fbpx
ABOUT US

Meet the Team

OUR TEAM IS UNITED BY A COMMON PASSION AND SHARED MISSION TO BRING THE HEALING POWER OF THE DIVINE MOTHER’S PALM LEAF KNOWLEDGE TO THE WORLD

Mother Divine directly transmitted this knowledge in the palm leafs to help us all create peace, harmony, and a higher collective consciousness and to promote the highest spiritual values of service, humility, kindness, sympathy, forgiveness, generosity, and unity.

Fourteen residents staff the Center and temple full-time. Resident staff practice daily morning and evening rituals, and Full and New Moon ceremonies to maintain the uplifting vibrations flowing from the Center. The members of the Center’s Team come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences in business, medicine, consulting, construction, social work, engineering, education, music, art, advertising, banking, writing, non-profit management, mental health, and social services to name a few. They are living in community, pooling their creativity, energy, time, and other resources to help make a new, divine age a reality. As a group, they have powerful meditation energy supporting our work.

Off-site staff serve and virtually support the work of the Divine Mother Center to maintain the continued growth of the Center and the sharing of the ancient knowledge throughout the world. We also have an extended family of volunteers living in the United States and around the world who also support the Center’s programs, spreading the ancient knowledge for healing and transformation.

OUR BOARD

Shakti (Kirsten Thompson)

Vice President, Treasurer

Shakti Thompson grew up on a dairy farm in Germany where she learned about the importance of hard work and the need to understand and respect humanity’s relationship to mother nature and the food chain. She was trained and worked in bookkeeping and financial management. In the year 2000 she accelerated her spiritual journey studying with Sri Kaleshwar In Penukonda, India. She traveled back and forth from her home at the Divine Mother Center (DMC) in Laytonville, California to Penukonda for over 12 years. As the Vice President and Treasurer of the Divine Mother Center she is managing the finances and over all logistics. Her specialty focus is the Charitable Work of the Center reaching out into the community to serve the local Food Banks and Soup kitchens. Shakti is also a gardener and photographer. She believes that everybody can experience the Mother through the nature. Her photography captures this divine energy. To help change the world, she believes we all need to start being more loving and helpful in our families and communities and showing our love and respect for our Divine Mother as well as each other.

Gary Taylor, B.A., MAT, R.N., M.P.H., M.ED.

Managing Director, Secretary to Board of Directors

Gary Taylor has been an executive coach and business management consultant for 40+ years. After living in Penukonda, India and studying with Sri Kaleshwar for over ten years, he moved back to the States, where he continues his consultancy work, while living as a full-time resident and Managing Director of the Divine Mother Center. He brings his experience building high performance organizations that focus on the creation of sustainable cultures. He oversees daily operations, community relations, staff development, strategy and infrastructure. He is also an author (“Sri Kaleshwar and Me – A Saint Teaches An Executive To Live, Love and Lead”) and publisher (Deva Group Enterprises, LLC). Gary believes that the most effective way to bring lasting change to the world is to begin with community unity and a heart for service.

Sundaram (Terry Clark)

Board of Directors, Manager of Temple Building & Grounds Development

Sundaram spent 12 years in Penukonda, India, serving as Sri Kaleshwar’s primary personal attendant and now lives full-time at the Divine Mother Center. As an Associate Minister, Board Member and Manager of Temple Buildings & Grounds Development, Terry is known as the “machine whisperer.” Before living in India, his experience included working at US companies such as Concrush, Aircraft Modular Products, Hochstetler, Elan Vital, and others, in maintenance and executive support roles. He was also a professional motorcycle racer and cyclist and still enjoys riding his motorcycles today. Terry is also a stealth wildlife photographer, snapping pictures of the bear, foxes, and bobcats who are nourished by the Center’s water infrastructure he oversees! He is the author of a forthcoming book, At the Feet of an Avadhut: Life Lessons Learned Serving Sri Kaleshwar.

