~ Fall 2016 ~

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 "Silence Speaks"

I have been reflecting on and practicing silence in a number of different forms for the last five months. Choosing to place my attention here has proved to be deeply rewarding and has enriched my life in unexpected ways. I'd like to share this with you, and hope that it will be beneficial.

My mother died in March, following almost three years of a decline in her health in which she suffered considerably, both physically and emotionally. Our family was, of course, very sad to lose her. In addition to grief, though, we were profoundly relieved that she was freed from her suffering.

My mother's death has catalyzed significant shifts in my being. A few weeks after her passing, I had the sense of a new door opening to the infinite, to the vastness of Being. No longer having to devote time and energy to the practical tasks of caregiving or experience the heartache of witnessing my mother's pain and emotional distress, a new possibility for freedom and light opened up for me. There was a recognition with this opening that I needed to treat this opportunity with care and respect, to honor the sacredness that was here. I knew that I needed to be mindful and not become excessively preoccupied with the pulls and promises of our finite existence, the endless desires and aversions that we habitually get caught in.

It was also clear to me that leaning into the light more than I had been recently didn't imply leaving my humanness behind. Our nature is both finite and infinite, immanent and transcendent. We need to fully honor and attend to both. But it was time for me to tend more closely to the infinite.

The words 'Choose Silence' came to me quite powerfully when I was on a Sunday morning walk. I sat down under a tree and reflected on this. These words meant more than just carving out blocks of quiet, alone time. I sensed that, in addition to periods of solitude, I needed to pause as often as I could remember each day to Choose Silence and, in so doing, to align with Being - alone and with others, in quiet times and in the midst of activity. I also decided that, whenever possible, I would gently 'watch my words,' for example, refrain from idle chatter. And I also wanted my words to be authentic, to be congruent with my experience, to come from my heart, belly, and soul. I understood this to be speaking from the Silence and knew that my being was giving me a kind of new roadmap for honoring the portal that had opened. This has been, and continues to be, life-changing. These words came to me recently: "Beacons of Silence are lighting my way."

I find it helpful to Choose Silence when I am in situations that can trigger emotional reactivity, such as watching the news in these turbulent times. Rather than watching, listening, and understanding with just my eyes, ears and brain, I also choose to include awareness of the Silence as I view the screen. This helps me to respond thoughtfully rather than react to people and events, to have a wide perspective rather than a narrow, contracted focus. Of course, this isn't always possible. It's natural to be reactive at times. We have experienced trauma in our lives that can contribute to intense responses, and we have that limbic brain that reacts to situations instinctively, often with heightened emotions. The less we blame or judge ourselves for getting triggered, the better off we will be. When we are able to give space to whatever is occurring in our psyches, it is easier to access the deeper feelings that may be fueling the distress, and the limbic system can cool down, as well. 

Sometimes Choosing Silence means simply pausing and dropping into the clear pool of stillness at our core that is always available, and resting there for a few minutes or, perhaps, just dipping in for a breath, a taste, or a touch. When I do this, I often have a feeling of relief and there is a quality of 'coming home.' At other times, Choosing Silence may be a choice to walk, eat, or engage in any activity slowly. At these times, I experience a poignant intimacy with whoever or whatever I am engaging with. I feel close to life and trusting of ITS ways.

I invite you to join me in a moment of Silence....






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I specialize in helping clients overcome blocks of all kinds and translate ideas and visions into concrete action. Fees for individual sessions are based on a sliding scale. A coaching package is available, as well. Sessions are available in person, via Skype, or phone.


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Individual Sessions and Gatherings

Seamless Being is an integrated, nondual approach to transformation and awakening. In this work the fullness of our humanness is experienced as sacred, as is all of life. We discover that there is not a split between spirit and the material world, between the finite and the infinite. We discover that we are not separate from our bodies or our feelings. We are not separate from our bodies or our feelings. We are not separate from the earth, nor from each other. We are all of it -- transcendence and immanence. 

I offer phone, Skype, or in-person individual sessions, a 45 minute FREE Introductory Session, and gatherings in San Rafael, California.


Gatherings Consist of:


*Guided meditation and inquiry practices


*Exploration of topics such as - Opening to Boundless Wisdom; Listening to and Speaking from Being; Opening to Joy; Cultivating Trust in Being; Shared Awakening/Exploring "WE" Wisdom; The Gifts of Adversity; Living in the Mystery; Love and Compassion: The Heart of Being; Sacred Embodiment, and more...

*Personal Sharing Time - Each person who wants to, takes time to share. This can include speaking about what is currently important to you in your spiritual life, sharing an "edge" or area of exploration, or asking questions.


All meetings are in San Rafael, California on Saturdays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

  • October 22
  • November 19
  • December 17
  • January 21

There is a maximum of 10 participants


Fee: $35


For more information, or to reserve a space, contact Susanne West at susannewest888@yahoo.com or (415) 987-0766



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One hour phone, Skype or in-person sessions

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Writing for Creative Expression and Spiritual Growth

In this ongoing, drop-in group you will learn processes to free your imagination, develop ease and confidence in writing, cultivate your unique writing voice, and overcome blocks to writing.


San Rafael, CA (Call for address)
Alternate Thursdays
7:30 - 9:30 pm


All levels of experience and all types of writing are welcome

INDIVIDUAL COACHING SESSIONS (phone, Skype, or in-person) to assist you in any or all stages of the writing process:

  • Start, develop, and/or complete writing projects
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  • Create attainable short and long term goals

A FREE 45 MINUTE CONSULTATION is available. You can contact me at susannewest888@yahoo.com or (415) 987-0766.




My book, 
Soul Care for Caregivers , is a guide and toolkit for family and professional caregivers that includes practical suggestions, creative processes, action steps, anecdotes from my own caregiving journey, and inspiration from other family and professional caregivers to help you care for your mind, body, and soul while caring for others .


Here's what Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom and Hardwiring Happiness, says about the book:
"To keep caring for others, we must replenish ourselves; otherwise, we start running on empty.  In the warm and wise voice of someone who has been there herself, Susanne West offers many effective ways to take care of yourself from the inside out.  Her book - full of her own qualities of deep kindness and practical wisdom - is a gift from the heart both to caregivers and to those they help and love."

If you are interested in ordering the book, just click on the image of the book above to be taken to the Amazon order page.  


For information or to sign up for courses or free consultations, contact me at susannewest888@yahoo.com or (415)987-0766.

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