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Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher with an M.A. in Religious Studies from Naropa University
To me, religious life is life. I do not see any reason to spend one’s whole life tasting just one kind of fruit. We human beings can be nourished by the best values of many traditions.
Kimberly Holman – My Story
My early introduction to spirituality happened in the home of my grandparents in Port Clyde, Maine. There, my love of God, my relationship with Jesus, and my passion for scripture were deeply instilled. Yet, despite my early Christian grounding, I have often described my adult spiritual life as more like a revolving door.
On one side of the door there’s Buddhism. In 1996, I left my home in Bangor, Maine and with my two children ventured to Boulder, Colorado where I started grad school at the University of Naropa. Naropa is a leader in contemplative education. There, I immersed myself in the study and practice of mindfulness-awareness meditation.
During this time, I worked closely with my teacher and spiritual friend, Dale Asrael, a Senior Teacher in the lineage of Naropa’s founder, Ven. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Initially, I thought Buddhism provided everything I needed, but eventually something seemed to be missing. I guess I would call it the God factor. I talked to Dale about this and she recommended I read Father Thomas Keating‘s book, Open Heart, Open Mind.
I was immediately drawn to the Christian mystical tradition. It became the other side of my revolving door. Through an introduction from Dale, I met David Frenette.
David is the author of The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God. He is a leader and senior teacher in the Centering Prayer movement and was a friend and close advisor of Father Thomas Keating for 30 years.
I received Centering Prayer instructions from David in his home and later took classes with him when he became an adjunct professor at Naropa.
My revolving door wasn’t done with me yet though. Eventually, I found my way back to Buddhism and the practice of Dzogchen meditation. This was about the time I was finishing up my master’s degree.
As a side note, I didn’t complete my program when I first attended Naropa in 1996 due to a variety of health challenges, but I went back later and graduated with a degree in Religious studies in 2008.
Dzogchen is the most revered system of thought and practice among the ancient Buddhist and Bon traditions of Tibet. From a Dzogchen perspective, we only need to recognize our already enlightened nature in order to obtain full liberation from suffering.
I continue to study Dzogchen meditation with my teacher, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, the founder and director of Ligmincha Institute and several other organizations dedicated to the study and practice of the Dzogchen teachings within the Bon tradition.
I’ve noticed a lot of commonality between Dzogchen meditation and Centering Prayer as Cynthia Bourgealt also notes in her book, The Heart of Centering Prayer, and David Frenette confirmed to me. David directed my final master’s paper on Dzogchen.
I guess that’s why, over time, I have come to embrace the wisdom coming from both the Bon-Buddhist and Christian Contemplative traditions. I now think of them as the two sides of my revolving door that somehow make a complete pathway for me.
Today, I practice both Centering Prayer and Dzogchen Meditation. I also recently became a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher under the mentorship of Sean Fargo, founder of Mindfulness Exercises Institute.
Books & Publications
Pray Without Ceasing
Given the responsibility and demands of modern life, contemporary readers naturally wonder if and how it’s possible to live a life of unceasing prayer. In “Pray Without Ceasing: The Transformative Power of a Prayerful Attitude,” Kimberly Holman explains why expanding our definition of prayer may be the key to unlocking this mystery. Pointing to an important clue contained in Paul’s writing, she demonstrates that maintaining a transformative attitude of celebration and gratitude is a form of continuous prayer. In addition, she suggests that developing a prayerful mindset contains unparalleled potential for spiritual awakening. Guiding her readers logically through the background matter of Paul’s letter to the heart of his command, Kimberly explains why unceasing prayer is a natural consequence of Christian hope and reveals a well kept secret about the true meaning of this word.