Walk with me!
Hiromi was born and raised in Miyazaki, Japan, a southern coastal town that boasts the most sunny days in Japan. City of Sunshine. Her childhood years were spent with grandparents who lived in the countryside, surrounded by bamboo forest, in a town called Aya. Her grandmother taught her how to bring the sacred into daily life. Hiromi grew up helping her grandmother gather flowers and food to offer at the ancestral altar every day. She also watched her grandmother copy the heart sutra in Japanese calligraphy. Her grandmother was well loved by everyone, and she brought the light of being to everyone she was with. Hiromi realized her grandmother was a Socially Engaged Buddhist who taught her how to be engaged in life. Her grandmother went to the Great Beyond years ago, but she remains Hiromi's primary role model for how to serve our community.
When Hiromi graduated from junior college in Japan, she came to the US to study psychology. She spent time polishing her English language skills, and then she went to community college to study drug and alcohol counseling and mental health. After she graduated from community college, she went back to Japan for two years and worked in a non-profit organization. She also taught English conversation classes in the high school where she had graduated from. She then went back to the States and enrolled in the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and earned a Bachelors of Art degree in 1999 in Multicultural Psychological Counseling. In her senior year, she met her husband, Matthew Sieradski. She spent several years working at non-profit organizations as a case worker in both the mental health and social work fields.
In 2005 Hiromi took a break from working outside the home to focus on raising her two children. The births of her children also led her to dive deeper into meditation practice. Hiromi and her young family left Seattle, Washington to move to Eugene, Oregon and in 2006, she became an active community member of the spiritual organization, Center for Sacred Sciences (CSS). CSS teaches the perennial philosophy based upon the teachings of the World's great mystics and Buddhist-style meditation. Through in-depth study of spiritual teachings with an emphasis in Buddhism, Hiromi started hospice volunteering.
Engaged in hospice work, she became interested in chaplaincy. In 2014, she enrolled in the Buddhist Chaplaincy program at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico and studied under the Buddhist teachers Roshi Joan Halifax and Sensei Alan Senauke. She graduated in 2016 from Upaya's Buddhist chaplaincy program, having completed extensive master's level work and formally taken Jukai (lay precepts) in the Zen Buddhist tradition. She was given the Japanese Buddhist name Myogetsu, which means “Wondrous Moon.”
After her graduation from the chaplaincy program, Hiromi has been working closely with her husband, Matthew, at the Center for Sacred Sciences (CSS). She co-leads and leadweekly meditation classes, coordinates retreats and events, and in Fall of 2018 joined the CSS board as Activity Director. She now offers Mindful Living Guidance to individuals and groups in our community.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her family dog, Sacca, the Golden Doodle. She also enjoys cooking wholesome food. While recovering recently from a severe ankle fracture, she began writing songs, playing the ukulele, and practicing the blues harp. Since the chaplaincy training, she also reconnected with her childhood practice of Japanese Calligraphy. She appreciates all this creativity in her life as living guidance for nourishment and connection with the world she lives in.
Helpful information from professionals I recommend:
Center for Sacred Sciences | http://www.centerforsacredsciences.org/
Upaya Institute and Zen Center | https://www.upaya.org/
Charles Ridley | https://www.dynamicstillness.com/
Giorgia Milne | https://www.touchofpresence.com/
Matthew Sieradski | http://matthewsieradski.com/