In her teachings, Jaya Ashmore integrates her own love of meditation—and of life—with deep experience in the traditions of Buddhism, yoga, Advaita (non-duality), Christianity and Hindu mysticism, as well as ecology, embodied movement, and the Japanese art of Jin Shin Jyutsu.
Born in the U.S, where she studied religion and art at Harvard, Ashmore began practicing meditation in 1985 and was authorized to teach in 1998. A gentle revolutionary, she has taught meditation through deep rest on silent, intensive retreats in a dozen countries.
She has spent most of her adult life living in India with her teachers, and her nonprofit Open Dharma has supported awakening in thousands of people from any and no religion since 1999.
Her generosity of heart and spirit is humbling. For me, her teachings are about life. Not lofty ideals, but real everyday life. They offer a place to rest into, a place of curiosity and exploration.
~ Neri, Australia
She seems to be able to meet a vast range of people where they are with unconditional love and very precise teaching/guidance . She's also very joyful, passionate about body, movement, art, poetry, living on dana, living on the land, exploring with others. Humble, learning, puts great care on affirming, including, thanking.
She's gone very far in incarnating spiritual friendship as a liberating path rather than through teacher - student hierarchy, though she is very clear in offering the guidance, indefatigable acceptance and rock-steady function of her teaching role.
She is very up for talking about what is not talked about. Her reframing, rebirthing of teachings, texts, and her elucidating, teaching from them, opens them up in a way that brings me delight, great relief and an enormous sense of possibility. Which she is vitally interested in us realising...not just being inspired. And she is also so aware of the tricky turns of the very intelligent brain and the sensitive nervous system.
She is mining a seam of resource and refreshment, trust and kindness, that unearths our goodness, oneness, belongingness, freedom.
~ Sophie, France
There is a difference between hardy and hard.
...If all this suffering does not help us to broaden our horizon, to attain a greater humanity by shedding all trifling and irrelevant issues, then it will all have been for nothing.
Last night, walking that long way home through the rain with the blister on my foot, I still made a short detour to seek out a flower stall, and went home with a large bunch of roses. They are just as real as all the misery I witness each day.
...So much that was beautiful and so much that was hard to bear. Yet whenever I showed myself ready to bear it, the hard was directly transformed into the beautiful. And the beautiful was sometimes much harder to bear, so overpowering did it seem. To think that one small human heart can experience so much...
~Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life