I was born in England, lived in Sweden and Singapore as an adult, and in 2010 found my way to Arizona in the United States where I found a spiritual teacher and spiritual tradition that was perfect for me. It’s quite humorous really, having traveled around the world to find that a young “Zen Cowboy” in AZ was who I most got on with!
Initially I came across Alaric Hutchinson when I was looking for a community that used meditation as a regular practice. What really stood out to me was his ability to be present with people, and his commitment to fostering a community that encouraged those who showed up to live authentically and from a place of inner peace.
It was a natural progression to start studying under him, and I chose to continue and work towards taking my vows as a Dunisha Monk. Seven years total, with five of those meeting consistently each week for a few hours of group classes and private sessions. These past two years I stepped into a leadership role in the community, helping co-facilitate classes and teach from my book, Journey to Within, which I wrote and published as part of the Dunisha Program to become ordained as a modern monk. I speak earnestly when I say just how in depth his teachings, trainings, and programs are when it comes to cultivating and inspiring each student to become the most peaceful, confident, and strong yet kind versions of themselves! It was no easy feat completing the Dunisha Program, but I am forever grateful that I did.
Through my trainings, I went through a challenging life transition involving my previous marriage, motherhood, and reentering the workforce, which I did not hesitate to have Alaric as my coach to keep me focused on cultivating the peace within. I really appreciated his skill of working with me at a personal level, encouraging me to challenge myself and develop greater self awareness. Repeatedly, the people around me would comment on my peace, especially at work, which would surprise me since at times life was quite stressful and overwhelming. To me, this is a happy byproduct and side effect that proves that the teachings are of great value and that the peaceful lifestyle we learn to consistently live leaves a positive impact, hopefully further inspiring peace as well!
It has been an interesting transition no longer having Alaric here with us in Arizona, yet I recognized quickly after meeting him that there was no possible way he was intended to contain himself to one location. His move to Colorado created yet another lesson, inviting me to step further into my own leadership abilities and begin teaching peace in his stead. Before he left I jokingly said, “Damn you, Alaric! These teachings are now a part of me!” He gave his usual kind, knowing, smile and we laughed. It’s true. Peace is at my core, and it is all thanks to the most unlikely of meetings with the most unlikely of spiritual teachers. Granted, he would say that it was within me all along. Nonetheless, I am truly grateful.