Sacred space

Names: Christyanna Karpenski and Ryan Allmon

Occupations: Christyanna: Student/Men Chhos Rei Kei Instructor; Ryan: Student

Neighborhood: Ravenna

Why do you live here?

We relocated to Seattle after a three-month stay in Nepal to pursue higher learning at the UW and Bastyr University. We chose to live in this apartment because it's close to everything we need and has lots of space for a decent price.

How long have you lived here?

Just under one month.

How did you find this place?

A listing in The Seattle Times.

To what extent does this space reflect you, your personality, your tastes?

We're practicing Buddhists who have adopted a lifestyle that correlates to our convictions, and our living environment reflects this. We've definitely created a space that is pleasant and practical for both of us to live in and cultivate our bodhicitta, or compassion.

What would you say your "style" is, as shown by how you put your place together?

We are thoughtful, creative, and yet practical. Buddhist images and other artwork decorate our entire place, and we try to keep to the bare essentials.

What do you value most about this space?

The space. Because we have three bedrooms, we have the luxury of having a separate altar room. This room aids our cultivation of qualities that can be applied to every aspect of our lives, and it's also a great space to introduce Tantric Buddhist practice to Christyanna's Men Chhos Rei Kei students.

What are the benefits to living in this area/neighborhood?

The benefits of living in Ravenna are having great restaurants, stores, and a fabulous park really close. The parking's not bad, either.

Disadvantages?

The light pollution. It's relatively difficult to see the stars at night.

What is your favorite feature inside your home?

Our sacred altar room is our favorite feature. Again, this space develops our spirituality and serves as a training room for Christyanna's Rei Kei students.

Favorite object?

A thanka [Tibetan-style painting] of the five Ati Buddhas in our altar room. The painting was created by a master thanka artist in Nepal.

Where do you buy things for your home?

We've been collecting the things that are in our home our whole lives. We bought many of our decorations and sacred objects in Nepal. Most of the practical things were gifts or hand-me-downs. We don't have a favorite decorating or furniture store we frequent.

Do you ever worry that you'll have to move?

No.

Why not?

We just signed a 12-month lease and, besides, we're excellent tenants.

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