Reflections on Meditation: An Interview with Susan A. Lipshutz, LCSW

(November 2010)

"Joy overcomes pain, find your Joy." Susan A. Lipshutz, LCSW

In the following interivew Susan A. Lipshutz shares more about her personal journey into meditation. You can join Susan every Tuesday from noon to 1PM at The Raby Institute for lunchtime guided meditation sessions.

Q: What is meditation to you?

A: Meditation is just like life, the more I show up to the process with honesty and give it my best, the better it feels. I have found meditation to be a portable garden that travels with me where ever I go. This garden has healing, balancing and guiding energies that are abundant and unknown, yet practical and efficient.


Meditation is a process where we can transform the mind into an ally of the true self to positively direct our lives. By remembering that breath is the bridge that links the spirit and body, we can relearn to breathe this life force into our bodies. When the body and mind surrender to this greater connection, our intuition and enhanced self awareness can support a more care free daily experience, despite daily challenges.

Q: When did you start meditating?

A: Twenty years ago, I sought out meditation to support a budding spiritual awakening and to help me cope with the loss of my mother. I created a daily practice of twenty minutes, being as consistent as possible carving out the time from my hectic life as a working mom with two young kids. I primarily worked with enhancing my breath awareness and simple meditation practices, such as learning about the chakra systems. Later, I moved into deeper meditative practices as part of my advanced spiritual training. Five years later, I started facilitating meditation classes and recorded two guided meditation CDs to create a portable meditation system for busy spiritual seekers.

Q: Who can benefit from meditation?

A: Anyone and everyone! Everyone finds something through meditation, in the sense that it puts their mind in a quieter space. We see some activities that we are drawn to without moderation, such as eating, watching TV, exercising, and surfing the internet. With the change of the seasons, we can become unbalanced; I find it interesting that once it's warm out you see people pulling weeds out of their garden in their work attire, they can't wait to get their hands in the earth! The key is to carry this portable garden of balance, healing and guiding energies with us every day. Individuals that seek out a meditation practice will find meaningful positive changes in the quality of their lives as well as emotional and physical health benefits.

Q: What benefits have you seen from meditation?

A: I feel more balanced, a greater sense of intuition and awareness, the ability to problem solve in my life, and cultivate a greater sense of personal happiness.

Q: What impediments do you see around meditation?

A: I sometimes see individuals get discouraged easily by setting expectations around meditation. When I ask a room of people if they meditate, most people who do will follow up with a self critical take on their process. I ask people to look at these self criticisms as a view into how they view and live life. Meditation is like anything else in life, in order to succeed, you must build a consistent dedicated practice. Whether that is once a week or every day, stick with it and you will see results; but remember the results are in the process. Therefore, you will find the bliss when you surrender to being more present in the NOW.

Q: How can I be part of the Raby Institute meditation sessions?

A: You can join Susan every Tuesday from noon to 1PM at The Raby Institute, for lunchtime guided meditation sessions. Please RSVP for a space by calling 312-276-1212 or emailing Visit Alma to purchase a $20 session or a five session package for $75.00, with a 10% discount until the end of the year.

Q: What's next for The Raby Institute at Northwestern Meditation Space?

A: Ease into or advance your yoga practice with two pay-what-you-can Hatha yoga sessions at the Raby Institute from 5:00 - 6:15 pm on Tuesday December 7th and Tuesday December 14th. Learn the basics of yoga poses, proper alignment and breathing techniques to increase strength, stamina and improve flexibility.


Classes will be led by Katia Mazuy. A registered Yoga Alliance yoga teacher, Katia Mazuy has been facilitating yoga instruction and therapy since 2006; Katia emphasizes the individual as a whole to enable her students to integrate the health benefits of yoga into their daily life.


Read more about Susan A. Lipshutz.  Call 312-276-1212 or email for more information.


"With Dr. Raby, it’s not just about my body or my physical health – she understands emotions and that people are whole, individual people. She really gets the body/mind/spirit connection."
- Raby Institute patient