About + Contact

The human behind Writing Sangha

Hi! I’m Elizabeth Ü | 余浩明. I use she/they pronouns. Writing Sangha is my attempt to manifest the writing community I’ve always longed for.

My ancestors came from China, England, Scotland, Ireland (and more, including probably France and Germany?) via Hong Kong and Collingwood, Ontario (Canada). Born in San Francisco, I grew roots and fins in West Marin. I also feel strong connections to the land and waters and ecological communities of Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Salt Spring Island, and Umpqua National Forest.

In November of 2016 my partner and I migrated to Aotearoa (New Zealand). In 2020 I purchased my first house, in Thames, a town of fewer than 8,000 people according to the last census — around a fifth of the population identifies as Māori, and ~8% as Asian — located at the gateway of the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. I chose this place because it is home to many members of my Buddhist Sangha. I am finally becoming an active citizen of a community of place 🙂

I’m fascinated by the possibility of transformation and liberation, at both the personal and collective levels. I’ve been practicing yoga since 1998, and teaching since 2017. I attended my first silent meditation retreat in 2007, and am currently training for Ordination in a Buddhist tradition that is, like many self-described “Western” versions of “Eastern” spiritual lineages, complicated.

But writing has always been my primary spiritual practice.

I’m inspired by writing craft AND writing process. Writing on my own AND writing in community and collaboration with others. Writing polished pieces to share AND writing to figure out how I feel about things. Writing as a way to critically examine my privilege AND writing to find my voice as a marginalized being. Reading AND sharing other people’s writing. Writing to transform myself AND writing to transform the world.

What inspires your writing?

(P.S. Yes, I know I know, I’m using the stock images from the WordPress template. One of these days maybe I’ll get around to changing them. Or not, I do quite like them…)))))))

What does “Sangha” mean?

“Sangha” means “community” in both Sanskrit and Pali. It also can refer to a flock or a herd. I use it here to refer to a community of devoted practitioners, as it is often used in Buddhist contexts.

Get in touch

Though I would love to hear from you, I’m not the kind of person who always responds to emails right away. Nor do I hang out on Twitter much. If I don’t reply at all, it’s not personal; it’s more likely that I just don’t have the spoons.

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