The Cook Awakening

About Durga

I’ve worked as a counselor since 2009, and have helped hundreds of clients in that time. I’ve led over 500 people in workshops and ceremonies with topics such as spiritual practices, special needs cooking, experiential archetypal explorations, and death and dying.

I have trained extensively in Eastern spiritual practices, coaching techniques, shamanic and energy healing, and Voice Dialogue, a psychological modality in the lineage of Carl Jung.

Most recently I’ve attended workshops in social equity work, groups as living systems, and on how to assist the dying and their families in their process and create meaningful after death ceremony and home funerals.

I’ve also lived with and learned to thrive with multiple chronic illnesses for over 15 years. I live with Lyme, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and SIBO/SIFO (Small Intestine Bacterial/Fungal Overgrowth), and have experienced firsthand how my ongoing spiritual and emotional healing work has helped my healing process, in addition to the more physiologically based interventions I’ve used.

In 2012, I midwived my mother’s death, after she lived with Lupus for 20 years and ended up with a dementia diagnosis. I saw how small her life had become, the shame she lived with, and the inertia that resulted.

I also experienced firsthand how few people really knew how to support me through my own illnesses, my mother’s dying process and what transpired after her death.

My heart breaks open when I work with people in their grief as they walk through these challenges in their life. I’ve been there. I AM there. I know so clearly that this work of being human, of turning toward our suffering with a tender heart, is a part of what we are here on earth to do. I know that holding our grief gently allows our joys to deepen.

I’m a passionate cook. I have a quirky, sometimes dark sense of humor. I cry and laugh at the drop of a hat. I love photographing flowers, sunsets, and weirdly juxtapositioned objects.

Although I work internationally by video conference and telephone, Portland, Oregon is my home. I live here with my husband, my partner in realization; our two shining sons; a sleepy, aging cat; and a Border Collie mix, the best dog in the world. It’s a pretty chaotic, go with the flow, kinetic household, and I love it. To me, spirituality is not necessarily about being calm and peaceful (although I LOVE going on retreat), it’s about being alive and awake, and finding the calm and peace that exists at the foundation of all of life, both quiet and energetic moments.

Please, add your name to my mailing list and you’ll receive Spiritual Practices 101, a home study course free of charge. My husband, Tom, and I put this course together to help folks learn what spiritual practices are and how they can help us find peace and freedom in the midst of the trials and joys of daily life.

You can read more about my offerings on the Products and Services page.

Are you ready for a truly human life and death?

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Durga’s approach exactly suited me. She taught me to seek out the seat of my hurts where they had taken up residence in my body and to speak to them, to find out their needs and to be present with the wounded parts of my Self. She was the supportive and warm presence I needed, and she made herself available after hours as well for texts or calls, if necessary.

At the end of each session, she encouraged me to take on an “assignment” for the coming two weeks until the next session, and she wrote it down to help me remember my resolutions. I was so glad to have that gentle accountability.

After years of stop and go, this was the time when the way began to be clear! I experienced a speed and ease of change and growth that I never believed possible. And Durga has been a warm, wild, firm presence, guiding me through an often painful transformation.

I have been able to make some vital changes and begin to alter dramatically my relationship to myself and the world, bringing a quality of love and mindfulness I could never even see before.”

K. F. Botanist, Portland, OR

Training and Experience

Transformational Coaching – ongoing training with Lawrence Conlan and his Passionate Ease retreats since 2015

Voice Dialogue – 2 year training with Deborah Morris

MatrixWorks – 2 training modules with Mukara Meredith

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) – 6 month training with Lasara Firefox Allen

Non-dual spiritual paths – ongoing training with Christopher Titmus, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Adyashanti and more since 1990

Depth initiations – 2 year training and 6 years facilitating The Living Mysteries of Eleusis with the Magickal Cauldron

Energy work – Reiki Master Level Attunement with Eliel Fionn in 1991

Shamanic healing – 2 year training with Skye Wolfe MacGregor

Guided meditations – culled from many trainings listed

Death Doula and Death Midwifery trainings with Ashley Benem of A Sacred Passing and Olivia Bareham of Sacred Crossings

No One Dies Alone (NODA) volunteer since 2016

End of Life Counseling – see Death Midwifery trainings above

Holistic Nutrition Lab Full Body Systems 2 year training with Andrea Nakayama of Functional Nutrition Alliance

Psychology of Eating – 6 month training with Marc David