denise

:: Short Herstory :: When I was 15 in Silicon Valley, my friend brought me to East West Bookstore in Menlo Park (which still exists! It's in Mountain View now.) And at the bookstore we took a meditation class with a white bearded guy from India. It was just the three of us, and I was told to let go of the thoughts that came to my mind and focus on my breath. I was bored, and  thoughts kept on creeping into my mind, I was totally dissatisfied with my abilities and I pushed away my thoughts in shame for having a thought because I was supposed to think of nothing -- and this was supposed to relax me and give me space in my mind. My friend and I, who is now an acupuncturist and also has had many journeys into life's adventurous ups and downs and came to the conclusion that he's a healer, he and I would sit in his house and have meditation dates. It was a cool idea, yet it didn't stick, for I personally struggled even sitting still. Years later when I was 19, I was introduced by my neighbors to the Buddhist chant meditation, Nam yoho renge kyo, which I enjoyed quite a bit, yet, the dogma of how to do it, brought me to a kind of judgemental boredom, and I hadn't discovered how to prime myself for the peace I received when doing the chant. I also didn't have a larger sangha to do chant with and thus register in myself the diversity of perspectives and altars to practice at. At that point, I had begun my traveling adventures after spending a year in Europe, yet had yet to trip around the world to discover more kinds of meditation, visualization, practices, chants, and perspectives. Shortly after being introduced to the powerful chant of Nam Yoho Renge Kyo, I left that Mountain View neighborhood for a journey that would last 20 years before I had returned home to bring all that I'd explored into points of deepening within me. I list all the experiences at the moment, for they span 20 years!  I have gone to several retreat centers and ashrams in the US, India, Peru, Costa Rica, and now Mexico, have done yoga teacher trainings,  explored chi gong and have several certificates in healing modalities in the spaces of inquiring within the body, inner discovery and shifting and intentioning.

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