And in the winter, a fire was born. She survived San Marino with rock music, her animals, sprinting for the varsity track team and riding her horse, Razz. Dr. Lisa (A classic Sag with Scorpio rising) followed her father’s alma mater and pursued a 13 year commitment to the University of Southern California (USC) earning a double B.S. in Psychology (1983) and in Critical Gender Studies(1983), a M.S.(1986) and a Ph.D.(1991) in existential-humanistic, intersubjective and depth psychologies. Her groundbreaking qualitative doctoral dissertation(1991) (Qualitative Reconstruction of the Meanings and Functions of Rock Music for Adolescents: Eight Case Studies) was theoretical, phenomenological and re-defined and explored rock music subgenres as well as the meanings and functions of solitary rock music engagement for adolescents.
From 1986-1995, she worked; first as a registered intern, then as a licensed psychologist (1993-2004) for Advanced Behavioral Medical Group and Life Fitness Center in Glendale with supervisor, Dr Daniel Asimus, MD. She studied with intersubjectivist, Dr. Robert Stolorow, Ph.D. (Founding Faculty Member and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP), Los Angeles; Founding Faculty Member at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York City; and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine ) in his peer supervision group for two and a half years as well as with Dr. Monahor Shinde, MD (Eating Disorder Institute, from India.
At ABMG/LFC, Dr. Lisa specialized in work with individuals struggling with eating “disorders”, addictions, chronic and acute psychosis, borderline and narcissistic personality, multiple personality, PTSD, OCD, anxiety and Bi-polar“disorders”. She co-directed with Asimus MD, an inpatient cocaine treatment center for adolescents/parents at Mountain View Lodge Hospital, as well working with him at Glendale Memorial, Edgemont, Charter Oak hospitals. She transitioned into private practice (1993-2000) serving Silverlake/Los Feliz, Hollywood, Burbank, and Glendale, rock musicians and the entertainment industry. There, she was an ally, advocate and specialist for recovering physicians, Middle Eastern women, troubled teens, and over-diagnosed ADHD children.
Inspired by her rock dissertation and a wave of female bands and along with financial assistance and support from Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, executive rock producer Tina Silvey Co, and drummer Kyle C Kyle, Dr. Lisa wrote, directed, produced and toured internationally with her award winning documentary film, Not Bad for a Girl (1995). She toured and spoke at over 70 universities, art houses, museums, psychological conferences and radio and TV stations about madness and creativity, music, sexuality and gender performance and deconstruction.
A member of the International Documentary Association (IDA), she offered psychological consulting/acting coaching to Renee Humphrey, Alicia Witt, and Leslie Hope in Rafael Zelinskys Sundance Festival winner and psychological thriller film, “Fun”. She co-produced Stories about Breast Cancer with performance artist Sheila Moorland and planted 1300 upper torso mastectomy casts on posts on the lawn of the Griffith Park grass symbolizing breast cancer gravestone casualties staged during National Breast Cancer Awareness week. She raised $26k for breast cancer research co-producing an auction of famous undergarments at the Playboy Club.
After a frantic pace, she shelved Not Bad for a Girl, for 12 years. Exhausted and seeking balance, light and spiritual inspiration, she created a vision quest to Montana, navigated by her red tail hawk allies and medicine womyn allies Lyn Andrews, Lynn Crow and Brook Medicine Eagle. Upon her return, she joined a Taoist improvisational healing meditation group in Santa Monica, and in 1997, relocated from her home in Los Feliz/Silverlake to San Diego where she planted a healing garden and founded Sacred Sanctuary, and gave health interviews about rediscovering silence and stillness. Creating her first phoenix fyre, she walked away from all that she was in LA, shelved her film and closed a thriving private practice to start anew. Twelve years later, she redigitized the film and put Not Bad for a Girl onto DVD as a feature along with 99 chapters so you can view it by artist. You can finally find and buy Not Bad for a Girl vol 1!!! Meanwhile vol 2 is finishing as a book sequel including all the female bands that we could not fit into vol 1.
