My Zen Journey – Tracey Jardine

Back in the increasingly-distant past I was an angsty teenager, struggling with emotions and anxieties and killing time in a book shop when I spied my first book on meditation. I was soon sat in my living room reading about how to meditate. Unfortunately no matter how hard I tried, it just wasn’t doing it for me, so I dropped the whole notion.

Jump forward 20 years and there I am on a leadership and management course. It was a 12-month course that focused on the importance of people and what’s going on inside for them rather than just on how productive they can be. Struggling with self-doubt I remember vividly the trainer catching me at the end of the day and saying nine simple words: ‘You know it’s ok to be you, you know’. Those words changed my life. No-one had ever genuinely told me that before and that day started me on a quest of self-awareness.

Initially my learning focused on a more psychological approach. Then I saw an advert in our community newsletter for meditation classes in Garstang with a real Buddhist monk! I signed up and straight in, staring at walls!!! That was a few years ago now and whilst there have been some periods where I have needed to prioritise other areas of my life, never has the time felt right as much as it does now. Since returning to practice at the Tara Centre with Jitei and the Sangha, I have felt a shift within myself, noticed by others. I am calmer, less anxious and less fearful of life. I still have so far to go but I am now feeling stronger and enjoying that this is part of the journey. The trust and love that I have felt from the people on that journey helps to sustain me. They won’t judge me for being human and, most importantly, welcome me for who I am.

I’d like to thank Jitei and the Sangha for making me feel safe and sharing their own journey with me

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