I have been graced with excellent teachers throughout my life. My mum had me cooking by age five; my father taught me that math is a four-letter word and the delight of driving tractors. In third grade, my hero was my math teacher,Mr. Quinn. (He believed that the first part of math class was best spent reading to us from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.) At university, I took classes with Madeleine Albright and Andrew Young. Of my many wonderful teachers, three have proven to be exceptional. Their commitment to not only talk the talk, but more importantly, walk the walk, challenge and inspire me on a daily basis.
Niki is the Academic Dean of Ongiara College and Director of Graduate Studies for TendingShen. I first heard about her from Eliot Cowan who taught me Plant Spirit Medicine. “If you want to learn more about the Five Elements, go study with Niki.” The next month, I attended my first workshop (The Twelve Officials). That was June of 1999. I count the past 12 years of study with her as the richest period of my life.
Stephen Buhner is a writer, herbalist and sage of the Green Nation. Stephen’s own words speak best for him-
“It is only in difficult times, when personal discomfort is extreme, that the power of our word to ourselves is tested. Passing through these points of discomfort with word intact shows more than any talking we can ever do that our word is indeed good. And this is essential training, for Nature must also know that we can keep our word. The plants do not understand about human social concerns, about soccer practice, or being too busy. Nature will, at some point in the process, need to know if you are serious. Serious enough to remake yourself in her image, to allow the image, the Nature that you are, to emerge from within you. Serious enough to be true.” pp.248-249, The Intelligence of the Heart
To say that Trishuwa “works with the ceremonial forms of communicating with the invisibles of the world-Sweat Lodge, Sacred Pipe, Vision Quest and the Medicine Wheel” is only one piece…She opened the door for me into earth-centered ceremony and ritual for which I am eternally grateful. She is a gentle graceful teacher with a core of steel and a heart that never stops shining.