Know ThySelf East West Bookshop is a resource center for conscious living, offering you a wide selection of books, products and programs representing spiritual traditions and new insights into mind, body and spirit from around the world.
Our Purpose- We are here to support your search for the joy, love and wisdom that are the essence of the true Self. We believe that global harmony begins with each of us – with our individual efforts to achieve and to share healing and harmony of mind, body and spirit. We strive to foster a spirit of cooperation, respect and community among all truthseekers, spiritual paths, and peoples.
Our Heritage- Know ThySelf - East West Bookshop is a nonprofit organization established by members of Ananda. Ananda is a worldwide family of communities, retreat centers, churches and meditation groups founded by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) and based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. We offer classes in meditation, yoga postures, the art of spiritual living and the science of raja yoga, and also have the Living Wisdom School for children and an intentional, spiritual community in the Seattle area.
East West Bookshop Staff Bios
Manager of East West Bookshop
Two decades have passed since I first helped Cathy (Nivritti ) Steenstra and Betsy Hay to begin the store (along with the support of many wonderful souls!) Iíve taken part in almost every area of the store- buying, receiving, advertising, events, cleaning- you name it!
There are so many things I love about East West: how it is a spiritual home to so many people; how our customers are also our friends and share so many turning points in their lives with us; the incredible variety of teachings and presenters we are able to offer here; how the staff take care of and support each other in being the highest and best they can be; and how we have the opportunity to put spiritual teachings into practice every day...and more!
When Iím not at East West, you might find me at Ananda, teaching a class or taking part in one of our services. I love to sing- and I find deep inspiration in nature and beauty- so when Iím off, Iím usually off somewhere ... hiking, camping...or reading!
Assistant Manager, Used Book Buyer, Technology & Facilities Coordinator
I buy the used books here at East West Bookshop, help us create and maintain good systems in lots of areas and take care of anything that breaks. (editor's note.: We gave him a T-Shirt that says "This is the part where I save the day!") I enjoy helping people and there is lots of opportunity here! In my spare time you can usually find me in the garden. I also teach meditation.
Events Coordinator, Tea Garden & Incense Buyer
After serving at East West for 2 years plus, I feel I have finally come into my own after taking on events coordination. My life continues to be influenced by the healing power of tea which has shaped a positive niche into my role as Tea Garden curator at East West.
This last year has simultaneously been the most challenging and rewarding of my life thus far. I am grateful for all those who would call East West one of their favorite places to be. Letís continue to inspire each other and grow together!
RANDA HILLAL, Gift Buyer & Customer Service
Randa has been with us for over a year, and we feel blessed by her warm personality and artistic flair! Born and raised in Lebanon, she has a degree in Fine Art - and she is also an amazing gourmet chef who has been the powerhouse behind several of Anandaís gala International Dinner fundraisers.
Book Receiving & Webmaster
I order and receive the books for the store and developed our website and our CD listening station.
I also direct the choir at Ananda and am privileged to have a big percentage of East West staff in the choir. Before coming here I worked with Deaf people for 10 years and I enjoy communicating in ASL.
What I most appreciate about working here is the opportunity to explore and apply spiritual teachings of mindfulness and service together with other staff. I am very privileged to work with people who come from the highest and most selfless place and are a constant inspiration to me.
I have been with East West Seattle for over 4 years and with East West in California for 18 years. It is my pleasure to serve customers on the sales floor, helping locate books and products for inner and outer needs. I love becoming friends with our customers! I also help with bookkeeping duties and purchase store supplies. I enjoy singing in Ananda’s choir and, when I have time—reading!
I'm the book buyer for East West Bookshop, and I also manage the employee schedule. I've been with the store for a little more than a year now, and I greatly enjoy the very special place that is East West. In addition to buying books, I'm a volunteer teacher at the Living Wisdom elementary school, and I also work as an instructional designer, designing and developing classroom and e-learning resources for adults. I've had a lifelong love of learning, education, service, and personal growth, and I'm more than delighted to be part of the wonderful staff at East West Bookshop.
