Inner-Architecture

 
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Buddhism

I began formal training to become a monk when I was 17 years old. In Japanese tradition, women are allowed to become monks. I entered into a temple initially located in Issaquah, Washington. The temple is called Shinnyo-en. I began learning Japanese and Sanskrit in order to participate in learning sutras and chanting with my sangha. Today, 28 years later, I have practiced with sanghas all over the world. Sangha is a Sanskrit word used in many Indian languages, including Pali, meaning community.

At the Land of Medicine Buddha, Soquel, CA, 2016

 

Yoga, Qigong & Kirtan

These three words fuel my power center and represent community to me. My life changed dramatically in 2011 when a friend of mine organized one of my favorite life events: practicing yoga on the playa at Burning Man with 10,000 other people. It's the same level of fire ignited in me when I am singing in Kirtan, dancing with hundreds of others in 5Rhythms or Ecstatic Dance, or practicing Qigong in a park with friends. 

 

Activating the Six Directions in Qigong

I began learning about the 6 directions of healing in 2012 while taking a Qigong class in California. Later, I moved to Thailand to study directly with my teacher. She lived in a wat just down the road from my flat in Bangkok, Thailand. She held daily yoga classes, which I could not keep up with. She said, “You are not breathing. Americans often have stomach problems because you do not breath emotionally with the heart and from deep within the stomach which is where your breath should come from.” Where are the 6 directions of healing? In the direction your heart leads you.

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Toltec and Breath Work

In 2010, I went to New Mexico to participate in a workshop held by Don Miguel Ruiz, a renowned spiritual teacher and author of the Toltec Wisdom Series, which includes The Four AgreementsThe Mastery of LoveThe Voice of Knowledge, The Four Agreements Companion BookThe Circle of Fire, and The Fifth Agreement.”All of which I own, read, and continue to reference. Don Miguel Ruiz spent the past three decades guiding students to personal freedom through his profound insights regarding the nature of human reality. His newest book, The Actor is part of the Mystery School series written with Barbara Emrys, published in November 2020. The youngest of thirteen children, Don Miguel Ruiz was born in rural Mexico to parents who were healers and practitioners of ancient Toltec traditions. As a young adult, he graduated from medical school in Mexico City and practiced neurosurgery with his older brother in Tijuana. A near-fatal car crash forever changed the direction of his life; it caused him to leave medicine in order to examine the essential truths about life and humanity. With his mother’s her ancestral teachings, he discovered his own path to awareness, which evolved into a deep understanding of the physical universe and the virtual world of the mind. Combining Toltec mythology and scientific perspectives, Don Miguel Ruiz has been able to merge ancient wisdom with modern physics and practical common-sense, forging a new philosophy for seekers of truth and personal authenticity.

 

Meditation

When I was six years old, we had a Japanese exchange student live with us. She brought us gifts, dolls, kimonos, fans, and shoes. As you can see, it made such an impact on my life as an artist, and my curiosity for other cultures. Today at 45, I continue my practice. My spiritual practice began with Catholicism. At 17, my Buddhist practice began with a Japanese Mahāyāna Buddhism developed in India, one of the two main branches of Buddhism. The remainder of my life would be the study of texts, plants, and healing properties found in Theravāda Buddhism which is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism's and oldest existing school. Theravādins, have preserved their version of Gautama Buddha's teaching, dhamma (in original Sanskrit), in the Pāli Canon for over a millennium.

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