‘Prajna’ is much more than a name: it means ‘direct knowing’, intuitive wisdom that is alive, beyond the mechanics of the mind. As a mother,Hakomi Therapist and Teacher, it is my most profound wish to help others awaken their own ‘prajna’. Because this is what I am and what you are before confusion or any labels, no matter how noble.

‘Prajna’ is also a symbol of my personal evolution. I have come back to the beginning. Back to the eternal truth…

It Began with an Abrupt AwakeningPrajnaLake-crop-254x300

Liberation has nothing to do with a perfect life. That understanding can come in many forms, but as a spiritual teacher it is incumbent upon me to ‘walk my talk’ and not just deal in nice-sounding abstractions.

My wake-up call came close to three years into my life as a devoted yogini at an ashram on the east coast in 1986 when my first spiritual teacher, Eunice Zimmerman, paid a surprise visit. In those days, my rigorous daily practice began at 4am and ended at 10pm. There was no need to consider anything for myself.

Just before driving off in her black sedan, Eunice changed into a police woman with bullet eyes. She told me in no uncertain terms: “Get on with it!”

Three days later, I received a phone call from her daughter: “Eunice just died.”

Lost on the Pantry Floor

A friend took me in, allowing me to transition at her spacious home in Los Gatos Hills. She also gave me unfettered access to her pantry while she was at work. Soon I was sprawled out on the pantry floor, alone, licking out the inside of one Oreo cookie after another!

Without my spiritual practice of rigorous discipline, I was confused and lost amidst cookie crumbs. After weeks of unrestrained eating and putting on one pound after another, I got stern with myself: This is absurd.

That feeling propelled me to a local spiritual potluck sharing where I received my first invitation to Satsang. A spontaneous series of unusual shifts in my identity followed. I rediscovered my devotion to truth. By luck, Nirvikalpa Samadhi, a state of perpetual absorption in Spirit, became my favorite MO.

Ten years later when my first child, Bodhi, was born in our living room on a sunny afternoon, I could not imagine a greater happiness. Wondering how family life integrated with my Samadhi’s, I prayed for a broader realization—one that included all of humanity.

Be careful what you pray for.

Spiritual Rubber Hits the Road

In 1996, I gave birth to my other two daughters, premature twins Abby and Libby. They were blind at birth, had severe brain injuries, and barely made it out of the operating room. The next two years were a blur of nursing, rehabilitation, cooking, feeding, bathing and incontinence routines. I was usually so exhausted that when darkness came, I couldn’t sleep.

It was in that state one night while rocking Libby that a high-pitched shriek pierced my mind: “Get out! You have to get out. Walk. Move. Get out!” And so I walked, passing a bench marked West Cliff Drive and crossing another threshold.

The grief over the life I was never going to have broke through, concealed by the waves crashing on steep boulders below. I arrived at a steep edge. Eyes closed, I leaned off. I felt my weary body releasing.

Without explanation, the ocean wind howled, “You’re staying”. Another firm directive.

Only the dogged persistence of a friend brought me to Adyashanti’s teachings 1999. When he described “the feeling of utter abandonment by Spirit” during the dark night of the soul, the shackles of my life fell away.

He taught that every spiritual realization was followed by a corresponding ordeal: “Spiritual awakening is just the beginning…”

That understanding was crystalized during the tragedy of 9/11. I was called to live in service of Satsang.

Edge of Grace is Born

It was a long walk in the dark before the light Libby and Abby brought lifted the scales from my eyes and shifted my perception about the journey of awakening.

In 2014, after many false starts, I finished writing Edge of Grace. I was now named ‘Prajna’, in honor of the fierce grace that had led me down the spiritual mountain to engaged living with life as it is — Reality.

‘Prajna’ has gifted me with the sharp insights, soft sensitivities, core strength and human kindness critical in our current times. These are the gifts I now offer to others. I’m here to solidify your own awakening by activating your ‘prajna’ too.

Read Edge of Grace for the full story of my fierce awakening to Love!

Why I stopped teaching for seven years

twinsnicuA video titled The Sonogram — September, 1996 changed my world. I had forgotten it was there, beneath many others in a box. It was taken about three weeks before the twins were born. That was a decade ago. My hands began to sweat as I pulled the carriage out of the case at Bodhi’s request.

A confident male voice began speaking: “There they are, two fetuses, two of everything. Look at this, they are traveling first class.”

I sat vacant with limp arms until 12-year-old Bodhi let out a high-pitched scream: “That hospital ruined my life!” For the first time I let myself know what I already knew. The hospital staff had misdiagnosed our situation. They named it twin-to-twin blood transfusion syndrome. A condition that was impossible when there are two of everything.

It was time to withdraw into the big mama cave and hold my little ones tight, let them have their grief. It was too late to sue the hospital for malpractice. I let my public teaching life go and retreated to the place I was needed the most — home.  Those seven years were some of richest times of my life.

I have re-emerged much stronger, more grounded and fortified by an incomprehensible force of love that I will never be able to capture in words but do my best to honor, share, and serve.