Part 1 - Interview with Julie Burch Coach in Mindfulness Meditation

Part 1 - Interview with Julie Burch Coach in Mindfulness Meditation

This morning's discussion is with Julie Burch.

Julie is a level 2 coach in Unified Mindfulness, working on level 3. She is also a Licensed Spiritual Practitioner and offers Mindfulness classes as a Mindfulness Meditation Coach as well as work one-on-one with her clients.

The focus today is on Julie and her work. We are discussion Mindfulness Meditation and the development of 3 mental muscles;
- Concentration
- Sensory Clarity &
- Equanimity / Balance

Julie has 2 websites: 1 in progress, the other is (as an author)

Welcome Julie!

This is Part 1/2. Continue to part 2 for the next video.


Below is a transcription of the interview video:


Violaine: Good morning Julie, so for you it's the morning, for me it's the afternoon, thank you for jumping in on this interview about you and your life. I'm happy to have an interview with you, I love to conduct interviews, so I'm very much looking forward to what you have to say.

Julie: Great, it's a pleasure to be here.

Violaine: So just to start, would you please introduce yourself, including your background, your specialty, and the number of years you've been working in the mindfulness meditation field?

Julie: Well, okay, I've been a teacher for almost my whole life it feels like, and I've taught a lot of different things including health and math. I have been a meditator, it feels like, for my whole life too, not always daily, but it's been an integral part of my life. I've gotten benefits from it. I started meditating in earnest when I was in college, but prior to that, I was chanting. I did chanting. I was a chanting Buddhist for a while, and so I found Shinzen Young many years ago through Sounds True audio courses and in 2016, I looked him up again and found that he had been very busy teaching for many years, and I was sorry I missed all those years. 

So I dove into his home practice programs, which are called weekend retreats, and they used to be by phone but now they're by Zoom as well, and that's when I really got involved in mindfulness practice. I have done a lot of other kinds of meditation, but the mindfulness practice is what I started then and I found it very very helpful. I saw results in my life right away and so as soon as there was something offered to become trained so that we could share this with others, I grabbed that opportunity and have been taking their training since then to be able to coach others. 

I'm right now a level two coach in Unified Mindfulness and I am halfway through the teacher training course. I will have a more advanced level of training to do more in-depth coaching with other people. I teach this at our local technical college where I live in Florida right now. I teach mindfulness as a mindfulness coach, I am offering mindfulness classes, and I work one-on-one with some people as well.  I look forward to taking it deeper and wider as I continue my studies and advance myself. 

So mindfulness practice is very very helpful in helping us remain calm and balanced, and helping us have great clarity of thought and what we're perceiving, but it really helps us put a little space between stimulus and response so that I'm responding in life and I'm not reactive. That's very helpful. 

Mindfulness practice also helps us control our attention so that we are focused where we want to be focused. We say that it creates three mental muscles or attention skills and those are concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity or balance. By training those skills, we become happier, more productive, more contented, less reactive, a better force for good in the world.

Violaine: Yes, and I in the way I know you, I know you mentioned mindfulness a lot. I feel like it has been a big part of your life, so I understand now you're level two. How many levels, just out of curiosity?

Julie: Right now, there are three levels, I'm halfway through the top level, the third level, and this has been a very rich experience to be in this training and I'm very grateful that they have it. I look forward to being more skillful in how I help people with their own practice.

Violaine: So this practice, this mindfulness practice, is that helping you in your spiritual life as well? Is it a strict focus on meditation solely or does it encompass the whole spiritual development of a human being?

Julie: Well, that's a very big and wonderful question. I love it. This particular kind of practice is meant to be secular so that you can take it into whatever your spiritual practice is. I also happen to be a licensed spiritual practitioner with the Centers for Spiritual Living. I find meditation is an essential part of my spiritual practice because it's all about connecting deeply with source. When I am doing my spiritual work,  when I'm meditating, I am on that journey to know my connection with Source more fully. 

