Apr 08

New Memoir Benefits Christchurch

Ushasi Jill Thompson
Ushasi Jill Thompson
“You have a destiny. You have a role to fulfill in your community and in the larger context of our country, and in the world. Each individual has a guiding light and a voice deep within that will direct you to become all that you are here to unfold in your life. Be in touch with that voice. Be in touch with that direction. Be in touch with your destiny as an instrument of healing touch. “
-Ushasi Jill Thompson offered the above words to students of Swedish Institute upon their graduation from the massage therapy program.

Currently Director of Academic Support Services at Swedish Institute, the oldest continuously running school for massage therapy in the U.S., Ushasi shares her own guiding light and journey to destiny in her newly published memoir Thy Will Be Done.

The book is a fascinating account of her life experiences which includes her coming of age in New Zealand at the age of 18 and conversion to born-again Christianity.

Thy Will Be Done book cover
Thy Will Be Done book cover

It follows her through the world of Esalen, Divinity School, the Metropolitan Community Church in New York, teaching massage therapy and finding her spiritual home in the Sri Chinmoy Centre as a disciple of the spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy.

Her faculty profile nicely sums up her varied experiences:

Ushasi’s 20-year practice as a massage therapist focused on massage therapy for medical conditions, as well as providing massage as part of the integration of bodywork with psychotherapy and spiritual meditation practice.
Ushasi holds a Massage Therapy Diploma from Swedish Institute. She has a B.A. in History of Religion from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She is a long-time member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, and has studied bodywork and gestalt therapy at Esalen Institute.

Because her spiritual journey began in New Zealand and the memoir includes her return there again 30 years later with the International Sri Chinmoy Centres, Ushasi has decided that all proceeds from sales of the book will be donated in support of Christchurch Earthquake relief. First for sale this April 2011 in New York, copies may be obtained by contacting the author at: thywillbedone(dot)ushasi(at)gmail(dot)com.

Apr 07

Christchurch Rebuilds

Tomorrow starts here is the slogan chosen by the Government of New Zealand for their official Quake Appeal campaign to solicit donations for the rebuild effort after the 6.3 Canterbury Quake on 22 Feb. 2011.

It is a perfect example of the spirit of resilience and hope evident a mere 1 ½ months since the 2011 earthquake caused widespread damage in the environs of Christchurch.

Support for the effort to rebuild has poured in from many places and takes many forms. Kurashiki, the Sister City of Christchurch in Japan, had collected $300,000 up until the earthquake hit in Japan and still shared the money with Christchurch although subsequent efforts have been focused at home after the March 11 Japan quake.  Concerts to raise money have already happened and various celebrities have gotten involved such as Russell Crowe.

One simple but sweet effort touched my heart – a woman from Christchurch living in Australia is creating a paper “Chain of Hope” as people make donations large or small and she will bring the paper chain with her to Christchurch in May as a gesture of support and goodwill. Her site also led me to this video on YouTube that shows both the destruction and the spirit of hope shining in response.  Gospel songwriter Ric Knott of the band Magnify penned the tune after the earthquake. Magnify won Best Christian/Gospel album at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2004