Harry Whited

Board Member

Harry Whited is a retired Journeyman tool maker, salesman and business owner. After more than 40 years in the manufacturing industry, Harry, along with his longtime friend, started their own manufacturing brokerage business. In 2015, he decided to retire after over 55 years in the workplace. Currently Harry serves on the Board of Directors at the Divine Mother Center and assists with accounting and fundrasising. Through his wife Kelly’s encouragement, he began his spiritual practice in 1996 with Hatha Yoga, Meditating and Patanjali Sutra studies. In 2005, they began studying the teachings of Sri Kaleshwar and soon after met Swami at the Center. In 2010, they traveled to India to the Ashram of Sri Kaleshwar and continue to practice and study the Divine Mother’s palm leaf knowledge with Mataji and Nityanandaji and visit The Center as often as possible.

Mahavir (Patrick Huffman, B.S.)

Board Member & Manager of Infrastructure and Development

Patrick ‘Mahavir’ Huffman began his studies with Sri Kaleshwar in 2000 and worked closely with Swami in Penukonda, India. The Pacific Northwest had been his home where he has enjoyed working and playing in some of the most remote locations. This experience has given him a broad skill set which is utilized as the Manager of Infrastructure and Development at the Divine Mother Center. He is a Kaleshwar certified teacher, healer, and Vaastu consultant. Mahavir has had a lifelong love affair with the purest of Mother’s nature. “The purest of nature was my passion. I realized later that all of the time I had spent in that pure nature was just Her way of teaching me about Herself, and I am so grateful for that experience.”

OUR TEAM

Anasuya (Ami Oyarzabal, LMT)

Anasuya is a mother, healer, teacher, and massage therapist. She began her journey with Sri Kaleshwar during her pregnancy with her first child over 21 years ago. She has raised both of her children with the Divine Mother’s palm leaf knowledge and practices. Anasuya, her husband, and teen son are now volunteer staff at the Divine Mother Center. Anasuya works on special projects, general administration, and initiatives, she offers Meditation Coaching and Satsang Courses with the Virtual Ashram and Divine Mother School. She and her husband, Bhakti, sing with Baba’s Bhajan Band and have dedicated their lives to the protection and dissemination of the ancient knowledge and practices that the Center provides. Anasuya is passionate about women’s empowerment and creating a more compassionate world for children and their parents.

Bhakti (Richard Oyarzabal)

Richard Bhakti Oryazabal is a professional videographer, photographer, graphics designer and musician/singer who also has done considerable work in construction and remodeling. He is a long-time student of Swami Kaleshwar who has lived and studied with him in India. Bhakti resides and works at the Divine Mother Center with his family who also are longtime students. He brings all of his professional background and experience to bear in helping the Center and staff. In everything he does, he brings his devotional heart to his music, videos, pictures, building projects and so much more.

Durgamaa (Alexadra Song, B.A.)

Durgamaa has a BA in poetry and creative writing. She began studying the ancient knowledge in 2012 and moved to the Divine Mother Center as a full-time student and resident in 2014. She serves the Center through Telugu, with intensive study at SASLI (South Asian Studies Language Institute), program administration and development, supporting the publication of books and knowledge, healing music (bhajans), and the daily care of residents and visitors. Her primary interest & focus is integrating the Divine Mother’s palm leaf knowledge and healing practices into everyday life. She honors this by living a life of engagement and service to others.

Kaasi (Casey McLerren)

Kaasi began his journey with the knowledge in 2006 and had the privilege of studying with Sri Kaleshwar in India and the States from 2006-2012. He moved to the Divine Mother Center as a full-time resident in 2012. Kaasi’s work at the Center includes outdoor maintenance and construction support, attendant, cook, driver and member of the Bhajan band. Kaasi serves as pujari, (priest), for abhisheks and fire pujas bringing the healing and bliss of the experience of the Mother to the world. He almost single-handedly cracks every coconut during the Center’s sacred fire ceremonies helping release thousands of intentions and prayers for people around the world every year.

Kalika (Catalina Peralta, B.S.)

