Image 01

Archive for November, 2009

Sonya Shelton: Being Present

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

In high school, she knew what she wanted to do with her life. By 23, she had done it.

After graduating from California State University Long Beach in 1988, Sonya Shelton wrote for Screamer, a now defunct heavy metal magazine. She had not worked at Screamer long before she was promoted to editor.

“I had a list of bands I wanted to interview before I even started college,” Shelton said. “I got to interview them all.”

Sammy Hagar was at the top of her list. She interviewed him while he was still with Van Halen. She also interviewed Motley Crue, Robert Plant, and Iron Maiden.

After accomplishing her goals, Shelton found herself at a crossroads. What should she do next?


Wearing a red and black lace-print shirt, black slacks, and boots, Shelton hardly looks like someone who would have been such a heavy metal fan. She does not look like the first female abbot for the Dharma Zen Center either.

Shelton’s journey to abbot was more than 10 years in the making, ending only a few months ago.