Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Prete.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Heather. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I actually began practicing mindfulness over 25 years ago simply because I needed it to transform my own suffering! My journey began in college, studying different mystic traditions, Looking for a way to keep my empathetic heart open while caring for my chronic anxiety and occasional depression as well as a feeling of low level confusion about how all of this “human” stuff was supposed to pan out! I definitely felt as if I was missing a guidebook, and what I was being offered by those around me wasn’t really touching into my human difficulties (nor was drinking, relationships, or ice-cream) … I then discovered a book by Thich Nhat Hahn on mindfulness and I knew that was what I was searching for…. It was like I had found my hearts language right there, being spoken by a 60-year-old Vietnamese monk! I remember the EXACT moment, staring at the words on the page and thinking, “This is it, I’m home.”
I have been practicing and training ever since with TNH and many other wonderful Buddhist masters and Secular teachers… The teachings brought me to Asia sitting in beautiful temples, to Northern California for 14 hours of sitting a day along with 30 days of silence, and to beautiful heart openings in my home…
I went through a Buddhist teacher training as well as UCLA’s Certification program. I teach both Buddha Dharma and UCLA MARC’s classes (secular mindfulness).
I am so grateful that something so close to my heart has become my world… I get to share Mindfulness with others every day and help guide them to transform their own difficulties… It’s incredible! The business really developed on its own. At first, I was teaching one class a week, and things simply began expanding from classes to a large private client base to retreats all over the world! I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else…
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a smooth road in many ways, but personally we always have a learning curve! Mainly I had to really balance my energy as things began to grow. I have an assistant who manages much of the “business” stuff so I can be fully present for my clients.
I also found a home base, The DEN Meditation. That was a game changer. Tal, (the owner and creator) has become an incredibly close friend and colleague. I teach EVERYTHING there, including my UCLA MAPS classes.
Having a home and support around the nuts and bolts is really everything to me. If you told me I would have my own business 10 years ago I would have said that was ridiculous. However, we find our strengths as we are challenged. I am clear on what flows from me with joy and ease…and what does not! I allocate what isn’t natural so that I can continue to cultivate what I have to give…. That, for me, is key.
Heather Prete Mindfulness – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I would say that we are known for Compassion, Wisdom, and practices that make real changes in our being… I got very lucky that what was my personal practice is now evidence based… Have you ever seen the photos of Buddhist monks in a lab with wires all over their heads?! Scientists have been studying the effects of the practices I teach on the brain. Why is it important to see that mindfulness activates neuroplasticity (no matter what your age) and actually rewires the brain for more peace, happiness, compassion, and emotional regulation? Because these 2,500 year old practices come from cultures in which faith is developed from seeing entire generations benefit. We don’t have this in our society as the practices are relatively new to us… So, that’s where the science comes in! I can describe to a client or a class what happens in the brain as a result of the gentle, consistent application of the practices… It’s one thing for me to tell you my story of transforming chronic anxiety through meditation… it’s another thing to see the scientific evidence! We need that to keep us going at the beginning… until, of course, we get to see the results for yourself!
My favorite practice to teach is Self Compassion. It is my greatest joy to see people change through noticing that insistent inner critic, and replacing it with kindness and love… It is really revolutionary… I always say the testimony to the teaching is the transformations in the students and clients…. I want to emphasize that my job is to teach, provide tools and guidance, and share my experiential knowledge. The individual learns to transform their own difficulties and be their own true guide…. It is truly empowering to be able to choose thoughts that lead to wellbeing and discard the rest. It’s our birthright.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success by the awakenings and wellbeing of my students! My job is so based in interconnectivity the joy really does come from their personal insights and blossoming of the heart qualities in those I’m working with. That is the most authentic answer I can give. Oh! And I loooooove to dispel the myths that make people think that they can’t meditate! Such as, the idea that you aren’t supposed to have thoughts. Don’t worry, the mind can think even as you meditate! That’s the nature of mind! We simply learn how to RELATE to the thoughts differently 😉 ….
- Private Sessions $150
- Mindfulness and Heart based 6 week courses $185
- Retreats (prices vary) Greece Retreat July 20th as low as $1500
- Website: heatherpretemindfulness.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Heather Prete Mindfulness
- Facebook: Heather Prete Mindfulness Meditation
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