Shara Amelia, OSD, is the Steward of Development for the Eternal Way. She was raised in the Swedenborgian faith and graduated from its preparatory school, The Academy of the New Church, in Bryn Athyn, PA. She went on to receive a B.A. in English Literature with honors from Haverford College, an M.A. in Linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin, and finally an M.S. in Oriental Medicine from the Texas College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Childhood travels in the American and Canadian Wests, including forays into the Northwest Territories and the rapids of Idaho rivers, formed Shara’s earliest, unmediated experiences of the divine. Raised on Western Pennsylvania farmland, much of her childhood was spent interacting with nature, whether spelunking in caves, cataloging wildlife, or hiking through the snowy woods and embankments of abandoned coal mines. Here she cultivated a deep love of natural beauty, feeling the hand of God most acutely in stunning panoramas and vistas and in the unfolding of the four seasons.
Shara’s other great love has been that of the arts and of languages. Her love of music comes from her family and from the incredible musicality of her childhood church, in which she learned to sing and to listen to music in many genres. Shara began seeing Shakespeare at Stratford, Ontario on her twelfth birthday and thus began a great love of English literature. Her pursuit of the arts has led her into many vocations, once living in the hills of Tuscany, studying Italian, and traveling to sacred sites throughout Europe, once studying Spanish and teaching English in Buenos Aires, once testing her hard-earned Arabic among the people of eastern Kenya while exploring Lamu and Mombassa and the Portuguese ruins in between. She has worked in the East Wing (20th Century) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC as a curatorial secretary, helping mount exhibitions on Matisse in Morocco and on Kasimir Malevich. Shara also served as the managing editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, a sociological quarterly, for four years and brings both editorial and organizational skills to the Eternal Way.
Shara joined the Order of Sanatana Dharma (a.k.a. the Order of Spiritual Disciples) in 1997. She continues her studies and practice both of Chinese Medicine and practices meditation in the kriya yoga tradition. Shara was given kriya initiation by Roy Eugene Davis in 2001 at Center for Spiritual Awareness in Lakemont, Georgia.