I am an innovator and social change maker
trained in mindfulness, resiliency building, and engineering.
I was born a few miles from San Francisco, California, to parents of Japanese and Chinese origin. As a child, I loved storytelling, poetry, and wandering in nature. Today, I reside in a forest woven into the northern California mountains. I practice mindfulness in a lay Buddhist community in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, write poetry beside a winding river, and continue to imagine and tell stories.
My work integrates social entrepreneurship, trauma-informed mindfulness, and software engineering. I am building Makeen Initiative, an education tech company based in values of inclusivity and empowerment, on the premise that education is a path towards self-sufficiency and happiness for all.
I am a co-organizer of Sit.Walk.Listen, a series of peaceful demonstrations in the San Francisco Bay Area in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
My dharma name, given at Plum Village by a monastic in the lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh, is Peaceful Embracing of the Heart (Tâm An Dung in Vietnamese). A friend later wrote an email shortening this to Peace Embracing Heart.
Love is accepting whatever arises within me and around me, without needing to change it. Seeing my anxiety, shame, fear – whatever emotion it is – and taking good care.
When I slow down, I can build intimacy with this moment as it is. The stability of my feet on the earth, the nimble movement of my fingers across the keyboard. The beauty of stillness in this winter evening. When I embody wonder, I play. I jump in puddles, ask questions of the trees, fall asleep in cozy nooks.
To be free is to rest in non-fear. To know that everything is possible. To be fully myself.
We are intricately connected to each other and all things. To touch this recognition of interbeing is to know my own power and connection, to be grateful and humble all at once.