"Gather 'round, all you people of the coming age! Let this mystical myth-maker, this messenger of mystery, speak."
Dear World-Weaving Wayfarers, Cosmos-Creating Contemplatives, and Peace-Proliferating Pioneers,
I am an explorer of life at its depths, striving to cultivate a challenging and prophetic voice, expressed through essays that propose innovative theories, music that inspires, poetry that moves, and stories that captivate. I am deeply passionate about understanding truth, as examined from many angles and spanning disciplines, including scientific, artistic, and mystical, and strive to live in relationship to its heart, with the intention to explore and express its nature in an ever more deep and accurate way. I've recently earned a Master's degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and have enjoyed a career spanning diverse fields, including science, engineering, documentary film, social service, spirituality and religion, teaching, and creative writing.
In 2002, I earned a BSE degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, where I led a team to develop a Mars Sample Return space mission design, worked as the chief engineer for FEGI, an experiment to be run on the International Space Station, which tested the effectiveness of field emitter cathodes for potential application for space tether methods of electric satellite propulsion, worked as the initiator and principal investigator for a team that ran THIRMA II, an experiment on NASA's KC-135 “vomit comet” to analyze expansion of heated gas in microgravity for potential application for lenses in space telescopes using an interferometer system, and built an interferometer at the Peach Mountain Observatory for airglow observation. I then went on to earn an MEng degree in Space Systems Engineering, where I specialized in environmental remote sensing, and led a team in mission design for a solar sail mission to examine the Kuiper asteroid belt. This led to a job with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where I worked on projects such as NASA's Earth Science Strategic Roadmap, a 30 year plan for the future of Earth science exploration by satellite, developed by 20 of the nation's most respected Earth scientists, from both academia and government agencies.
I left NASA in 2006 to engage in more creative and activist pursuits. In 2004, I spent two months in Swaziland, Africa, working with high school students to address HIV/AIDS in their communities. In 2006, I assisted on a documentary called “The Row”, which focused on the homeless population in LA's Skid Row, and asked questions about their fate in light of growing gentrification in the area. In 2007, I spent a month working for Engineers Without Borders to help design housing, water, and sewage systems for Sri Rama Pattapu Palem village in Andhra Pradesh, India, which had been devastated by the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. In 2008, I spent two months in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where I consulted teachers at a school for children that live in a local slum with a group called The Dhaka Project, and I also wrote the script for a documentary for Grameen Shikkha, a scholarship program that addressed rural education in Bangladesh through the Drik Art Gallery. I'm currently working for the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education as a science researcher presenting a scientific cosmology that supports the use of non-violence methods of activism.
Spirituality expressed in any and every way is where my heart finds true refreshment and inspiration. When I commune with the heart of the universe, I feel truth in its most profound and whole sense and it is this mystical capacity that causes me to burn with passion to celebrate this beauty to the wider world. I have explored spiritual life in contexts as diverse as evangelical Christian mission groups in the US and abroad, the ecumenical Christian monastic order Taize in France, Hindu yoga ashrams in India, and Buddhist life in Dharamsala, India. I have been especially inspired by movements of spirituality that embrace a contemplative lifestyle which allows its fruit to manifest in practical and material ways by combining a monastic life with social service and intimate relationship with the land. I have explored expressions of this type of life at Pignano organic farm in Tuscany, Italy, Boghill Spiritual Center in Ireland, Het Franciscaanse Milieuproject in Stoutenburg, the Netherlands (where I interned for a month in 2008), the Taize center in Mymensingh, Bangladesh, at conferences related to the New Monasticism movement in the US, and now at my home in Sacramento, where we cultivate a relationship to the land and our neighbors at Lawns-to-Lunch, an urban permaculture project. I consider it my greatest calling to carry the voice of the Divine Feminine, the Goddess who nurtures each one of us in our life process.
My personal mystical insights have been expressed over the years through story, poetry, and song. In 2007, I began writing my first novel, "The Shadow Turns", which is a young adult science fiction story that explores ideas about the relationship between spirit and matter in a compelling story about 9 gifted children, prophecy, and a local environmental and health crisis in Los Angeles twenty years in the future. This story continues to weave itself from my hand, and is currently a work in progress. I have shared my poetry and folk songs in venues in Los Angeles, Detroit, The Hague, Amsterdam, Sacramento, and San Francisco, and continue to seek out opportunities to inspire with my art.
Cosmology is the study of the universe, encompassing every facet of that universe, and inviting to any tool with which we may examine it, whether that be science, story, song or spirit, so join me on my quest to trek through our universe home and discover with me the jewels hidden beneath its surface. Welcome to the adventure!