Out of non-being, being is born;
out of silence, the writer produces a song.
~ Lu Ji
Elizabeth enjoys exploring the boundary between silence and song, and sharing this exploration with like-minded friends. She offers classes, retreats and individual sessions which combine natural meditation, contemplative dialogues and yoga explorations rooted in Kashmir Shaivism. She writes on similar topics, and offers healing sessions employing the tools of acupuncture, tuina and qigong.
What brought her to this kind of work/play? Hard to say, exactly, but here’s a bit of the story ….
After a childhood characterized (as most are) by a mixture of auspicious and challenging circumstances, Elizabeth found herself on the north shore of Chicago, as an undergraduate at Northwestern University. While earning degrees in mathematics and women’s studies (and playing a bit of basketball) she undertook a systematic throwing out of the baby of spirituality with the bathwater of organized religion.
Sometime later – while engaged in a Ph.D. program in sociology/philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison – she discovered poetry, dance improvisation and yoga asana, each of which contributed to a resurrection of interest in the questions (Who am I? What is this?) associated with spiritual exploration. Suddenly, the path of an academic started to feel a bit too narrow, incomplete in a way she couldn’t quite articulate.
During a year-long “time-out” from her formal academic studies, Elizabeth traveled to the Dordogne Valley of France, to attend a three-week meditation retreat with the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh – whom she had heard of for the first time just a couple months previously (while having tea with a friend in Madison). It was in this setting that she tasted, for the first time, the ineffable and profound sweetness of what had been missing from the purely conceptual approach of academia.
What came next was a move to Santa Fe, New Mexico, four years of studying Chinese Medicine, falling in love with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, exploring the polarity-processing techniques developed by Leslie Temple-Thurston, and crossing paths for the first time with Tibetan lamas (e.g. Namkhai Norbu). An intuitive pull then landed her in Boulder, Colorado – her current home. Since being here Elizabeth has deepened her engagement with qigong and yoga asana, published a poetry collection and a beginner’s guide to meditation, fallen in love with the Rocky Mountains, and had the great good fortune to connect with Buddhist and Advaita Vedanta teachers whose wisdom and love is ever-inspiring.
Elizabeth continues to read and write poetry, and to explore the playful interweaving of body, mind and awareness via yoga and meditation. In her teaching style she is increasingly inspired by the approach offered by her friend and teacher Francis Lucille (and his teacher, Jean Klein) – which combines deep and direct verbal inquiry with a commitment to abide, from the outset, in and as the Pure Awareness that is our true identity; supported by gentle-clear yoga asana explorations (rooted in Kashmir Shaivism), to root this understanding deeply into the cells and vibratory patterns of our human body.
Sitting alone in peace
Before these cliffs
The full moon is
The ten thousand things
Are all reflections
The moon originally
Has no light
The spirit of itself is pure
Hold fast to the void
Realize its subtle mystery
Look at the moon like this
The moon that is the heart’s
~ Han Shan