Hi, I am Samir Ranpara. I teach mindfulness and meditation classes at Portland Mindfulness Programs. Let me give you a bit background about myself and the Programs.
I have meditated on and off for more than 10 years now. I grew up in India. During my adolescent years, I was introduced to meditation. I practiced it regularly for many years.
I started meditating because my friends were also meditating. And more so because I was naive enough to believe that mediation yielded supernatural powers. And I wanted to show off the powers to my buddies.
As you can imagine, eventually I didn’t achieve any supernatural powers. I got frustrated and I gave up the practice and completely stopped doing meditation.
Not only that I became very skeptical of meditation. About 6 years back I started having lots of problems in my personal life. The difficulties made me open up to the things for which I was not open before.
I started learning more about meditation. This time around I found that there was tons of scientific research done in the past couple of decades, which lent far greater credibility to the practice than I thought it had.
Inspired by the new learning, I started practicing meditation again on a regular basis. This time around I was determined to learn it the correct way. It is well known that most experienced meditators are the observers of eastern religious orders.
Given that I started my meditation training at a Zen center in Sunnyvale California. Over the span of two years, I took all the training offered by the Zen center in meditation and the Buddhist philosophy.
Later on, I started my training towards getting certification in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor. I finished the practicum training in 2013.
In early 2014 I attended “MBSR in Mind-Body Medicine: 7-Day Residential Professional Training” taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli.
I also took meditation classes offered at UCLA mindful awareness research center. I learned meditation both in religious and scientific settings.
I believe one can develop a better perspective at a skill by learning the skill from various different teaching schools or philosophies.
Over the last 5 years, the practice has been tremendously beneficial to me. Meditation has largely influenced my life. I am much calmer, contented and peaceful person.
My panic attacks have reduced a lot. I become anxious much less frequently. And when anxiety does strike, it’s far less intense. Stress in my life has reduced significantly.
I have a different relationship to the things around me. This gives me hope for many people who could use this practice and reduce their suffering.
I am extremely passionate about mindfulness and meditation in general. I want to keep learning more about meditation and one of the best ways to gain more knowledge is through teaching.
That is why I decided to start teaching meditation and mindfulness. In 2013 I started teaching mindfulness in California. In 2014 I moved I moved and started my classes in Portland, Oregon.