Tricycle contributing editor Amy Gross appears in the pages of Newsweek and the Daily Beast discussing her career change from high-powered magazine editor to low-key meditation teacher.
In July of 2008, Gross retired from her position as editor in chief of O, the Oprah Magazine—a move that mystified many people. Why did she do it? She writes, “My job was getting in the way of my life.” She continues:
After decades of the monthly magazine cycle, the thrill of spotting a fresh idea, shaping it for our audience, commissioning the right writer.?.?.?that thrill had subsided to a small tickle. Instead I was finding challenge, purpose, and meaning offsite, in mindfulness meditation, the Buddha’s prescription to end suffering. He discovered that if you pay attention to what’s going on, moment to moment—without trying to hold onto what feels good or push away what feels bad—your relationship to pain changes.
The key shift is in turning toward pain, when all your life you’ve turned away from it. You give it your full attention—you yield to it—and, paradoxically, its hold on you diminishes. (The majority of chronic-pain patients in an eight-week meditation course are able to reduce their medications and become more active.) You open to emotional pain as well. As you meditate, the grip of your history loosens and you get a little saner, lighter, less entangled.
Gross goes on to describe how she found a new vocation as a student and teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation designed by molecular biologist Jon Kabat-Zinn. And in her role as a teacher of MBST, she experienced some amazing things that she hadn’t come close to in her years of award-winning magazine work.
Read the powerful story of Amy Gross’s journey here.