Marie Kronquist is one of the most respected Buddhist teachers in Denmark who instructs recognized business people on achieving greater calm, well-being, and presence in the present moment. Marie has just opened Sanghaen in Copenhagen, a loving physical sanctuary where you can learn how to meditate and have quiet time. We met Marie for a chat about where to start if we feel like life is running a little too fast and we can't keep up.
We have exceptionally been allowed to give you a free online or physical meditation in the Sangha. It is for both new and experienced in the world of meditation, who would like to treat themselves to a self-loving hour with guidance from Marie.
You can register for a free meditation class here www.sanghaen.dk/gratis
How did your interest in Buddhism start, and what has Buddhism given you?
I think I've always had it in me in some way. As a child, I was very reflective and curious about life, and I often asked big questions. I remember having Mother Teresa and Gandhi hanging in my room as a girl, so there have been elements of it for as long as I remember, but it's not because I come from a spiritual or Buddhist family or anything, on the contrary. But it has always been inside of me.
It's the way I live, see life, and am in life. So it hasn't taught me anything specific, but it's more the mindset I have, which is about living my life sustainably, being a good person, and trying to live awake and aware and constantly train my own qualities. I try to make an effort and relate to myself and the life I live and am part of. I try to do it on both the good days filled with joy and the days that may be challenging and difficult and filled with irritation.
What does meditation give you in your everyday life? And how often do you use it?
Well, I have been meditating every day for almost 16 years now. So it's a natural part of me, just as I brush my teeth and take a shower. And then I have my meditation practice. So for me, it's a concept of health, and it's a way I keep myself healthy, sustainable, and clean. And that's the starting point for being who I am in the world.
What does it mean when you say it's a way to keep yourself clean?
Well, it means that through meditation, I turn my attention inward and strengthen my ability to be in touch with myself and work with myself. Purity in Buddhism is about trying to be free of jealousy, anger, resistance, condemnation, and blame, and meditation is one of the things that helps with that.
What do you do to have a balanced everyday life?
I try to be careful and not have too many projects. I try to live simply. That means I drink water, I get enough sleep, I eat healthily, I feel what's going on inside, and I breathe. I take care of myself and my harmony.
If you meditate continuously over a period, the inherent calm will be within you when you go out and meet the world. When I'm in difficult situations, meet people, or make difficult decisions, I have that calm within me, which gives me balance.
If someone wants to learn to meditate, how do they get started? Where do they start?
In my opinion, it's about getting a teacher and getting some guidance to get started. It's hard training, and many people are surprised because they think that if they just sit down and meditate a few times, everything will be fine. That's not how it works. It's a long and continuous training that requires discipline, perseverance, patience, and steadfastness.