About

Exploring the Places Where Body & Spirit, Healing & Social Justice Intersect

In this occasional blog, I will share thoughts and words about what is important to me: a desire to deepen connection between our bodies, the planet and Spirit, and a commitment to find and offer accessible, practical tools for healing our personal and collective traumas. Above all else, quadruple Virgo that I am, I care about finding and sharing WHAT WORKS–what truly transforms oppression and trauma, where it counts—in our bodies, in our hearts, in our actions, in our communities, in our institutions.

While I will do my best to express the insights that the earth births through me as cleanly as possible, I have my biases, blindspots and vantage point based on where I come from. This body I dwell in and speak from is a white, lower-middle class, Canadian, immigrant, lesbian, highly educated, English-speaking, fundamentalist-Christian-raised, convert-Buddhist, intermittently disabled, 49 year-old cis-gendered female body. Each of these categories carry social meanings that bestow or withhold social power and privilege.

My perspective has also been profoundly shaped by my 30+ years as a social justice activist and educator, peer counselor and energy healer. Many of my insights into trauma-healing and the spiritual journey arise from my direct experience of healing from 9 years of child sexual abuse, and integrating the 11 year spiritual emergence process that unfolded during my twenties.

The influences that currently shape my perspective the most include: restorative yoga, generative somatics, intuitive reading and Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism, especially the teachings of JoAnn Lyons, Denise Benson, Phyllis Pay and Anam Thubten.

So that’s me. What follows are the words I choose and that choose me, on the subjects of personal and collective healing and transformation. I invite you to read (click “Home” at top of this page), chew on whatever tastes good or interesting, and spit out what does not.

Your responses and feedback are welcome, as long as they are respectful to you, me, and all beings.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy.

Vanissar

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Fayth

    Vanissar, thank you so much for this work. Your thesis is such necessary work, and it is informing me how to address racism within my own sangha while also addressing my own racist thoughts and behavior as a mixed Asian-White person (and queer if that matters to you). I’ll admit that I’m frustrated and intrigued that I feel I belong neither in White UR’s or POC UR’s or both! And as an aspiring educator on this topic, I’m finding it difficult to even construct a workshop on the issue because of how I appear.

    Regardless, to find someone doing this within Buddhist communities is immensely encouraging. I hope we can somehow be in contact over the coming years.

  2. Vanissar Post author

    Fayth, you are so welcome. Thanks for reading and responding! That does sound challenging, especially straddling both worlds. I am trying to remember if I know someone who is biracial who is doing this work in Buddhist communities…if I do I will contact you, but in the meantime, I would trust your own authority and experience–and more importantly, your own yearning to create what you (and other folks) need–to help you conspire with the universe to create a way to do this work. Blessings.

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