Phyllis Luyken


9 DECEMBER, 1921 – 2 MARCH, 2013

Phyllis C. Luyken was born in Omaha Nebraska (Phyllis Clay Harry) and came to California by way of Chicago, where she completed her teaching credential at UCSB and taught elementary school, particularly Kindergarten, for 20 years. She also completed numerous art courses and considered her artistic endeavors an on-going process. During those years she met and married William Fleischmann. As Theosophists, Phyllis and William came to Ojai to learn and study the teachings of J. Krishnamurti and raise their three daughters. After William died, Phyllis met and married Arnold Luyken. Phyllis adored Arnold and they shared a love for art, travel and music. They enjoyed eleven years together until Arnold's passing, after which she pursued her passion for family, friends, art, gardening and spiritual growth. After attending a retreat with the Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh she received the Five Mindfulness Trainings and was given the Dharma name Friendship Sangha of the Heart. The name inspired her to form this Sangha, which met weekly in her home for over 10 years, and then began meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura. In addition to being the founder and leader of the Friendship Sangha of the Heart, she also taught and practiced T’ai Chi Chich, became a well known painter and was an active member of Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura. She was loved in the Ventura Buddhist, T'ai Chi Chich and Unitarian Universalist communities. She died peacefully at her home at age 91 surrounded by her loving family.