Unshakeable Confidence: Mindfulness for Women

by Mare Chapman

Buddhist teachings say unshakeable confidence is our birthright: the deep, stable inner trust in our authentic self to handle whatever arises in life. The teachings also remind us we’re all in the same boat, interdependent and interconnected. When we understand and deeply know this, our hearts open compassionately to all, without exception. Although these ways of being are a natural part of our true nature, access to them gets covered over by habits of conditioning. 

However, the dark forces of tribalism are growing in our culture and world, and the fearful tension between self and other seems amped up. For those who aspire to find peace within themselves and each other, this is a potent time to free our minds from our conditioned blinders so we can step up to take wise action toward ending all bias and social injustice.  

To do so, we first need to free our minds and hearts from their own internal biases. Though conditioning trains our minds to hold many incorrect views, including false beliefs about race, gender, religion, ethnicity, and class, gender identity might be our most deeply rooted bias. As we see today among those who change gender identities, or identify as gender non-binary, the gender we align with is crucial to our sense of authenticity. For women and those who identify as female, transforming our own internalized misogyny is crucial. 

Society’s patriarchal messages avowing the inferiority of women gets insidiously imbedded in our psyches and brains. We acquire a diminished and wounded sense of self, which gives root to serious mental health issues and disempowering habits, limiting our willingness to take our vital seat at the table. Intellectual understanding alone isn’t enough to change conditioned patterns. We can’t think our way out of them. However, mindfulness has the power to remove these blinders and free us from these painful habits, allowing us natural access to authentic self and the wisdom of our true nature. 

Please join me on Saturday, September 21 for my daylong, Transforming Our Internalized Misogyny: Mindfulness for Women, to explore how our minds have been shaped through conditioning to unintentionally oppress ourselves, and how we can apply mindfulness to find our authentic self and the freedom of unshakeable confidence. Based on a class I’ve been teaching to women for 25 years, this retreat-workshop will address the ways we’ve internalized the misogynistic views of our patriarchic culture and developed habits of discounting ourselves, giving our power away, striving to be perfect and pleasing, and being dependent on others instead of ourselves for validation and approval. These habits of “othering” breed self-doubt, anxiety, depression, and relationship addiction, and stop us from being our full amazing selves. 

Through brief talks, discussions and guided meditations, we will review the basic principles of mindfulness, explore how these common patterns live in us, and practice applying mindfulness to uproot them. Realizing these patterns are not who we truly are, we will deepen our self-acceptance, compassion and trust so we can live in the natural freedom and confidence of our authenticity. Then, as we heal our relationship with our self, fear of the other diminishes. Through learning to embody our authentic experience as we connect with the other, the sense of self-versus-other naturally transforms to an inclusive sense of us and we. We again understand we’re all sailing in the same boat of life, connected to each other with our open hearts and minds. 

Appropriate for all levels of experience, and for anyone who feels oppressed by our culture’s sexism and misogyny.

Reading my recently published book, Unshakeable Confidence, The Freedom To Be Our Authentic Selves: Mindfulness For Women, based on my 10-week class, can deepen your experience of this workshop-retreat.

It is the mission of IMCW/The Insight Meditation Community of Washington is to support the awakening of hearts and minds through the direct experience of the Buddhist path, and the integration and manifestation of wisdom and compassion in all aspects of life, for the benefit of all beings.

P.O. Box 3
Cabin John, MD 20818

Phone: 202.986.2922

Email: meditate@imcw.org