Liza Kindred is a Buddhist meditation teacher, trauma-informed energy healer, and author. Here she shares about how she shows up as a kalyāna-mittatā, or a spiritual friend, to the meditation community.
JY: Can you tell us a bit about your meditation journey?
I’m a Buddhist meditation teacher and author with more than a decade of deep study and practice. I also have certifications in a variety of healing modalities, including reiki energy healing, Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy, and plant medicine.
In a prior life, I worked in tech. I helped companies develop wearable tech and at same time I was spending a lot of time on meditation retreats. I realized the way I spent my personal time (trying to be uninterrupted in the present moment) and the products I was designing for clients (“disruptive” technologies) were at odds. So, I switched my focus and spent years teaching people about how to develop more mindful technology.
I’ve had two books published and I’m working on my third. My first book, Eff This! Meditation, offers 108 fast, accessible ways to bring meditation practices into daily life. My latest book, Calm Your Anxiety Journal: Take Control of Your Anxiety and Quiet Your Mind, is a science-based journal to help people calm anxiety permanently over time.
My core principles are based on thousands of years of foundational Buddhist teachings, updated with modern science and beliefs. My approach to spirituality is authentic and whole-person-based—without the hype.
In addition to my books, I offer a mostly free online resource library (focusing on mindfulness, anxiety, and self love) and in-person super-charged healing sessions in Miami Beach.
JY: Can you tell us about the principles that guide your approach to meditation?
My offerings are based on three core ideas:
- We are complete, just not finished.
You are a whole person. There is nothing missing from you: no inherent lack, no emotional holes to be filled by anything or anyone outside of yourself. Spiritual work is about finding and connecting to that wholeness. There are teachings to grow from, but I always start from this place of being a complete entity.
- Anyone who wants to “fix” you thinks that you are broken.
In the spirit of the seminal spiritual teacher Baba Ram Dass, I believe that my role is to help you clean some of the dirt off the mirror so that you can see yourself reflected as you truly are: brilliant, imperfect, full of primordial goodness and love. If someone implies that you need to be “better” or “fixed” then they’re not connected to their own innate truth. I want to help you see and feel your own wholeness.
- We cannot hate ourselves into someone we can love.
The only way to love ourselves is to love what we already are. We can’t change ourselves into someone more worthy of love. We are already deserving. I teach precise practices that allow us to make friends with ourselves. It’s the most important relationship we will ever have and it enriches every other relationship in our life, too.
JY: What mantras or words of wisdom do you have for the Maloka community?
There are only two things that can help us find our way out of the chaotic, dangerous mess we are living in. I repeat these words to myself again and again:
“Connection and community.”
Reconnection with our natural world, our innate inner wisdom, and each other are the strands with which we will weave the rope to pull ourselves out of this morass. There is no connection too small, no community too local. Every moment we spend meditating, each time we water a plant or touch a tree, and every time we wave at our neighbors, we are doing the very real, urgent work of world-rebuilding.
JY: What meditations do you offer on Maloka, and what impact do you hope they will have?
I have two in-depth offerings on Maloka: a beautiful body-based somatic meditation program, and a wonderful anxiety-calming path.
The path to enlightenment runs through the body. The Buddha tried to deny his body food, water, and comfort but it only made him realize that he needed to reconnect with his physical body to reach enlightenment. In today’s hectic world, it can be so easy to ignore the messages in our bodies. When we slow down and really listen, we have the opportunity to connect with our deep wells of inner wisdom, and perhaps even find moments of enlightenment.
There is a lot to be anxious about in the world right now And at times anxiety can help us to determine the changes we need to make in our lives. But we don’t have to be beholden to every anxious thought and impulse. When we slow down and ground ourselves, we can learn to work with our anxiety towards more calm.
JY: What are your thoughts on VR as a tool for meditation?
I’m a long-time proponent of mindful technology and I have always believed that any method by which we can bring mindfulness practice into our online lives is a gift. Through VR meditation, we can stay connected to ourselves. What a beautiful thing.
The techniques I teach allow people to reconnect to the peaceful, wise parts of themselves. With VR we can meet ourselves where we are—which is often online—and get to where we want to go: the present moment.
JY: Do you have any words of advice for people who struggle to meditate?
Grounding rituals can be very simple. Two of my personal favorites are very easy to try:
The “skull hug”: Place one hand gently on your forehead, and one hand gently at the back of your neck, where the top of your spine meets the base of your head. Rest your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths focusing on the physical sensations between your two hands.
Hug a tree: Seriously, hug a tree. Or place a hand on a tree, or lean on one. Close your eyes and take a couple of slow, deep breaths while imagining energy moving from the tree, down through your body, and through the soles of your feet back into the ground.
Experience Liza’s body-based somatic meditation program and anxiety-calming path on Maloka and follow her here: