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Keri Pederson
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KERI PEDERSON began meditating in 1998, motivated by a deepening yoga practice as well as a strong desire to understand suffering. She began formal retreat practice in the tradition of S.N. Goenka, and has sat retreats with a variety of lay and monastic teachers in the US, Thailand, and India. Rodney Smith has been her primary teacher for the past decade, and since 2007 she has been assisting him on retreats as well as teaching classes, mentoring individuals, and facilitating groups through Seattle Insight Meditation Society. Keri is now a part of a four-year teacher training program with Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Gil Fronsdal and other prominent western vipassana teachers.

Keri's teaching centers around the understanding that awakening is a natural process that is accessible to each of us. We need not strive and strain to become something other than we already are. Instead, when we are able to remember to pause and turn towards ourselves with kindness and curiosity, there can be a deep letting be and a widening of our view. Our hearts and minds can finally relax. Inspired by the teachers of the Thai Forest tradition, Keri invites students to return again and again to the simplicity of things as they are, to stillness, and to one's direct experience. Rather than approaching practice as a grim chore or project, Keri offers a gentle and creative approach to meditation---as something that one might even come to enjoy!---encouraging each student to find his or her own doorway and to begin to trust their own capacity for transformation.

Keri is currently most inspired by teachers who embody a fully integrated path of practice. For many years she has been a student, practitioner, and facilitator of Insight Dialogue, which emphasizes meditation in relationship and conversation, and has also been deeply influenced by the psychospiritual inquiry work of Jennifer and John Welwood. Her yoga practice continues to reveal the way in which both resistance and release manifest in both body and mind. Although we may experience profound shifts in understanding as we walk on the path, if these insights are not fully felt in the musculature and energetics of our bodies and expressed in our speech and relationships with others, they are incomplete.

Another central part of Keri's practice has been her on-going work with elders over the past fifteen years, particularly those with Alzheimers disease and dementia. In helping to care for those whose minds and bodies are in decline, she has learned about what remains when the intellect and verbal language can no longer be relied upon, and has had the honor of accompanying many people through the profound changes of identity and relationship as they approach death.
Cloud Mountain 2017 .