UPDATE: I will be co-leading a weekend retreat with Veronica Mary Rolf at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA, August 4-5, 2018. Please follow the link below for details:
After a nine-year career (1995-2004) as a professional ballet dancer – with both the New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet of England – I followed my heart's passion to study Christian Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, earning a Master's degree in 2007. Below is a link to my thesis, entitled Why Emptiness? Towards a Christian Understanding of Madhyamika Thought.
Since I was a teenager, I was driven by the question: What if Christ had been born in India? What if he had come to do all that he did and be all that he was – teaching, dying, and rising in glory from the dead – yet within the context of Indian thought, even at about the same time in history? I wondered how differently Christian theology might have developed had the mystery of Christ been interpreted and expressed in response to the complex interactions of Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu religion, as compared to the way it did in fact develop, primarily in dialogue with Hebrew and Greco-Roman thought. And if it were possible to imagine such transformations, what significance would this have for the way we understand the inner meaning of orthodoxy itself?
Twenty years later, I am still asking these questions, having gained far more acquaintance, perhaps, with the history of doctrine across diverse cultures, yet with the same sense of open-ended inquiry. For how could such questions ever actually be answered? Nevertheless, I believe it is the seeking that carries us forward, the longing to understand that little by little reveals the depths of ultimate meaning.
I have several ongoing projects to develop meditation and retreat manuals for Christian practitioners. I hope that my study and extensive practice as guided specifically within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition will continue to provide the basis upon which to share techniques and perspectives with contemplatives already deeply grounded in the long-standing Christian traditions of hesychasm and the prayer of the heart.
From the website of Sky Farm Hermitage, http://www.skyfarm.org, at which I have spent so many weeks and months of blessed practice:
“Acquire inner peace and a thousand persons around you will find peace.” - St. Seraphim of Sarov, Russian Hermit
“If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence, like the sunlight will illuminate you in God.” -St. Issac of Syria, 7th Century Hermit Monk