Kalika has a background in holistic healing and well-being that includes studies in Transpersonal Psychology, Bioethics, and fundamentals of Ayurveda, as well as working with people in groups and one-on-one as an integrated body worker and Ashtanga Yoga instructor. She has been a student of the Divine Mother’s palm leaf knowledge since 2006 and attended numerous programs with Sri Kaleshwar at his ashram in Penukonda, India 2009-2011 during his lifetime. She now resides at the Divine Mother Center as a full-time resident, student of the ancient knowledge and staff member. She helps with administration, audio and video works and website management and maintenance and she sings and plays with the Bhajan Band.

Laxmi (Kimberly Naujock, Ed.D.)

Laxmi has been an educator, writer, and peace activist for 28+ years and student of the Divine Mother’s palm leaf knowledge for 20+ years. Laxmi traveled back and forth to Penukonda, India from 2002-2012 and lived in residence for a year to study with Sri Kaleshwar. She has served as a Sai Shakti soul healer and teacher for more than 14 years. She is blessed to live full-time at the Divine Mother Center. Before moving to the Center in 2017, she co-led a sister center in Knoxville, Tennessee for eight years. Laxmi brings innovative thinking, commitment to positive results, and leadership experience in program development and non-profit management to the Center serving as administrative staff for the Divine Mother School, program manager of Peace Fires, and supporting donor development, new initiatives, outreach, social media, and marketing. She studied Telugu for two summers at The University of Wisconsin Madison as part of the Center’s commitment to making the knowledge accessible to everyone. She loves experiencing the Divine in nature and bringing a heart-centered focus and laughter into daily life and work.

Maurine Renville, MSW

Maurine has 35 years of experience as a clinical social worker in private practice working with adults with trauma. Seeking a broader explanation of suffering than western mental health training offered, she studied healing with many teachers from differing spiritual paths until she discovered the Divine Mother’s palm leaf knowledge. Maurine has been a student of the ancient knowledge since 2006 and has lived at the Divine Mother Center since 2015. She works behind the scenes preparing and managing the book of participants in sacred ceremonies. She also handles the care and shipping of all sacred items used in spiritual process for students of the knowledge. For more than a year, Maurine has lead a biweekly all staff, experientially oriented workshop on the power and importance of unity. Maurine believes in supporting community through the care and feeding of the hungry, a foundational principle of Shirdi Sai Baba. She finds great joy in cooking once a week for Willits Daily Bread, the local soup kitchen. She also cares for Baba’s flower garden at the Center and conducts weekly Mother Divine worship.

Shantaya (Mary Long, B.A.)

Shantaya is a mother of two and a student of the Divine Mother’s palm leaf knowledge. She’s worked in the fields of Design, Advertising and Marketing for the past 23+ years. She had a vision for a way of working that was based on deep listening, compassion and holding space for real transformation for her clients as they brought their gifts into the world. Shantaya knows that a real awakening happens when someone begins to see who they truly are and has support and encouragement to manifest their purpose. Her greatest joy is bringing the knowledge to the world through design, branding, marketing support, coaching management, website design and administration work for the Center, the Virtual Ashram and the Divine Mother School. Shantaya feels profoundly blessed to be a part of the Divine Mother Center’s team.

Tara Elena Song, M.D.

Divine Mother Center Physician

Dr. Tara Song spent her early career as a Head and Neck Surgeon. Throughout her 13 years in allopathic medicine, she participated in programs and processes through the Center and longed for the space to explore spirituality and healing in a more focused way. In April 2020, she transitioned to being a full-time resident and student at the Divine Mother Center. She brings her experience in medicine and leadership to serve as staff physician, sacred ceremony team member, cook, and attendant. Dr. Song is involved in many areas of service through caring for the residents, the temples, and the nature at the Center. She is deeply grateful to use her gifts to serve the Center and its mission to bring the Divine Mother’s love and healing the world.

Bonni Thompson, B.A.

Bonni brings years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping to her part time work as Bookkeeper for the Divine Mother Center and is thrilled to have the honor of maintaining and growing the Sai Family website, a Divine Mother Center initiative devoted to Shirdi Sai Baba. She also creates websites for others to share their divinely inspired art and poetry with the world. Bonni is deeply passionate about caring for people, animals, plants, and all life. One of her joys in life is going for walks with her two dogs.

Learn more about the Divine Mother Center