Hi I’m Prajna,
An author, seasoned dharma teacher, trauma-informed somatic Hakomi therapist and plant healing guide. Over four decades I’ve assisted 1000’s of people like you to heal, awaken and cultivate an empowered heart centered life grounded in truth. My work is informed through raising three unique daughters, two born three months premature through medical trauma. My life experience has given me skillful means and empathy necessary to meet whatever you bring. I help you uncover your inherent gifts even if it means soggy tears and messy muck. I stay with you.
I offer this body of work as a prayer that arose out of a dark night that literally blew me off course. After a huge ‘what the f…’ untidy dismantling, I’m stronger, more grounded, connected, and here to support you to birth new possibilities for living in harmony with life.
Let’s do this.
P.S. I love trees, plants, cacao, pole dance, open water swimming, pleasure, writing and outright silliness.
Read Prajna’s Bestseller “Edge of Grace”
DIVE INTO PRAJNA’S JOURNEY
I was born in New York on unceded Haudenosaunee and Wenrohronon land. I now live in Santa Cruz, California on unceded Amah Mutson Tribal land with my twin daughters, visiting oldest daughter and an emergent family. I am one of eight siblings from a wild Irish Catholic family.
Since a young age, I was drawn to the mysteries of the Latin Mass, the Sanctus bells, golden vestments, adornments and Mother Mary. I felt heartbroken not to become an altar boy simply because I was a girl. Reciting the rosary became an obsession. I regularly gathered my beads to climb an oak tree by the side of our house. This great oak became my safe haven for prayer and questions I ached to have answers for. Why the violence in my home? Why the exclusion of women? Why children with disabilities on little yellow buses? Why the Ku Klux Klan?
I remember every time I heard a siren (and I heard many) I’d cross myself and weep as if a wound cut deeper.
My search for sanctity and sanctuary began very early. I found solace in a few adults that dedicated their lives to holy service. Still a sense of incompletion, shame and brokenness persisted. I unconsciously suppressed this pain, a mechanism that had a snowball effect and landed me in undesirable places.
My First Teacher — Eunice Zimmerman
Forty four years ago, an abrupt shaking by my first college roommate sent me on a radical healing course. She introduced me to Eunice Zimmerman, my first spiritual guide and therapist. She was the prefect fusion of an all-loving mother and a no-nonsense Zen policewoman. After I relapsed into self-sabotaging behaviors Eunice tucked me under her wing. She told me, “If you put someone into an ocean of love, they will not feel an ounce, if they do not believe they are lovable.” She taught me the art of uncovering the layers that hide our essential goodness—our birth as love. I studied with Eunice for five years before her unexpected death.
I continued to study and practice in a number of Ashrams and patriarchal traditions but nothing like my time with Eunice instilled within me a growing capacity to love and be loved. She taught me to never give up on love as our essential nature — a gift that cannot be earned. Love rules. I will forever be grateful to her. She continues to speak to me in so many ways.
Eunice’s death opened me to a grief I had never felt. It was as if the loss of all I ever loved broke me open, all at once. I did everything I could not to feel this. Stuffing myself with food worked until I discovered a meditative state of absorption. Somehow I felt distanced from thought and feeling—unbroken. Each time I heard or read spiritual non-dual teachings I felt ecstatic immersion outside ordinary understanding. This became a space of deep nourishment and rest.
Giving Birth—Motherhood Dharma
Some years into this mysterious samadhi my first child was born. My pregnancy was a thorough enchantment culminating with a seamless home birth. Throughout this time, I was intensely focused on reading and re-reading non-dual texts specifically the Ribhu Gita for first publication in English. This felt like the great purpose of my life, vocation, dharma. After the birth of my daughter it became clear that a spiritual life designed by men and for men did not include family or birthing new ways of being. My daughter Autumn was my first harvest, my introduction to dharma as mother.
Suddenly, two years later I was on a helicopter to Stanford hospital without my toddler. Over a weekend, our lives were flipped upside down and inside out. My twins were born out of negligence three months early at one pound each, smaller than my hand. You can read about the magnitude of harm, challenge and eventual beauty that unfolded in my book Edge of Grace, A Fierce Awakening to Love. This name indicates how relentless life can be in gracing us with opportunities to continuously allow our pain and grief to crack open as a portal of expansion to all-encompassing love. That was 1996.
The next two years were a blur of diapers, nursing, oxygen, crying, cooking, bathing and angst filled nights. One day in a pit of isolation an old friend knocked at my door with a message. “I met a teacher named Adyashanti.” Ah da what? I was tempted to close the door. My history with male teachers was not fruitful. She left me a cassette recording called The Thresholds and Mysteries of Christ. I thanked her with a promise that I would not listen. But the title beckoned me. I was at a threshold.
He spoke about the dark night of the soul, “the feeling of utter abandonment by spirit.” That got me. “Every spiritual awakening is followed by a corresponding ordeal.” I set out to meet him. Adya offered Satsang nearby. I resonated immediately. I found him to be utterly unassuming, similar to Eunice. He needed nothing from me which was refreshingly different from other male teachers I met. All of life is welcome at these non-dogma meetings.
An empty familiar spaciousness opened inside. Gradually and simultaneously, the truth of my intrinsic existence and worth received inner self-authentication and confirmation with this new teacher. I practiced close with Adyashanti for several years until he said “the student does not grow in the shadow of the teacher. It is time to stand on your own feet.”
I feel forever humbled by the all consuming role of single parenting. The opportunity to show up for my children and their unique needs has carved out a new way of being with life. I have learned to listen to an interior intelligence that mysteriously connects us all within the fabric of existence. It is my children that opened me to hear the call of master plant teachers. The intelligence of sacred plants that endow this body with earth womb coherence and guide the evolution of this body of work.
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