Murshida Darvesha Victoria MacDonald

Darvesha3Silver City, NM     Schedule     Website

From a very early age Darvesha was concerned about class inequities and wealth distribution; but in high school, as a result of the death of a beloved parent, she developed a sense of the futility of life as it’s normally lived, and urgently wanted to find a way out of the meaningless cycle. She came to feel that nothing was as important as freedom, but understanding what that actually meant took another 20 years.

She went forth, full of questions and looking for answers. After college, she worked as a photojournalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, idealistically believing in the power of witnessing. But she did not find this to be the witnessing that leads to freedom, so she turned away from her career and began looking for answers within.

She studied Sensory Awareness with Charlotte Selver and lived simply in nature. Eventually her love of the mountains took her to northern India and Nepal to trek in the Himalaya, where she met the Buddha dharma and a rain of blessing.


She stopped hiking 10 miles a day at altitudes of 14,000-18,000 feet, and began sitting in silence for periods of 3 and 4 months. She turned from adventure to service, and from seeking freedom outside, to finding it within. At Kopan Gompa, where she took the Bodhisattva Vows, she made her own internal vow that she would dedicate the rest of her life to sharing her understanding of Interdependence.

After several years of almost continuous sitting meditation, she felt called to movement. She returned to the Bay Area and studied with various dance teachers. She was eventually guided to a Lucid Voice class at the Mentorgarden with Saadi, and then into turning Mandalas in which she could continue her Vipassana self-awareness practice in sound, movement and relationship.

Saadi was often heard to say that, “Sooner or later one has to take a stand.” So she did. Under a full moon, next to SAM’s dargah at Lama, Saadi gave her the name “Darvesha” with its root meaning ‘doorway’. Gradually, over the years, to her great joy, she found that sometimes she can be a doorway for others. She is especially happy when she is able to help open a path for Latin Americans. Close to the earth, in their bodies, passionate, playful, devotional and humble, they have been wonderful teachers to her.

The yearning to experience herself as nature, rather than to regard nature as something outside of herself, has been a driving force of her life. She lives with her partner Ishan das on a piece of land, grand-fathered into the middle of the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. The heart of the land is Allan Springs, and the Little Walnut creek that flows through. Here is where she does her best to make her life and her practice one.

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