My Story: East Meets West - With Deni Luna
Growing up in an Asian American household, I experienced East meeting West daily. My parents were second generation Japanese American (Nisei) and they insisted their children speak English almost exclusively, reserving Japanese pretty much for conversations they didn’t want us to hear. One set of grandparents were Buddhist, the other Presbyterian. Most importantly, they were scientists (a doctor and a dietitian), but very open to spirituality.
My father would discuss medical oddities, like the couple who came to him with strange flash burns in the middle of winter, with a story about seeing a UFO on an isolated mountain. They had told no one else and had no reason to lie. Once, my father recounted a Scientific American article about how a virgin birth could occur. Another time, he told me he always knew when a patient was ready to die in the hospital because “they had that certain look in their eye.” One conversation always stuck with me, “A soul cannot just disappear. A soul is energy and by the laws of physics it cannot just disappear.” .
My parents were true scientists – open and curious. That’s been my approach to metaphysics. In 2019, physics and metaphysics are increasingly looking like one another. Had he lived longer, my father, a Western-trained physician who saw the validity of Eastern modalities like acupuncture, would have been quite happy.
Journeys at East West Bookshop
Working at East West Books has been a journey filled with synchronicity and magic. Through an odd set of circumstances, my first encounter with EW led me to one of my most cherished memories: the honor of dining with Dr. Masuro Emoto (the author of Hidden Messages of Water) and his wife Kazuko, a few days later. The next time I was tempted to veer off the road and walk into East West, luck was with me again. I spoke to the woman who auditioned new readers, who happened to drop by that afternoon.
Since then, I’ve been an East West reader and my admiration for the store continues to grow. Recently, I learned that the Ananda community that founded the store overcame tremendous odds. When the original owner of a California bookstore retired and asked Swami Kriyananda if he wanted to buy the store, he said yes, without hesitation. He did not have ANY money, only faith. When down payment money mysteriously arrived in the mail a few days later, his detractors stopped doubting.
The philosophy of East West Bookshop is to house the common vision of all religions, from East and West. I couldn’t think of a better home for me, nor a better time to do this work.
Stepping into a New Consciousness:
America’s greatest psychic, the late mystic Edgar Cayce, predicted that the world would create a new type of human, with a different DNA structure in our time. This has only happened four other times in Earth’s history. Cayce predicted a “Fifth Root Race” sometime between 2008-2015. What is this new Fifth Root Race? Cayce’s followers believe the Fifth Root Race is genetically capable of understanding both Eastern and Western approaches and grasping common truths.
In recent times, Christian mystics and Eastern adepts have discovered that “East is West, and West is East, and ever the Twain shall meet!!!”
For example, Eastern and Western approaches to meditation are fundamentally the same, as Christian mystics and Eastern adepts are just beginning to understand. Meditation, both Eastern and Western, actually changes our DNA, lengthening the threads of DNA telomeres, which promotes anti-aging. Only recently is this understood globally. For me, this message is personal.
I spontaneously remember past lives. In one of those lives, I buried records in Egypt. I have met certain people from that lifetime, who share vivid memories. Recently, I traced those records from Hermetic Egypt to ancient China to Germany and then to America as translated into English by the late Carl Jung in Secret of the Golden Flower, described as “the definitive guide to meditation.”
However, Jung’s brilliant translation of Secret of the Golden Flower, falls somewhat short. Not only does it omit whole chapters (he didn’t know earlier versions existed), but he issues a cautionary note for Westerners seeking to approach Eastern thought. Back then (early 1930’s), psychologists lacked evidence that Eastern and Western ideas could freely mix without causing “paradoxical confusion” to a Westerner. Jung was open to the idea that East and West might share a common psychological framework, but the idea was too novel to recommend without reservation.
So, where does that leave us in 2019? We really are on the forefront. A forefront that includes both mystics and scientists, from East and West. I’d like to think we’ve come home, via paths that are enriching to share with each other.
The Song of Life
One of the things that Jung inadvertently left out of the Western edition of Secret of the Golden Flower was the “Song of Life.” (It’s in the Eastern versions of this Hermetic Egyptian text).
By combining Eastern and Western versions of this ancient document, we glimpse a more joyful story.
What is your story? Recently, I gave a storytelling workshop. In the room was a beautiful grand piano, emblazoned with the word “Story” (the manufacturer). The sun shone through the 30-foot high windows, casting a beautiful reflection (pictured). I was reminded of one of my favorite songs, Paul McCartney’s “Ebony and Ivory.”
What happens when we play both black and white keys together? The Chinese musical scale is represented by the black keys on the piano. The Western tonal scale is the white keys. Together, East and West, we find new ways to sing the Song of Life
Deni is one of the store's most popular intuitive readers. She is a psychic medium and offers appointments for Astrology, Tarot, and Lip Print Readings every Monday. She also partners with Justin Elzie for the "Intuitive Tuesday" - a small group psychic reading - on the first Tuesday of each month.