, but as transportation into another realm of consciousness.
Can we travel into our past and into our future through the power of our intention and the magnetic pulse of our hearts? Maybe? And what’s wrong with living in the Maybe Place? This guided meditation supports us in deepening the capacity of our hearts to listen deeply and at ease to our own pain and suffering across our lives. Widening the heart's capacity to hold our own grief and sorrow will strengthen our capacity to turn toward, be with, and then respond thoughtfully to the pain of the world.