About Hilary Lake




Who Am I


I am a healing artist, a community ceremonialist, a mover and embodiment educator with Slavic, Celtic, Norse, Greek and Asian heritage. I guide people through transformative change and initiations into new ways of being. I help to create supportive spaces that allow for the shifts that are needed in our personal and communal lives. These spaces come in many different forms and may be within or around us or even in natural environments. The intention is to guide people towards a sense of belonging and connection.


The Journey


My journey towards being a healing arts community minister has been a winding one guided by our human needs for connection and belonging. These needs are easily unmet in our American cultural context and increasingly around the world. While I had a loving family in many ways and grew up middle class with everything I might want, I felt somewhat empty and alone most of the time and especially as an only child of older parents. I was trying to fit in and find my way like everyone else and had the blessing and challenge of having traveled and lived in different places in the world. Where do I truly belong? How do I be true to myself? I have asked these questions throughout my life. 


I followed my gifts into performance arts with singing and dancing and focused on performing well in school. I also attended a Methodist church in downtown Detroit, 20 mins from the suburb that I grew up in and then a Unitarian Universalist church in the most wealthy neighborhood, 20 mins in the other direction. I also attended an all girls Catholic high school and was friends with the other queer folk while reading whatever I could about Buddhism. There was contrast and paradox present in all aspects of my life. 

The Calling

I continued to follow the call to learn about how the performing arts, religion and spirituality inform each other and create opportunities for transformation. I realized that these are all arts that have been separated from each other in modern culture and are still interwoven in indigenous traditions. As I learned from different indigenous traditions, Buddhist studies and traditional arts from teachers around the world, I came to see that we all come from cultures that were created through their relationship with the Earth and the sky.

The Bridge

We as humans bridge this gap and it is our journey to learn how we make that connection in our individual ways. When we reunite our mind with our body we are able to bring our unique genius into the world and be conduits for the change that is needed for us all. I am inspired to help others bridge these connections within themselves back to wholeness so that the connections can unfold naturally between us and within our families, lineages, communities, the generations and in the collective. I am available to support your journey of bridging into your most whole self through one-one sessions and group classes as well as retreats. 




Buddhist Studies and Ministry

Presenter at Parliament of World Religions - 2015 & 2018


Masters in Divinity at Harvard Divinity in Buddhist Ministry - 2008-2011


Natural Dharma Fellowship - Lama Willa Miller and John Makransky - 2010-Present


Tibetan Buddhist Studies in India and Nepal - 2014


Buddhist Peacemakers Ministry - Roshi Bernie Glassman - 2008-2009

Comparative Religions BA at Kalamazoo College including a year abroad in Thailand -  2002-2006


Somatic Movement Studies

Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate - Embody Lab - 2022

Embodied Social Justice Certificate - Embody Lab - 2021

Living at or near Earthdance Community practicing Contact Improvisation - 2011-2017

Body Mind Centering - 500 hr Somatic Body Training with Christine Cole - 2015-2017


Practicing and Studying Yoga - 2006-Present


Community Organizing


Unitarian Universalist Community Ministry - 2000-Present

Community Coordinator and Manager at Nine Mountain Retreats - 2014-2017

Unitarian Universalist Community Coops & Cooperative Housing Development - 2007-2011

Kennedy School of Government - Marshall Ganz’s 
Course - 2010-2011


Clinical Pastoral Care and Counseling Residency at St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, CT  2019-2020


Internship at Bronson Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI - 2009



Improvisational Vocalization in Community - 2006-Present

Theater Scholarship Program and Vocal Performance at Kalamazoo College - 2002-2006

Various Forms of Dance from Ballet to Modern to Improvisational - 1987-Present


Community Theater - 1984-Present on and off


Indigenous Wisdom


Co-Creavatars - Grief Wheel Facilitation Training with Grandmother Kaariina Saarinen - 2021-Present

Community Village - organizing community around indigenous principles with elders and children for reconciliation - 2019-Present

Ancestral Healing with Daniel Foor & Grandmother Kaariina - 2019-Present


Walking in Balance - restorative justice council practice based on the traditional values of indigenous people - Grandmother Strong Oak - 2018-Present


Living within Indigenous Communities in Thailand - 2004-2005


Earth Connection


(All the above in Indigenous Wisdom)


Wild Earth Intensives - Co-facilitation 10 day experiences with Bill Pheiffer - 2017-2018


Growing the Garden of Healing Connection - 2021-2022



Maroon Liberation School - 2020-2021

Canvassing for Southern Poverty Law Center - 2017


Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives Board Member - 2009-2011

Center for Law and Renewal - Fetzer Institute - 2006-2008

If you're interested to connect feel free to email me at hilaryjlake@gmail.com