CLASSES & COACHING
Hi, I’m Deanna Sophia Danger...
...and I’m nearing completion of a 2-year certification journey to teach mindfulness meditation.
I was first introduced to meditation in my early 20s at the recommendation to read “Dharma Punx,” as was the same starting point into Buddhist philosophy for many young, purposefully (or not) wandering societal “outcasts” of my latchkey kid, Generation-X. My path into a dedicated meditation practice however, began earnestly in 2018 when enough threads had unraveled in my life, leaving me feeling unmoored and at a lack of accessible options to further support my emotional and spiritual recovery, as well as connect with a purpose and service beyond myself. It took me a year of trying out various meditation techniques and communities until I came across a community that supported my specific mental & physical challenges, mindfulness meditation, or Vipassana “Insight” meditation. Connecting me with resonant tools, techniques and world-wide sangha, aka “community,” to regain my wellBEing and felt-sense of belonging to our World.
Amidst the civil unrest of mid-2020, I further realigned my worklife trajectory, “retiring” from a performing arts & entertainment production career (which mostly evaporated overnight in the pandemic), and shifted along my ongoing path as an educator, to further support community wellbeing. I applied and received scholarship to attend The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP), led by western mindfulness ambassadors and PhD Psychology scholars, Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. The program they have assembled, which is accredited by both The Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California at Berkeley, is the first in its kind to embed a dedicated, cultural sensitivity training throughout the 2-year program. Included guest instructors range all racial and ethnic identities, genders and sexual identities, as well as physical abilities and more. The program also includes monthly small group mentorship and peer-facilitated activities to support the instructional modules and required readings.
An approach to mindfulness meditation here in 2022 wouldn’t be mindful without incorporating awareness of oppression and trauma, fundamentally, at the root. As a working class, queer, non-binary, neurodivergent, IPV trauma survivor myself, my practice and coaching fosters a supportive space to assist folks of all identities and situations to cultivate wisdom & compassion techniques for healing and recovery. I am a firm believer that none of us heal and recover alone, and that by facilitating a trauma-sensitive, rawthentic, “awkward, brave and kind” (Brené Brown) community space, the ripples of our shared support can reach lands across distant shores, weaving a tapestry of interconnected BEings, each on their own unique journey of daily awakening. Mindfulness meditation assists us in cultivating a resonant relationship with our own body and nervous system. The training I am receiving, which is based in 2600 year-old Buddhist philosophy, is also backed by the last 25 or so years of modern neuroscience. My teaching and coaching style is a secular approach that blends scientific understanding with an artfully poetic and encouraging packaging. I am an “Artistic Mystic” after all…
Please read below to better understand my mission, vision, goals, values and accountability statement to support diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in my mindfulness meditation offerings.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
The practice of cultivating non-judgmental and caring awareness of the here & now.
WHY PRACTICE MEDITATION?
* To cultivate a felt sense of belonging
* To connect with the body
* To cultivate a presence with life’s difficulties & joys
* To grapple with uncertainty, insecurity & shame
* To cultivate a wise relationship with stress and discomfort
* To cultivate sustainable awareness
* To cope with mental or physical illness or difficulties
* To cope with harmful patterns
* To increase agency in communications
* To develop courage & grace
* To cultivate lovingkindness & compassion
* To widen access to empathy, joy & emotional wellbeing
* For collective, community liberation
is firmly planted roots in the tsunami of everyday suffering.
Upcoming LIVE TALKS + Courses
6-Week "Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation" Course
Tuesdays Nov 1 - Dec 6, 5:30pm CST, 75-minute, in-person / virtual sessions
Held at Empowered Spaces
"Metta-Morphosis: Mindfulness for Transformative WellBEing" Workshop
Coming winter 2023
I envision a Midwest based, meditation community cultivated to center and nurture the emotional, mental and spiritual needs of LGBTQIA+ folks, trauma survivors, and systemically underserved communities through the practice of secular mindfulness meditation.
My mission is to facilitate trauma-sensitive and accessible mindfulness meditation coaching & practice for folks with limited access to wellness resources, and their allies.
I value a mindfulness meditation practice that incorporates community-driven gift economics and a commitment to upholding the Buddhist precept of non-harming by functioning from a fundamentally anti-oppression coaching approach.
As I continue to journey along the path as a meditation teacher, this list will grow and evolve along the pace that my offerings do, and shall likely never be an exhaustive list.
I am by no means an authority on all of Buddhism, a licensed therapist or certified to diagnose or treat physical or mental illness. I am a layperson who has approached teaching Vipassana Meditation, as pristinely prescribed by the Buddha, as a method to offer the best that I am able in this body and life toward loosening the conditions and perpetuation of the collective suffering of this world. I earnestly choose to walk the 8 Fold Path as an active participant in composting the fallout of intergenerational trauma and oppression, and in undertaking teaching certification, I have also accepted the MMTCP Code of Ethics. I am but another candle along the way of non-hierarchical, community re-pair as an uninvited, far-from-home, visitor currently residing upon the lands of the Osage Nation, Illini Confederacy and Missouri Peoples past and present. It is my Divine Duty to sustain re-Matriation of the lands that have supported my feet and heart, and I humbly take the following steps to establish a mindfulness meditation curriculum that is as accessible, inclusive, equitable and diverse as possible.
For there are no captains on Starship Earth, only crew.
I welcome all feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org which contributes to my practice of consciously uprooting my unconsciousness, as a daily awakening BEing in our world.
3.33% (representative of the Triple Jewel) of weekly practice donations & community forum subscriptions donated to NDN Collective.
Adoption of the East Bay Meditation Center / VISIONS INC. Community Agreements for Multicultural Interactions as a foundation to all courseworks and virtual forum.
All course work is offered sliding scale registration for BIPOC and disabled students, including a pay-it-forward choice for students who have access to non-survival based income and desire to contribute to gift economics.
Dharma talks and resource lists include quotes, teachings, examples and links to teachers and support groups of all identities.
Closed captioning option is available on virtual practices and dharma talks. Audio version available for blog postings. Inclusion of visual aid slides available as widely as possible.
Continuing anti-oppression and anti-racist training, including participation as a founding DEIA Core Team member supporting BIPOC leadership at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
Inclusion of feedback forms (with an anonymous option) for all coursework and a commitment to directly addressing occurrences at the source and openly.
Virginia Polytechnic University - Bachelor of Arts: Mass Communications, Minor English: Creative Writing, Minor: Studio Art, 2003
Mindfulness Meditation Teaching Certification w/ Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach - U.C. Berkeley & Sounds True, IN PROGRESS, to be completed Feb '23
Mindfulness Meditation Teaching Certification embedded DEIA 6-month module, Jan '22.
The Power of Awareness Course Certification w/ Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach - U.C. Berkeley & Sounds True, 2020
International Spring Retreat: Blossoming of Insight w/ Christiane Wolf MD PhD, Celeste Young, Jake Dartington, InsightLA, 2021
How To Be A Meditation Teacher w/ Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach - insighttimer.com, 2020
White Awake: Radical Anti-Bias Education - Cultivating True Comrades In Struggle, 2022
artEquity: Everyday Justice, Anti-Racism Training, 2022