Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire: Sianna Sherman and Masood Ali Khan

The Proust Esalenaire is inspired by a list of thoughts and feelings-inspired questions by the 20th century French writer Marcel Proust. Here at Esalen we have created our own version to dig a little deeper and differently into our incredible faculty and staff, starting with Sianna Sherman and Masood Ali Khan.

The beloved couple — creator and facilitator of Rasa Yoga and Alchemy of Love — international yoga teacher/storyteller and musician trailblaze the digital hybrid format with Phoenix Rising: Awaken Your Power With The Alchemy of Yoga. Curiously, the talents both would love to have are: a singing voice for Sianna and gymnast skills for Masood.


What is Esalen to you?
Sianna Sherman: A sanctuary of healing and a land that invites deep communion with nature.
Masood Ali Khan: Paradise in the USA or at least California.

What do you do/are you doing at Esalen?
SS: Teaching Phoenix Rising with the alchemy of yoga to rebirth ourselves into this new time.
MAK: I support the healing and transformation of participants through my music, singing of mantras, and guiding energy meditations during Rasa Yoga Training Retreats’ and ‘Alchemy of Love’ couples retreats I host with my beloved Sianna Sherman.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
SS: Listening to the laughter of my dad and the 3 little T’s in my life (Tristan, Taj, and Taylor), cuddling with my beloved Masood Ali Khan, playing my flute in the forest, and lime popsicles on a hot summer day.
MAK: Having the luxury of time to be with me and with my family.

What is your greatest fear in your work?
SS: Causing harm to others and not being able to repair it.
MAK: That I might inadvertently cause harm in my words.

Which living or dead person do you most admire in your field?
SS: Machig Labdron, 11th century Tibetan yogini.
MAK: Rumi.

What is your greatest extravagance related to your practice?
SS: I love practicing in nature with the land, sky, and sea — with the sun, moon, and stars — with birds, animals, butterflies, flowers, trees, and deep earth magic all around me.
MAK: Extravagance should be an essential — taking time to explore my creativity.

What is your current state of mind?
SS: Deep hope and re-imagining the world in community.
MAK: Open and aware.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
SS: Righteousness
MAK: Confidence?

What is the quality you most like in a human?
SS: Juicy Soulful Aliveness!
MAK: Trustworthy.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
SS: My awesome beloved — Masood Ali Khan!
MAK: My son.

What about your work brings you the most happiness?
SS: When people’s hearts really crack open and they know they are MAGIC!
MAK: The satisfying effect of giving an experience what is not material. Your healing can be my healing. Being in service in healing. Healing releases more happiness.

Which talent would you most like to have?
SS: Singing! To really sing and express through powerful songs and music that could move mountains in people’s hearts and minds.
MAK: To be a gymnast.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
SS: Whatever it is that creates an awesome singing voice!
MAK: To breakthrough the resistance to my true magic.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
SS: Being a true leader of the heart in my communities and inspiring the collective to keep learning, unlearning, growing, leaning in, connecting, transforming, and rising together.
MAK: There are many but my son tops them all.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
SS: A powerful singer / songwriter / musician: to inspire healing, awakening, and transformation for humanity.
MAK:  A poet.

What would living at Esalen for a month be like for you?
SS: Deeply healing, restorative, in ritual and rhythm with nature, and inspirational for me to write a book.
MAK: A month of living in paradise.

What is your most treasured possession?
SS: The gift of my life (body, mind, heart), hundreds of hand-written journals over the decades, and a gold necklace I often wear with the symbol of the Chalice Well, which keeps me connected to Avalon.
MAK: My hand pans.

How do you maintain your practice(s) during challenging times?
SS: One breath at a time — take a walk and chant mantras to clear my mind — remember to remember that I am human and divine.
MAK: Staying aware as much as possible, to my energetic connection to source though breath and meditation practices, singing and movement. Tapping into each practice when the opportunity arises if only for a few seconds.

What is your favorite component of your work?
SS: Real transformation in the lives of the people that I work with — the true power of deep alchemical soul work.
MAK: It never gets old to co-create and play with singers and musicians.

