Karen Muktayani ‘Muki’ Villanueva
CXC Executive Director
CXC: What name do you like to be called?
KMV: around here, folks call me Muki, which is short for Muktayani. Muktayani is a name given to me by my Teacher that means ‘vehicle of Freedom’ in Sanskrit. i like to be called Muki because it reminds me to live into my name. (i also answer to Karen and ‘Kares,’ though my two younger sisters are the only ones who call me that!)
CXC: What is your “official title” at CXC?
KMV: i’m the Executive Director at CXC.
CXC: How long have you been with CXC?
KMV: i stepped into the ED position last November, after a 2 1/2 year stay in the Philippines. i’ve been with CXC, and its former iterations, and the New Dharma Community since 2005.
CXC: What compels you to live, work, and practice here at CXC?
KMV: Service–plain and simple. i have been privy to so many personal and organizational transformations as a result of my connection with the Center and my Teacher, angel Kyodo williams. i’ve seen firsthand the tangible results of cultivating and nurturing an inner life: lives get re-claimed, Purpose is found, and (r)evolutions abound.
as an RN and a healer, i have often found myself in the company of clients and their families when they are at their most vulnerable. that kind of intimate space is familiar to me, and it never gets lost on me what an honor and privilege it is to witness and contribute to holding space for healing.
those who are attracted to the work and workings of CXC choose a path less traveled. meeting and interacting with such folks nourishes me. wholeness and integration are of the utmost importance to me, especially with regards to my spiritual path and personal decolonization. cultivating an inner life ABSOLUTELY informs how we approach and do our outer work. the work and offerings of CXC are about making healing and wholeness and integration accessible to all, with an abiding interest in reaching and supporting those who work for and on behalf of social justice.
CXC: What is it like to be be a core resident practitioner in this intentional practice community?
KMV: i lead a life that is rich, deep, and full. i’ve often said that choosing to live, work, and practice at CXC is advanced citizenship; meaning: it is best suited for those that are willing to know themselves and love themselves (warts and all) and be willing to make the choices and sacrifices that are called for in order to do this well. in doing that, there is a wholehearted effort and commitment to live out my Divine Purpose, to point a way.
at my best, i am fearless in my failings and fallings. and, the rest of the time, i am moving towards accepting and embracing what my ‘current best’ is. when i fail and fall, i get back up again. what’s great is, through the years, especially through the vehicle of my practice, i have learned to pick myself back up again more gracefully, more honestly, less dramatically, and even more swiftly.
CXC: What do you want folks to know about CXC?
KMV: CXC is a living model and experiment of how to live a full life. no parts get left behind. it is a great striving. we value integration of our relationships, our Purpose, our work, our play, our movements. we appreciate the dynamism that keeps all of these (and more!) in balance. we have a lot to offer in the way of teachings and learnings. we understand what it means to embody deep practice. and finally, we value synergy and appreciate good people and volunteers to help support and further our work.