She continued her education by taking Holistic Health Practitioner classes at the Expressive Arts Institute, University of California, San Diego’s Expressive Arts program, and the Natural Healing Institute studying spa, massage, energy medicine and acupuncture. She studied a variety of dance forms and worked with a variety of teachers including Odissi: Guru Yudhisthir Nayak, Butoh: Charlene Penner & Diego Pinon, Flamenco: Adrianna de Cillo, belly dance: Elle, Heather Stance, Urban Tribal Dance Co, guru Rakizitina and the BonaDea collection. She began performing dance, meditation, and healing ceremonies at clubs & events including: Montage, The Mayan, Bliss, Fetish, Stimulus II, Club Utopia ( Las Vegas) and the El Rey Theatre. She played in private groups and select intentional communities. She played with Technomania Circus, Circanalia & Kyrad’s LA Underground Circus, Moontribe and Mystic Family Circus. She choreographed her own rituals and also worked with various talent including dance choreographer Brian Frette for her Tantra Theatre and Dance Co at Burning Man (1999-current). She performed healing shamanic rituals with Anahata, VisnuPria, Stardust, BlueGirl, Adrienne, Fantuzzi, Karl Fyre God, MJ and Hamsa Lila, Vickie Morgan, Elissa Kisselburg at Sacred Sanctuary (SD, NYC) (2006), the Love Temple (2001-2002), Francoises (2002), M. Samko’s Ph.D. parites (2000-2005), Divine Ranch (2003-2004), Shangri-La (2001-2), the Sedona Temple (2004), Earthdance (2004-5), SD’s annual 11/11 celebrations (2001-2003), Burning Man (1999-2004) and countless clubs from LA to Miami Beach (1999-2008).
In 2000, Dr. Lisa opened Sacred Sanctuary to those who shared the vision of cultivating conscious awakenings. Sacred Sanctuary hosted classes, seminars and workshops on nutrition and conscious eating, sound healing, permaculture/conservation, world dance and drumming, meditation, mindfulness satsung, energy medicine, yoga, enlightened sexuality and shamanism by Dr. Lisa and guests. Dr Lisa has been a guest speaker on radio and TV regarding health, mindfulness, compassion and creativity.
Christiaan Sun joined Dr. Lisa and the two studied with the Boutenkos, Gabriel Cousens, M.D., Daivd Wolfe and many raw food chefs on the use of raw food for cleansing, healing and awakening. From 2000-2003, the two offered health talks and raw food preparation classes and cleansing retreats at Sacred Sanctuary for those suffering with hepatitis, HIV, cancer, food and drug addiction and assisting clients to overcome obstacles to conscious eating and living. Dr. Lisa has continued this tradition and blends conscious eating and raw food with all her programs and still recruits nutrition interns.
Dr. Lisa/Sacred Sanctuary hosted Tibetan Buddhist monks on pilgrimage and raised monies for their orphananage in Tibet and Monastery in India. This included Dawa, introduced by Jim Applington. Dawa and his wife nourish Tibetan children orphaned by the Chinese invasions. Many monks and rimpaches from the Gaden Shartse Monastery, have stayed at Sacred Sanctuary, blessed her home and re-named Dr Lisa, DeviLisa.
In 2002, with her heart chakra wide open, Dr. Lisa accepted an offer to work in the California State Prisons as a contract psychologist. It was here, in prison, that she earned a second “street Ph.D” in criminology at prison. She defines prisons as higher institutions of fear, violence, predatorial relationships. Already in alignment with the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Dr. Lisa interviewed with ex-convict, John Sherman, who became self realized after meeting Gangaji in federal prison. Dr. Lisa conferred with staff at San Quentin Prison and created Satsung in the Hole at both RJ Donovan State Prison in the hole and New Folsom State Prison’s SHU. For 10 years, Dr. Lisa studied prisons. She became an advocate for disenfranchised prisoners, helping with political campaign writing, prison boards evaluating releases, advocacy of prisoners with exemplary conduct writing and multiple successful litigations for institutionalized prisoners with SHU syndrome. Dr. Lisa sued a misguided warden and some very misguided correctional officers who had lost their way and were practicing prison abuse.
Dr Lisa surrendered her license in (2004) in an attempt to minister and help prisoners and work outside the confines of the licensing board. Amazing miracles were witnessed; such as prisoner Lenden, who had previously aspired to live and die in prison, as an Aztecan warrior. When Lenden met Lisa, he began to deconstruct. Eventually, years later, Len removed his gang tattoos and slowly rediscoverd a new self possibility…. Zen Len. Zen Len trusted Dr Lisa and her vision for Len to offer gang awareness to at risk youths and he did so with the TFK foundation and at juvenile hall. It was through Dr/Devi Lisa’s blind allegiances to Sureno Len that Dr Lisa learned the high arts of detachment, releasing her own prisons and saving herself. She has been assembling a massive memoir of her odyssey midwifing prisoners, parolees and ultimately herself. By fathoming criminology, she has been able to recognize humanity’s primitive predatorial relationships and help facilitate spiritual liberation. She is looking for ethical souls to help her produce/direct her story.
