I began practicing Buddhist meditation at quite young age. While I have explored and practiced in many other wisdom traditions and still do, there is something about the Buddha’s teachings on a way to live with kindness, wisdom and compassion, right in the midst of our challenges, which speak deeply to me. More importantly, this path has given me tools to transform my suffering, at least from time to time, and to relate to it and the suffering of others in a completely different way. That way is to turn towards it with genuine interest and compassion rather than aversion and avoidance which is what was modeled for me in my childhood and society at large, and which I saw clearly only led to more suffering.

I have studied and practiced for fifteen years under the guidance of Zen Master Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. I have undertaken a ceremony called Jukai, formally taking the Zen Precepts in front of the community, and endowing me with a Dharma name which is Joshi meaning Sincere Service. This ceremony makes a public commitment to live within these guidelines for a wholesome life. I have lived residentially at Yokoji, for several three month training periods. In 2015, I served as Shuso “head trainee” or practice leader, which culminates in a ceremony called Shuso Hossen, or “Dharma Combat”. After spending three months studying Zen koans and then being kindly challenged by the community on my understanding of one. I now hold the position of senior Student and am able to give Dharma talks in the Zen Tradition. I also was given teacher Authorization in the Insight or Vipassana tradition by Larry Yang.  I am the current Guiding Teacher at Insight Community of the Desert.

My personal expression of the Dharma or the Buddha’s teachings is greatly informed by all the streams of my life, practicing medicine to the underserved, teaching MBSR, life with a partner, my crazy family, building my own house, my great love of nature, the outdoors and animals, art, poetry, and music. In other words, while there is particular language to the Dharma and practice, at the core – no separation. Life – Dharma – the same, it’s all in how we hold it.

Copyright © 2010-2018 Beth Mulligan