Sharon A. Suh, PhD – Author, Speaker, Mindfulness Teacher
I grew up in an immigrant household in New York in the 1970s and was force-fed as a young girl by an anorexic and bulimic mother. As a child, I was required to eat far more than I was hungry for and never learned to listen to my body’s cues to tell me when I was hungry and when I was full.
This forced feeding as a young girl made it nearly impossible for me growing up to detect when I was truly hungry and when I was actually full because those internal cues were continually overridden by my mother. In short, the eating patterns I developed early on in childhood affected how, what, why, and when I ate as an adult. I cycled between overeating and food restriction for most of my adult life. I knew though that as a mother to two girls, I needed to do and act differently.
It wasn’t until I discovered Jan Chozen Bays’s book, Mindful Eating: A Guide to Re-establishing a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food that I figured out how to address my past trauma around food and learned how to heal my fraught relationship to food, eating, and my body. I began to practice mindfulness and mindful eating to relearn how to listen to my body’s signals for hunger, satisfaction, and fullness. I learned how to develop more ease in my body and began to trust that I already had the skills and intuitive ability to nourish myself in a healthy joyful manner.
- BA in Asian Studies, Trinity College
- Masters in Theological Studies- Harvard Divinity School
- Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies, Harvard University
- Board member, The Center for Mindful Eating (tcme.org)
- Former board member, Yoga Behind Bars
- Former board member, Korean Women’s Association
- 200-hour RYT
- Yin Yoga Training, Spira Power Yoga
- Certificate of completion, Jodo Shinshu Buddhism with the Buddhist Churches of America
- Completion of Embodied Flow immersion training with Tara Judelle
- Completion of Trauma Sensitive Yoga for Survivors of Sexual Assault with Zabie Yamasaki
- Completion of Level II Certification in Mindful Eating-Conscious Living through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness
- Completion of Yoga for Trauma online training course with Lisa Danylchuk
- Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training- Yoga Behind Bars
Books & Personal Life
I am a Professor of Buddhist Studies in the department of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University. I earned my Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University and am the author of Occupy This Body, A Buddhist Memoir ( Sumeru Press, 2019), Being Buddhist in a Christian World: Gender and Community (University of Washington Press, 2004) and Silver Screen Buddha: Buddhism in Asian and Western Film (Bloomsbury Press, 2015).
I am a mindfulness teacher and have developed and presented workshops on trauma, healing, and mindfulness; mindful movement; trauma-informed meditation; body image and body acceptance; and mindful eating practices. I live in Seattle with my partner, two daughter, and two fur babies. When not teaching, writing, or meditating, I can be found with a cup of coffee in the kitchen, teaching barre, or reading on the couch.