Nancy Spence, Sujata Yasa
Since her first reading of the teachings of Gotama Buddha in A Buddhist Bible in 1976, Nancy Spence-Edwards has avidly and sincerely practiced offering the Buddha, the Dharma, and Sangha. To deepen her own practice, she began lay training at Vichara Bodhiyana Monastery in Greeley Hill, California, under Jay Dupont, Roshi. She entered Priest training there in 1979 and was ordained as Yasa. She then trained as a Lay Minister at Shasta Abbey in Mt. Shasta, California, receiving her Lay Minister certification in 1984. Most recently, she was ordained as Lay Teacher Sujata Yasa in 2012 and goes by this name now.
As a Buddhist Teacher, Sujata is known and appreciated for her clear, insightful presentations of the Dharma, from which practitioners often have “aha” realizations. She is recognized for her educating, mentoring, and counseling endeavors.
Sujata recognizes that practitioners benefit from an environment in which they can explore and process their internal experiences. InnerVision is a component of Anattasati Magga created to offer opportunities for self-discovery for those seeking to transcend adversity and discontent (suffering), thus facilitating personal growth and deepening insight into one’s true nature. She draws upon her 2001 Masters in Psychology degree to further inform her facilitation. She is widely known for providing a safe and supportive framework for this personal inquiry.
Caroline Yongue, Savana Amata
Caroline Yongue, ordained as Lay Minister, Monastic and Teacher, Savana Amata, is Director of Center for End of Life Transitions and Carolina Memorial Sanctuary (North Carolina’s first conservation burial ground).
Both are all faith projects of Anattasati Magga. Savana Amata began her Buddhist practice in 1990 and under the guidance of her teacher, Nancy Spence, has made death care her life work.
In 1995, Caroline began working towards a greater understanding of the death and dying process when she discovered her own fears around the transition and journey each of us will take. Since that time, as a Death Care Midwife and Doula for the Dying, Caroline has offered education and assistance through the Center for End of Life Transitions.
In 1999, Caroline was introduced to the concept of green burial, by the founders of the Conservation Burial movement, Billy and Kimberley Campbell. That meeting sparked the dream of offering this type of burial in the Asheville area. Many years and many conversations later, Carolina Memorial Sanctuary became a reality when Anattasati Magga purchased our land in December of 2015.
Aside from death care assistance, Caroline does have other interests: Her Buddhist spiritual practice, Jasper and Boysenberry – her furry family, using her hands to create art, and baking. When asked why she has chosen to follow this path: It’s not often that a person has the opportunity to create a community sanctuary which allows the meeting of open hearts. There is nothing else I’d rather do. Death will touch each of us. No one will be left out. It is a gift and honor to be part of this transition.