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Conversations with Thomas Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Thomas Davis.

Hi Thomas, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Today, I am a trained Insight Meditation Teacher that is constantly exploring ways to bring meaningful and relevant interpretations within a 2600 years old tradition. I have been aligned with spiritual practices since I was 21, which began in the Christian church. This was a very real and deep experience for me because it was this orientation which allowed me to begin hearing and listening to my own heart. Over the years in the church, I observed my God-orientation gradually moving from an external orientation to a deeply internal orientation. It was at this time that I decided to learn how to Meditate so that I could deep an inner-awareness. In Jan 2012, I began practicing at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA, and within two years I was encouraged to pursue Dharma Leadership training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin, CA. During this Dharma Leader training period, I began to explore ideas and plans to being my own authentic voice within the meditation and mindfulness communities. What came from this imaginative contemplative exercise was Avant-Dharma: a modality that explores the intersections of traditional contemplative practice and the creative processes and ethics of Avant-Garde Jazz… Avant-Dharma allows me to explore and share my explorations and teaching style within both traditional and contemporary settings. I also offer Mindfulness Workshops to Business Teams and Organizations. I came to Los Angeles in 2018 to work with InsightLA in Los Angeles and to lead the InsightLA POC Sangha. Since the COVID-19 Pandemic arrived, I have been honored to maintain a consistent space for many people to come and relax and connect with so many others who are learning how to make the most of these times.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The last nine years have involved a lot of transition. When I decided to pursue training as a Dharma Leader, I took a leap of faith to follow my heart. I had decided that from that point, I was going to invest my time and energy into what my core purpose was in Life. Following this intention caused me to really examine ways that I could align my livelihood with my values. In the end., I just had to take a leap of faith because my heart spoke so strongly that this is what must be done. I know no faster pathway to misery than to ignore what your heart is saying.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a Mindfulness and Life Teacher. I have benefitted immensely by being influenced by teachers in the Christian, Meditation, Jazz and creative traditions. Today I bring all of these elements together when I teach and share with hopes to inspire others to listen and trust themselves. The moments that are most rewarding are when I obtain feedback from people who are not attracted to the standard idea and image of what meditation is or how it’s supposed to look. Oftentimes I can demonstrate how a principle of mindfulness is embedded within a Lyric by Kendrick Lamar or something that they already are familiar with!

What does success mean to you?
I define success as knowing what your heart is showing you and telling you; then taking the steps to bring that into reality. This requires a commitment to listening, feeling and trusting. The rewards of this are priceless because there is nothing in our mainstream society that supports people to do this! I personally feel this is one of the things we are here on Earth to learn…

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