Zhalisa • Founder, Luna Vibrations

Zhalisa is the founder of Luna Vibrations, a sound healing and meditation practice on a mission to help you achieve inner peace. Before moving to Denver, Zhalisa studied a wide range of holistic healing modalities from yoga to Ayurveda in India. She has always found it frustrating that access to these ancient techniques is limited to those with the highest financial means. She hopes to bring all that she’s learned to local communities by increasing access rather than reducing it.

Zhalisa moved to Denver six month ago from the Bay Area. Keep reading to learn about her experience so far.

What does it mean to you to be black in Denver?

For me, to be black in Denver is an opportunity for personal growth. I grew up in Washington, DC, a.k.a “Chocolate City,” and the differences in the culture and the makeup of the population here provide me with many opportunities to apply all that I’ve learned on my journey of holistic healing. The practice of loving-kindness when faced with ignorance. The ability to look within and feel whole when you look around and feel alone. The intention of focusing on what we have in common rather than what makes us different. Being black in Denver to me means an even stronger appreciation for black people when we see each other in the street, a smile I didn’t even know could be so big because I used to take us for granted, a heart so open to love and community because we need it, because we need each other.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

Mother Earth embraces me here. I feel her. I see her. I connect with her. The mountains are majestic and grounding. I’m a rock climber and a snowboarder, so the proximity to all of these things has been epic and I feel so grateful.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

Practically speaking, I’ve become the most diligent at moisturizing than I ever have been in my entire life because this whole ashy phenomenon is just too high of a risk here.

But if we were to take it a bit deeper, I would say there are two things that come to mind. First, I have become more able to accept help from others. I’ve always had a “do it myself” attitude, but when I was very new to Denver and I had some personal challenges, Denver folks were so welcoming and giving to a complete stranger. I couldn’t help but accept these helping hands and I have so much appreciation for them.

Second, it’s broadened my world in terms of exposure to different viewpoints. I have always lived in places where you could assume people’s politics — very liberal bubbles (New York City and Bay Area), where the question was how left are you, left or super super left? After meeting many people with a very wide range of beliefs, meeting people in real life here who I had only heard about on Fox News, I’ve learned to take deep breaths. I’ve learned to listen and apply mindfulness to these conversations. I try to empathize and see and feel their hearts as human beings, even when their comments might question my right to be in this country, my right to make my own decision about my body, my right to be whoever it is I want to be. Because we are all connected. Because there is always a “we.”

Zhalisa leads sound healing with Tibetan Singing Bowls, meditation workshops focused on accessing your subconscious, and customized retreats in Denver. For information on private appointments and upcoming workshops, visit the Luna Vibrations website here.