We're already connected to Source, okay, but because of the illusions of our human experience, we can't always see that or feel it or know it. My spiritual practice is all about being in touch with Source and using the spiritual principles in my life to live more effectively and help others. Meditation is an essential part of that, and so becoming a meditation coach allows me, as well as gives me the skills to help others grow spiritually as well. 

But you don't have to have the same kind of spiritual beliefs as me, you don't even have to consider yourself a spiritual person to do the mindfulness practice because you can take it for what it is and develop yourself because of it. You can also take it into your own personal spiritual practice, whatever religion you are, and if you do a little investigating, you find that really religions all have a branch that's contemplative.

Violaine: Well, thank you for the elaborate answer and I'm sure there are many people for which it is a very new concept, meaning spirituality I would say, or even mindfulness meditation. I'm actually personally not very sure what's the percentage, for example, of the population that do have a regular practice as such. Is there a way to put it in simple words for our audience, in the simplest way you can say, what is mindfulness meditation?

Julie: Mindfulness meditation is the development of three mental skills: concentration, clarity, and equanimity. When we develop these three skills, which are like mental muscles, when we make them stronger, then we are able to be present more fully in our lives. We are able to live life in mindful awareness and we also are happier and less reactive. So we show up as a better version of ourselves in our own lives and we also are a better force for good in any given situation because we are thinking more clearly, we are coming from a more balanced position. 

So mindfulness meditation is the cultivation of these skills, and all meditations, all different kinds of meditation, are cultivating these skills in some way. Sometimes there's a greater emphasis on one skill over another depending on the technique, but that's the bottom line. 

I like that Unified Mindfulness has clarified it so well because it's something we can actually work with. These are the skills that I'm cultivating, then I have something I can cultivate and I can see my advancement and my practice unfolding as I become more successful in my practice.

Violaine: Yes, well this is a very good description of how we benefit from it, I suppose this is how we benefit. We develop those mental muscles and this is what mindfulness meditation does, it just makes us a more centered, balanced, better person just in general.

Julie: Really, a better version of ourselves.

Violaine: Yes, that's a good way to put it. What group of people would you say may most benefit from mindfulness meditation and from your work, for example? Is there a particular set of people?

Julie: I'm gonna say any, all the human people for sure because I really think that this is beneficial for everyone. You know my son happens to be blind and it's extremely important for him because he needs high sensory clarity, but who doesn't need to have great focus? Who doesn't need to have balance and peace? Who doesn't need to have sensory clarity so that when they're feeling overwhelmed they can stop and they can deconstruct what they're going through and manage it more effectively? Everyone needs that. 

It's very helpful for people who are feeling stressed, obviously, but it's very helpful for anyone because you can be filling the bucket before you need to use it right. You can be building your resilience muscles ahead of time so that when stress happens, when life happens, you already have what you need right. So it's good for people who are not terribly stressed or in crisis because they're building their resilience muscles up and then it's good for people who are stressed or in crisis because it helps to build their resilience back. So I'm going to say that all the human people need mindfulness will benefit from it anyway.

Violaine: Yes, I mean I fully agree with it. I myself meditate every day or at least I do a half hour in the morning of meditation and then depending on the day, depending on how I feel, it can be some more.

My husband and I, we're both on this path I guess, where we tend to dig deeper and deeper. We, of course, have done mindfulness meditation and we try all sorts of meditation, but also there's a little bit of that quest, I would say, where we really try to find that inner peace and unconditional love where just everything happens all at once, everything is in balance and in resonance, and everything just is what it is and there is some sort of release that comes with it too in the sense that everything works in harmony, and I know we've shared before about my sudden event, where I wasn't sure what happened to me and you put it in the words, wait, let me recall again, what was it... it was a sudden or a spontaneous awakening was it, that you said?

Julie: Yes, spontaneous.

Violaine: Yes, something just ripped me apart and it just felt like I was in a different state of mind but everything was working in synchronicity. So it was a wonderful experience and I know it's available to everybody and it starts, for sure, with meditation and the inner work that people are doing.


Moving on to Part 2.

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