Acharya Navasajiva Susmita Barua
Susmita grew up in Kolkata, India in a Bengali Barua Buddhist family. After finishing her graduate studies in Geography and Urban-Regional Planning from University of Calcutta (1985) and University of Arizona (1987), she came to settle in Lexington, KY in 1989 with her spouse and 3 month old baby. The stress of leaving family, friends and relatives in India, adapting to the new culture, weather, food and schooling in the US, plus the responsibility of new marriage, in-laws, keeping baby with babysitters while adapting to the new city planning job in an all male auto-pilot environment, led her to a deep inner discontent, shock of mundane life along with crisis of culture, meaning and identity. Listening to her heart's intuition she was able to quit her first full time job in January, 1993, determined to find a way out of this unexpected inner turmoil, trauma and shock.
After a seven month process of contemplative self-inquiry, sustained mindful-awareness and meditative absorption she had a profound Awakening. This second-birth totally took her beyond doubt, self-view and practice rituals. She lived a contemplative quiet life and lost her inner sense of worldly identities for almost seven years. She created her first spiritual website in 3 days in 2001 with a powerful vision for the planet. and started offering secular personal growth workshop in local libraries in and bookstore, since 2004. She found her way to local Shambhala Center, and other Christian, Quaker, New age groups and Women channels. She was drawn to the Shambhala Enlightened Society and Basic Goodness teachings and took those two vows. She led a small program on Feminine Principle there with a co-teacher. She was active in local and global peace and justice work and organized World March for peace as in Lexington KY Ambassador in 2009. She also got interested in economics of peace and war during the two gulf-wars. She presented workshops and papers in four Sakyadhita International Buddhist Women's Conferences (2009 - 2019). US Social Forum II, International Asso of Buddhist Universities, US Basic Income Group, American Historical Association etc. She served briefly as President and Vice President of a few non-profits including Alliance for bhikkhunis and founding member of a few Buddhist Communities.
She was attracted to create spiritual friendships in various online and offline groups and never felt the need for any spiritual teacher or religious vows. She completed her Professional Life Coaching certification in 2014 from Wainright Global, Inc and her Buddhist Dharmacharya Teaching Certificate in 2016, from the muti-lineage order of Simplicity Hermitage led by Venerables Pannavati and Pannadipa.
She has led national and international workshops and retreats at Lexington Shambhala and Furnace Mountain KY, Mindful Nashville, Peace Meditation Center Louisville, and Heartwood Refuge, NC and also in Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Vaishali and Sydney Sakhyadhita Conferences.
Her spontaneous spiritual path is closely aligned with the essential Early Buddhist teachings, and her exposure to Buddha's teaching happened organically through her family connection and many pilgrimages in her teen years to Bodh-gaya, Sarnath, Rajgir and Nalanda. After the september 9-11 event in 2001, she got drawn to peace and justice movements, online activism and organized World March for Peace in Kentucky in 2009. In 2010 she was sponsored by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship to present her Workshop on Deep Conscious Capitalism in the Detroit US Social Forum II. She found an inclusive non-sectarian Buddhist sisterhood in Sakyadhita International and presented workshop and papers in four conferences between 2009-2019. She was a panelist in 'Teaching Dhamma in New Lands' at the International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABU), Bangkok in 2012.
Between 2012-2014, she served as the Board member and President of the non-profit Alliance for bhikkhunis. She served as a founding Board Member in the Advisory Board of The International Foundation for Education of Rural Women in India, as the President of the Bengali Culture and Performing Arts Treenaneel Group of KY, and the Vice President of Tri-State Durga Puja, KY. She is a life member of Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha, Kolkata, and founding member of Sakyadhita USA, Sangha of Thousand Buddhas, CA; Peace and Meditation Center, KY, and Heartwood Refuge and Retreat center, NC.
Some of her online articles on Shambhala Times, Tikkun, Turning Wheel, Global Fund for Women, Global Justice Movement, US Basic Income Group, National Council of Independent Scholars (link) and Jagojjyoti. Her blogspot blogs may be still found at 1) Deep Conscious Capitalism (now active in facebook mindful economics group) and 2) Women, Evolution and Enlightenment and 3) Treenaneel, KY.
AWARDS & CERTIFICATES
WHO WE HELP?
Professional, entrepreneurs, change-makers, leaders, immigrants, women and BIPOC in their early or mid adult life who feel deep dissatisfaction despite apparent worldly success, who are looking to live a life of meaning, inner peace, joy, creativity and spiritual growth, who feel they have come to a crossroads and cannot go any further with conventional life, who already has a deep inner knowing that they must change, consciously evolve and transform the direction and quality of life to awaken to their true purpose and nature, transcend limitation, actualize human potential, create right-livelihood, live and practice mindfully the 10 fold Noble Path for Spiritual Awakening.