Hello, friends. My name is Mark. I'm the buyer for music, DVDs, chimes, singing bowls, and various essential oils, however my interests encompass virtual everything we have to offer at East West. My greatest joy lies in community, in connecting with you all as friends. East West brings together so many people of different spiritualities and backgrounds, a patchwork quilt that gives off inspiring vibrations of warmth and good will to all. It is my ever-new pleasure to share in this experience day-to-day with you. Namaste.
I joined the East West family in Sept of 2012, and help with the accounting and also receiving the mail (Thanks for nice letters!). East West has come to represent so much, to so many: sharing of consciousness and the expansion of community. It's really just a great blessing to be present and to have the opportunity to serve in a meaningful place with wonderful friends.
I spend the rest of my week as care-taker with my partner Hailey at Ananda Farm on Camano Island, aspiring to live naturally in harmony with Life, and to share in the abundance and simplicity that entails (a work in progress!). In my free time, you might catch me in the tea garden or next to the singing bowls.
LISA WARREN - Consultant Coordinator, Buyer & Customer Service
Lisa coordinates the wonderful group of people who serve as consultants at East West- doing intuitive readings or offering healing modalities through our treatment rooms.
She is the buyer for the bath & body and candle departments of the store as well, and is also one of our people youíll frequently see at the sales desk. Her warm-hearted friendliness is appreciated by customers and her co-workersÖand she is a great baker- we love to sample the results of her experiments!
BIMAL WONG, Customer Service
I work at East West as a sales clerk and helping with whatever needs to be done. Iím also working on a project to help East West have more visibility in the community. East West offers me an environment to grow spiritually, and I love the people here, staff and customers. I am retired from my career job and now enjoy myself by working two jobs, one here and another part-time at Hawaiian Airlines. I am married and have one child and three grandchildren who call me Tutu, the Hawaiian word for Grandpa.
URJA SYROP, Volunteer
I am a volunteer at East West Bookshop and it’s been a wonderful experience working with gentle, beautiful people. I’ve been learning new skills in computer work, customer service and serving wherever is needed. I’m a qualified dietician and in my free time I love to cook, write poetry and meet new people.
After years of working in other small businesses and giant corporations, I returned to my early love of reading and served as the bookbuyer here at East West Bookshop for several years. Now, newly retired, I get to come back as a volunteer! I love books, and the wonderful customers here! I also love to travel and experience different cultures, to cook without ever quite following the recipe, to knit in cool weather and garden in warm!
Volunteer & former manager of East West in California
I was asked by Swami Kriyananda in 1981 to co-manage the original East West Bookstore in Menlo Park, CA, with my husband, Vasudeva. In 1996 my husband and I moved to Seattle where I joined the Ananda Sangha staff while Vasudeva continued as bookbuyer and co-manager with Susan. I teach Kriyananda’s Material Success Through Yoga Principles course, as well as other wisdom teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. I’ve always enjoyed staying in contact with the store and I volunteer one day a week. I love meeting the customers and seeing all the wonderful new books that come in.
I begin at the beginning, through the snowstorms of 1989 to the snowstorms of 2009. I began ordering and receiving books, and doing the accounting and bookkeeping. I have cycled in and out of these jobs over the years, sometimes giving them over to others, then taking them back later. I no longer remember how many times I have retired, but always come back. Being at EastWest is so inspiring and nurturing, it is my spiritual home. When I’m not reading or ordering books, I like to study geology, in classes and in the field.
DON BOULD, CUSTOMER SERVICE
I especially enjoy talking with customers in the store, hearing what they are interested in and helping them find the music that is just right for them... I also get a lot of ideas for new products from them!
My other passion is for natural healing alternatives and Iíve trained in both Aromatherapy and Bach Flower Essences.