Contributors January/February 2019 - Adyashanti, Mary Bemis, Stephen Blackmer, Ellen Rooney, Bob Scott and Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes.
Adyashanti took his name (which means “primordial peace” in Sanskrit) after a series of spiritual awakenings. His first came while sitting alone on his cushion, when he “penetrated to the emptiness of all things and realized that the Buddha I had been chasing was what I was.” In his latest book, The Most Important Thing, he tells the story of his first teacher, who for years sat alone, preparing for students who did not come. Read the excerpt: “What Are You in Service To?” on page 24.
Mary Bemis is a spa media entrepreneur who most recently launched InsidersGuidetoSpas.com, a respected online indie publication that won her recognition as one of Folio’s Top Women in Media. Her mission is to keep spa at the forefront of health and well-being. A pioneer in the sustainable spa and green beauty worlds, Mary is the editor of S&H’s annual Retreat Guide (page 87), now in its fourth year.
Stephen Blackmer is a conservationist and forest ecologist who took time out for “Rewiring My Brain” (40) and became an Episcopal priest. He is the founder of Church of the Woods, a church rooted in the faith and practices of Jesus and Francis of Assisi that meets in the woods year-round. He is also director of Kairos Earth, which seeks to renew an understanding of the natural world as a bearer of the sacred, and to restore this awareness as a foundation of both religious practice and practical action to conserve the earth.
Ellen Rooney is our featured artist, with samples of her beautiful work on page 52. She writes, “My hidden art powers are released when cutting up paper. As a designer, my superpower is X-ray vision: If I stare at dense information, I can see its lovely skeleton just waiting to be shown to the world. I think this is why I really love interpretive design (stuff like museum exhibits and nature trails). Or, it might be because I’m a big nerd. Who can say?” ellenrooneydesign.com
Bob Scott works with a great team at Trinity Church Wall Street providing Christian faith formation for all ages, in lower Manhattan and nationally through conferences and web streaming. His television work won a New York Emmy, and during his tenure editing S&H the magazine received Folio’s award for editorial excellence. He moved east from California four decades ago to study theater and later earned a master’s in theology from General Seminary in New York. Read his account of the next 20 years of S&H on page 52.
Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes and her husband, Andrew Wilkes, dreamed and prayed and then found their new church location in Brooklyn with a Google search and a 10-minute walk. The couple are now the cofounding pastors of newly launched Double Love Experience. Pastor Gabby is a graduate of Yale Divinity School, New York University, and Hampton University. Learn more about the process of “Starting Our Church” on page 26. doubleloveexperience.org