Mushim (Patricia) Ikeda-Nash is a Buddhist teacher, writer, diversity consultant, and community activist. She is a core teacher and Leadership Sangha member at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California (www.eastbaymeditation.org), and she appears in two documentary films, Acting on Faith: Women's New Religious Activism in America; and Between the Lines: Asian American Women's Poetry.
A pervasive but often invisible source of suffering in our culture is self-aversion. We are a busy culture, and we move through our life feeling anxious and dissatisfied, but not fully conscious of how we neglect or judge our inner experience. We suffer from a lack of belonging: to our own bodies, to each other and to the earth. When we practice Buddhist meditation, we learn how to listen deeply and hold our life tenderly.
The open space of compassion allows us to realize that our thoughts and emotions are not who we are; they are waves in our ocean. This gives us the freedom to live more wisely and love more fully.
For over thirty-five years, I've been exploring the awakening of awareness with yoga, meditation, a clinical psychology practice and relationships in spiritual community (sangha). Since the untying of emotional knots is an essential part of "waking up," it is natural for me to weave these elements into my Buddhist practice and teaching. With formal practice, and a genuine engagement in sangha, we can cultivate the qualities of heart and awareness that allow for deep emotional healing and spiritual freedom.
Buddhism guides us in slowing down, quieting and paying attention in an honest and caring way. Through our mindfulness and compassion practices, we establish a sense of intimacy and belonging to our life. We discover that there is no Buddha "out there." Rather, we realize that our true refuge is the wakefulness, openness and love of our own natural awareness.
Trudy mitchell-gilkey is currently a lay (but aspiring) monastic, a licensed clinical social worker, a meditation teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, and a writer, drawing on nearly 20 years of private practice as a mindfulness based cognitive therapist and 15 years as a Vipassana (insight) meditation teacher. Trudy also holds a leadership position in the civil service, where she trains other clinicians to integrate mindfulness into their practice and remain faithful to evidence based practices in the treatment of mental health, substance related and co-occurring disorders.
In September of 2010, Trudy founded the MAAD Dharma Project: a 12-step adapted, deepening practice meditation program for persons suffering with mood, addiction, attachment and anxiety disorders from which her workshops are conducted and her spiritual booklet and memoir are emerging.
In 2012, Trudy completed the Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader Program - IV, a two-year training embedded in the ancient lineage of Theravada designed to encourage creative, intuitive and innovative responses that enable the Buddha’s timeless teachings to be applied to modern, contemporary life and reveal a path through the complex difficulties of our world in a spiritual, social, political, cultural, interpersonal, and personal contexts. Over the past 15 years, mitchell-gilkey has committed over 500 nights to silent, residential refuge, and aspires to fully ordain in the coming years.
Trudy received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Social Work from the Catholic University of America.