Ray Manyoky, MMTCP
I began meditating in 2015 as a way to alleviate my depression and anxiety. Meditation, the Dharma and the Sangha have become foundations of my life. Mindfulness has taught me how to slow down, to not hold things too tight or too loose, and to truly be in-tune with my body. The ability to have present moment awareness, wisdom, compassion, and the courage to hold these felt-sense feelings can be transformational and liberating.
Now, I can better experience all emotions (fear, hatred, greed, delusion, attachment, guilt, grief, jealousy, elation, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity), although this is still a work in progress. Relationships with my friends, coworkers, loved ones and family are more authentic and alive.
I have been teaching the Friday Night Heart Practices Meditation Class since September 2018, and facilitating the Dharma Book Club since March 2018 at the Frederick Meditation Center (FMC), in Frederick Maryland. Since March 2020, I have been teaching a daily meditation class (Monday through Friday) via Zoom. Past workshops I have taught include topics on: Joy, Gratitude, Building Blocks for Transformation, RAIN, Mindful Dialogue and the annual New Year's Day Reflections and Intentions Workshop. I have also lead Kalyana Mitta (KM) groups.
I regularly attend Jonathan Foust’s Monday night dharma talk in Arlington and Tara Brach’s Wednesday dharma talk in Bethesda. Four years ago I started and continue to co-facilitate Jonathan’s post-talk Discussion Group (aka Mindful Dialogue). Since March 2020, I have been a facilitator for Tara's Discussion Group via Zoom. I was a mentor in Jonathan Foust's Year of Living Mindfully Program during the 2019/2020. And since 2018, I have been a Meditation Mentor for Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW).
I have attended weeklong retreats with Bhante Gunaratana and Jonathan Foust, and day long workshops taught by Tara, Jonathan, Hugh Byrne, Sharon Salzburg and Stan Eisenstein. My guiding dharma teachers that I follow are Jonathan Foust, Tara Brach, Joseph Goldstein, Oren Jay Sofer, Josh Korda, and Jill Shepherd.
I am a certified mindfulness meditation teacher through Tara Brach's and Jack Kornfield's 2-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certified Program (MMTCP) (January 2021). I am also a member of the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA)