Chuan Kung Shakya

Chuan Kung Shakya was born Gwendolyn Michele Yorgey in Brooklyn, NY, 1967. Raised in Allentown, PA, she began drawing at a very early age by imitating her mother who is also an artist. As a child, she was always encouraged to freely use her imagination and create things from within her own mind. She had no formal art training until she was twelve and received a scholarship from an art class at the local art museum. She was immediately able to draw with perfect realism.

At sixteen, Gwen left high school to attend Simon's Rock of Bard College in Great Barrington, MA, a college for high school age students. There she briefly studied art and illustrated a field guide as an independent study. Later she majored in art for a semester at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She immediately fell in love with painting upon taking a painting class and doing her first painting. She decided to be a painter, but at the same time noted that her art developed better without formal instruction. Thus she discontinued her art education.

At the same time that she became a painter, Gwendolyn Yorgey married Ben goertzel and changed her name to Gwendolyn Goertzel. Her paintings, from the start she signed with "Gwumbldy". From this point on, she continued to paint while also pursuing her education and having three children. After a little time off from college, Gwendolyn returned to Temple University where, in 1989 she received a BA in Linguistics. She also gave birth to her first child, Zarathustra, in 1989.Gwendolyn continued her education and received an MS in Mathematics from University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1992. In 1993 Gwendolyn formally became a Zen Buddhist, taking on the precepts and a new name, Fa Shu. Also in that year, her second child, Zebolon, was born. In 1994 she went to New Zealand and Australia with her family, where she did Doctoral Work in Computational Linguistics at Waikato University and Computer Art at the University of Western Australia. She has also been exhibiting as she moved around the world, showing in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, New Zealand, and Australia. She stopped her educational pursuit when she became pregnant with her third child, Scheherazade, in 1997 (children, school, and painting-- it was all too much!), and she returned to the United States to devote herself solely to children and painting.

For the past two years Gwendolyn has been living and painting in New York and New Jersey. In August 1998 she was formally devoted herself to the Dharma when she was ordained as a Zen Buddhist Priest, Chuan Kung Shakya, in the Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun under Master Jy Din Shakya in Honolulu, Hawaii. Perfect!