In 2003-4, she called in the “Visionary Midwives” and together they produced Womyn’s Weave and birthed Spiral Awakening and The Spiral Arts Institute. In 2004, she spread Sacred Sanctuaries to NYC, the Hamptons, DC, Boston and Florida. For the next 5 years facilitated Enlightened Sexuality and Pranic meditation sessions, workshops and Shamanic Theatre. Alchemy documented a raw, sometimes brutal phenomenological odyssey while cultivating her own signature Tantra methodology. She returned to San Diego and launched her Enlightened Sexuality Survey for womyn and the Yoniverse Summit to raise awareness and funds and support alternatives to female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa and the Middle East. She has been investigating ways to address sex trafficking in Indonesia/Malysia. For the last 4 years, Alchemy has been communicating with Rugiatu (AIM) in West Africa and Dr. Nancy Peddle and more recently, Hadi (in Indonesia and Malysia). She is raising money to document the evolution taking place in the secret societies in Sierra Leonne. Alchemy’s teen Enlightened Sexuality education program and abroad kicked off in 2008 and she presented at AASECT’s national conferences on the subject 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 201213, she is seeking finishing funds to show her film Enlightened Sexuality covering teen sex-education globally.
From 1999-2004 she studied and offered Tantric yoga puja, dance, meditation, energy medicine and sexual healing and ascension with partner Robert Frye. She worked with or had training with “Tantric” facilitators Bodhi Avinasha, Mantak Chia, Mare Simone, Cynthia Taylor, Shell, Francoise, Osi, Kamalla Allen, Ph.D. and medicine guides, Rakizitina and the BonaDea collection. Dr Lisa aka Alchemy Devi studies, teaches and celebrates the pursuit of her energy medicine safe sex.
Dr. Lisa dedicated years rescuing and rehabilitating pitbulls (her stars: Passion, Rosie, Otis/Odabear, Carmen and Oliver) and uses pitbulls for her dog bite prevention program in elementary schools (1997-2004), after-school programs and elder care facilities. Otis and Jenny (her Rhodesian Ridgeback) have been awarded by the US Humane Society five years in a row with Dr. Lisa for their dedication to children and elders. Odabear has been covered by local news and papers. Oliver (OliBear) works with autistic, insulin-dependent and hearing impaired children.
Dr Lisa has been devoted to consciously housing and maintaining a large exotic collection of serpent guides. This began from a snake vision in Montana and was encouraged by medicine woman Lyn Crow and culminated in the development of Snake Medicine. Alchemy has revived ancient rituals women used to heal and inspire for centuries through snakes. She offers Snake Medicine, in various formats to all ages from elementary schools, churches, to private parties and shamanic pranic intentional gatherings. She is excited readying to share Snake Medicine with larger audiences. She has been covered by Alan Swayer’s documentary film “Meditation: East Meets West 2006)” and was invited on the Jon Stewart Daily show following “Snakes on a Plane” ( 2006), to dispel fears and discuss snakes what snakes really like to do. She was recently covered by National Geographic for a show hosted by Henry Rollins, “Snakes Underground” (2010). Dr. Lisa was covered by the Orange County Register facilitating Naga Yoga and Snake Whisperer classes. Dr Lisa was inspired when handed the torch and reading a published book of her recently transitioned Italian cousin, Ana Vitta (actress, sculptor, artist, jewelry designer) who also celebrated women mysteries and snakes. The BonaDea (jewelry) Collection will be released in the fall of 2013. Dr Lisa participates in reptile conventions, snake shows, fairs and other events sharing the arts of Snake Medicine and Snake Whispering.
Dr. Lisa has been on the board of directors of the Association of Holistic Health and is a member and sex educator with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). Three years in a row, she has presented at AASECT (2009, 2010, 2011) on White Tantra with teens and a myriad of universities on sexuality and gender. She is also a public speaker and has presented at over a dozens of universities, conferences, museums about awakening through the arts of meditation, energy medicine/prana, dance, nutrition, presence, consciousness, quantum psychology, shamanism, tantra, conservation, communication and conservation.
Her specialties include intersubjective, humanistic, ego and depth psychologies, phenomenology, singing, playing and cocreating sound healing, hearts awakening, expansion, the power of touch, contact improvisation, pranic art and choreography, gender play and ego deconstruction, enlightened sexuality, energy medicine, meditation, shamanism, cosmology, interactive theatre, conscious eating, consciousness, nature and conservation/sustainability, community and animal medicine.
A lifelong devotee to the ocean, marine life, waves and body surfing since childhood and inspired by the wave break at 56th street; her summer home (Newport Beach), she is currently an avid bodysurfer, and you may find her in San Diego, Mexico and Costa Rica. She also loves ocean swimming, kayaking, boating, scuba diving and snorkeling . Dr. Lisa offers Goddess Wave ® clothing, energy dance meditations and art, qi rituals at sunset cliffs and del mar cliffs, bodysurfing sessions/retreats.
If you are inspired by her journey and want to sit still, gaze, laugh, cry, rejoice, harmonize, heal, awaken, dance, surf, swim, evoke or cocreate with her, contact her!
SpiralAwakening at gmail dot com
Looking forward to the possibilities~