What is your most marked characteristic?
SS: Highly visionary and able to see the gifts in others.
MAK: I’m tall and brown skinned.

What do you value most in your work/practice?
SS: Real transformation that has positive impact in the world.
MAK: Collaboration, professionalism, and being paid fairly.

Who are your inspirations?
SS: My teacher Sreedevi Bringi, Vandana Shiva, Ibram X. Kendi, Amma the hugging saint, Maya Angelou, Rihanna, Marion Woodman, Mara Freeman, Michelle C. Johnson, Martin Prechtel, Michael Meade, Robert Augustus Masters, my grandmother, mom and dad, and my sister who is an Earth Angel and takes care of my parents with total love and devotion.
MAK: Bach, Stravinsky, Holst, Manuel De Falla, Jai Uttal, Krishna Das.

Who is your hero of fiction?
SS: Rayla, a Moonshadow Elf and the last Dragon Guard in The Dragon Prince.
MAK: Dr Strange.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
SS: At the moment, Mary Magdalene as I will soon be on pilgrimage to her legendary lands in the south of France.

Who are your heroes in real life?
SS: My dad, fire fighters, leaders of equity, guardians of the earth, frontline workers through this COVID pandemic, and the kids who are rising in consciousness and leadership for humanity.
MAK: My mother.

What is your greatest regret?
SS: Not having more deep heart time with my Mom when she could still remember that I was her daughter. She has advanced Alzheimer’s and I wish I could’ve shared so much more with her.
MAK: Not knowing more from my father

How would you like to die?
SS: Peacefully, mystically, consciously, with loved ones near me and with full gratitude for the gift of life.
MAK: Consciously.

What is your motto?
SS: I have two main ones: Ignite Magic! and Embrace — Rise — Transform: Embrace with Compassion, Rise with Courage, Transform with Love.
MAK: Let love influence everything.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?


Join us online for Phoenix Rising: Awaken Your Power Through the Alchemy of Yoga with Sianna and Masood, June 10–12, 2022.

Register

About

Esalen Team

The Proust Questionnaire: Sianna Sherman and Masood Ali Khan

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Proust Questionnaire
Sianna Sherman and Masood Ali Khan

The Proust Esalenaire is inspired by a list of thoughts and feelings-inspired questions by the 20th century French writer Marcel Proust. Here at Esalen we have created our own version to dig a little deeper and differently into our incredible faculty and staff, starting with Sianna Sherman and Masood Ali Khan.

The beloved couple — creator and facilitator of Rasa Yoga and Alchemy of Love — international yoga teacher/storyteller and musician trailblaze the digital hybrid format with Phoenix Rising: Awaken Your Power With The Alchemy of Yoga. Curiously, the talents both would love to have are: a singing voice for Sianna and gymnast skills for Masood.


What is Esalen to you?
Sianna Sherman: A sanctuary of healing and a land that invites deep communion with nature.
Masood Ali Khan: Paradise in the USA or at least California.

What do you do/are you doing at Esalen?
SS: Teaching Phoenix Rising with the alchemy of yoga to rebirth ourselves into this new time.
MAK: I support the healing and transformation of participants through my music, singing of mantras, and guiding energy meditations during Rasa Yoga Training Retreats’ and ‘Alchemy of Love’ couples retreats I host with my beloved Sianna Sherman.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
SS: Listening to the laughter of my dad and the 3 little T’s in my life (Tristan, Taj, and Taylor), cuddling with my beloved Masood Ali Khan, playing my flute in the forest, and lime popsicles on a hot summer day.
MAK: Having the luxury of time to be with me and with my family.

What is your greatest fear in your work?
SS: Causing harm to others and not being able to repair it.
MAK: That I might inadvertently cause harm in my words.

Which living or dead person do you most admire in your field?
SS: Machig Labdron, 11th century Tibetan yogini.
MAK: Rumi.

What is your greatest extravagance related to your practice?
SS: I love practicing in nature with the land, sky, and sea — with the sun, moon, and stars — with birds, animals, butterflies, flowers, trees, and deep earth magic all around me.
MAK: Extravagance should be an essential — taking time to explore my creativity.

