We asked our teachers five questions about them and their lives. Here is what Jake responded:

Jake Dartington

1) What brings you joy? What makes you unhappy?

I love it when I can spend longer periods of practising at home. It feels helpful for me to see myself as a yogi first and a teacher second. Staying in touch with the joy of practice is the foundation for everything else I do. ‘Ordinary’ moments,  like having a leisurely coffee or watching TV with my wife Jasmin, can also often be unexpectedly joyful.

I love being in situations where people listen deeply to each other’s perspective so can feel unhappy when that’s not happening. Some political disputes seem to be fueled by a lack of interest in what others think or feel.

2) If you weren’t teaching what career would you have liked to have?

I have a longstanding interest in radio and the media in general so I think that would be something I’d do. In my twenties I presented a soul music show on a London Radio station and still enjoy listening to this music. More recently I studied broadcast journalism and have spoken about meditation on the radio and TV. I like the challenge of doing this. There’s a particular skill in saying something in 90 seconds that’s different to the luxury of giving a long Dharma talk.

3) What one phrase or teaching do you come back to the most / have you found most useful? (Buddhist or not)

One  favourite phrase is ‘hatred never ceases through hatred but through love alone does hatred cease’. This is a helpful teaching for how to relate to our own thoughts and feelings. It’s also a wonderful guide in how to relate to others. More recently the phrase ‘may my heart be full of peace’ has also become a mantra for me. It’s inspired by one of Joseph Goldstein’s books.