Sumitra Judith Burton
Hello. Most people call me Sumitra (my Sanskrit name, which means “good friend” and is pronounced Su-mee’-tra) and some call me by my given name, Judith. I am happy to respond to either. I live in Eugene, Oregon, USA, and have 4 grown children and 6 grandchildren spread around the world.
As a child I learned from fairy tales that there was a possibility (or promise?) of living “happily ever after.” I didn’t realize how deeply this dream was embedded in my psyche and how it affected my expectations of life. To me this meant having everything I really wanted: an ideal marriage, harmonious family, meaningful work – a happy and fulfilled life. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found myself at age 29 divorced, and a single mom with 4 children! My life was in ruins, according to my dream – and I believed something was really wrong with me, to have ended up in such a predicament.
At that age I was just learning to meditate, and as my internal life began to open, my external life seemed to fall apart. Meditation allowed me to experience a relative sense of peace within –a magnificent gift. But when I would finish meditating, there was still so much confusion about how to relate with others and be happy.
The external confusion greatly affected my ability to maintain that sense of inner serenity. I studied and practiced communication skills with a master teacher over a long period, which helped immensely in relating with others. But still I would be triggered at times beyond what these skills could manage.
In 2012 I was trained as a facilitator of the Living Inquiries, a process that had already begun to transform my life. The combination of increased awareness of the thoughts and sensations that make up my experience, and the exploration of them with curiosity and compassion, has tended to bring clarity and an inner sense of connection.
Along the way I’ve been learning to welcome and accept life’s experiences as they come, without fighting to change them. With this kind of acceptance, life becomes truly enjoyable. The greatest benefit I’ve experienced with the Living Inquiries has been a growing acceptance of myself, as the judging mind gradually transforms to kind and supportive thoughts.
I absolutely love this work, helping others to find peace in this way. My job is basically to hold the space in a skilled way for life’s experiences to be truly met, and often resolved into peaceful understanding. I invite you to join me in this amazing experience!
As well as Living Inquiries sessions, I offer facilitation of a deep listening process for couples or other relationships where communication can be challenging.
You are welcome to visit my website: www.awakeningfreedom.org, and to accept my invitation for a free personal chat online, to see if we’re a good fit for working together.
“I feel so fortunate to have received Sumitra’s thoughtful guidance with Scott Kiloby’s work. She is a bright light who embodies what she teaches and shares; she truly lives from the heart and creates a safe, nurturing environment for beautiful self-discovery to unfold. I am deeply grateful for what Sumitra has brought to me, and highly recommend her Living Inquiries sessions.” L.S.
“Our facilitation was like no other experience I have had with facilitation in that Sumitra was just present for me. She witnessed, she held such a deep space and guided me through a self facilitation process intertwined with the living inquiry principles, so that I was able to see that the pain and sadness I felt were OK. She sat with me while I wept and it was one of the most cleansing experiences of my life.” A.S.
“Sumitra held the space beautifully during our session. I felt bathed in the radiance of her quiet, warm, steadfast presence. The level of rest that I reached during the session was very soothing and peaceful. I experienced great value from the time spent together. I fully endorse her as a Living Inquiries facilitator.” D.C.
Sumitra Judith Burton interviewed by Kristy Johnsson on what it is that made her decide that she wanted to do the Living Inquiries as a facilitator. (11:06 min)
Sumitra tells the story of her life-long quest for Love. She married young and the marriage ended, leaving her a single mother of four with her dreams devastated. She sought love through being part of a spiritual community and the practice of yoga, and meditation. But meditation brought only a temporary sense of peace to her inner distress. “I was terrified, I didn’t know how to love myself – I didn’t even know that was a possibility.”
Through the Living Inquiries Sumitra has discovered how to unravel old beliefs about not being lovable and turn with curiosity towards anything within that’s not at peace, allowing it to be fully felt. “Then it naturally passes through,” and inner peace and love can emerge. “It’s brought me to the realization that love was inside me the whole time,” she says, smiling.