What is your current state of mind?
SS: Deep hope and re-imagining the world in community.
MAK: Open and aware.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
SS: Righteousness
MAK: Confidence?

What is the quality you most like in a human?
SS: Juicy Soulful Aliveness!
MAK: Trustworthy.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
SS: My awesome beloved — Masood Ali Khan!
MAK: My son.

What about your work brings you the most happiness?
SS: When people’s hearts really crack open and they know they are MAGIC!
MAK: The satisfying effect of giving an experience what is not material. Your healing can be my healing. Being in service in healing. Healing releases more happiness.

Which talent would you most like to have?
SS: Singing! To really sing and express through powerful songs and music that could move mountains in people’s hearts and minds.
MAK: To be a gymnast.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
SS: Whatever it is that creates an awesome singing voice!
MAK: To breakthrough the resistance to my true magic.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
SS: Being a true leader of the heart in my communities and inspiring the collective to keep learning, unlearning, growing, leaning in, connecting, transforming, and rising together.
MAK: There are many but my son tops them all.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
SS: A powerful singer / songwriter / musician: to inspire healing, awakening, and transformation for humanity.
MAK:  A poet.

What would living at Esalen for a month be like for you?
SS: Deeply healing, restorative, in ritual and rhythm with nature, and inspirational for me to write a book.
MAK: A month of living in paradise.

What is your most treasured possession?
SS: The gift of my life (body, mind, heart), hundreds of hand-written journals over the decades, and a gold necklace I often wear with the symbol of the Chalice Well, which keeps me connected to Avalon.
MAK: My hand pans.

How do you maintain your practice(s) during challenging times?
SS: One breath at a time — take a walk and chant mantras to clear my mind — remember to remember that I am human and divine.
MAK: Staying aware as much as possible, to my energetic connection to source though breath and meditation practices, singing and movement. Tapping into each practice when the opportunity arises if only for a few seconds.

What is your favorite component of your work?
SS: Real transformation in the lives of the people that I work with — the true power of deep alchemical soul work.
MAK: It never gets old to co-create and play with singers and musicians.

What is your most marked characteristic?
SS: Highly visionary and able to see the gifts in others.
MAK: I’m tall and brown skinned.

What do you value most in your work/practice?
SS: Real transformation that has positive impact in the world.
MAK: Collaboration, professionalism, and being paid fairly.

Who are your inspirations?
SS: My teacher Sreedevi Bringi, Vandana Shiva, Ibram X. Kendi, Amma the hugging saint, Maya Angelou, Rihanna, Marion Woodman, Mara Freeman, Michelle C. Johnson, Martin Prechtel, Michael Meade, Robert Augustus Masters, my grandmother, mom and dad, and my sister who is an Earth Angel and takes care of my parents with total love and devotion.
MAK: Bach, Stravinsky, Holst, Manuel De Falla, Jai Uttal, Krishna Das.

Who is your hero of fiction?
SS: Rayla, a Moonshadow Elf and the last Dragon Guard in The Dragon Prince.
MAK: Dr Strange.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
SS: At the moment, Mary Magdalene as I will soon be on pilgrimage to her legendary lands in the south of France.

Who are your heroes in real life?
SS: My dad, fire fighters, leaders of equity, guardians of the earth, frontline workers through this COVID pandemic, and the kids who are rising in consciousness and leadership for humanity.
MAK: My mother.

What is your greatest regret?
SS: Not having more deep heart time with my Mom when she could still remember that I was her daughter. She has advanced Alzheimer’s and I wish I could’ve shared so much more with her.
MAK: Not knowing more from my father

How would you like to die?
SS: Peacefully, mystically, consciously, with loved ones near me and with full gratitude for the gift of life.
MAK: Consciously.

What is your motto?
SS: I have two main ones: Ignite Magic! and Embrace — Rise — Transform: Embrace with Compassion, Rise with Courage, Transform with Love.
MAK: Let love influence everything.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?


Join us online for Phoenix Rising: Awaken Your Power Through the Alchemy of Yoga with Sianna and Masood, June 10–12, 2022.

Register

About

Esalen Team

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