Meet Victor Nguyen, the founder of The Metta Space.  He grew up in Los Angeles as a Vietnamese Catholic boy who once aspired to priesthood but life guided him through a profound spiritual journey that led him to create The Metta Space in San Diego instead.  Like Victor himself, this space welcomes all creative souls.  If you are searching for a community that is built on loving kindness, The Metta Space will embrace you.  Do you want to focus on getting physically fit?  Do you want to enter a deep, personal, spiritual exploration?  Whatever your goals, The Metta Space will support you.

San Diego is fortunate to have this unique space located on Adams Avenue.  Think of the warmest and most accepting place you have ever come home to and multiply that feeling times ten.  This is the level of peace and acceptance you will feel when you set foot in The Metta Space.

Victor says, “I have gone through a long journey and along the way I have acquired different names.

I was born Victor H. Nguyen, and this name grounds me in my roots and connects me with my birth family.  While living with this name, I acquired values of a Catholic school upbringing and explored my devotion through strengthening my voice in the church choir.

But since then I have discovered more dimensions of myself, and as I have done that, I have acquired new names.  

In 2014, I discovered the benefits of Kundalini Yoga when I was needing more of a spiritual connection with my soul.  My soul was hungry and thirsty.  I felt empty and wanted to fill a void.  At the time there was a studio in Banker’s Hill called Karma Yoga.  I happened to drop in for a class, and I found out about Aquarian Sadhana, a daily morning practice in the Kundalini tradition. 

I tried it one day at 4:00 AM.  After my first Aquarian Sadhana, I realized, wow, I have been looking for this my whole life!  I felt I was born again!  This experience ignited my soul in a way that I have never been touched before.

I became a Sadhana “junkie,” addicted to this beautiful practice.

Months later, I remember visiting a Kundalini ashram in the Haight Ashbury in San Francisco.  They offer Aquarian Sadhana on Wednesday mornings, so I went there around 3:30 AM, but no one showed up.  I was shivering, waiting out in the cold and thinking, what is going on?  Why was I waiting for someone to lead the Sadhana?  I can lead.  

That’s when I knew I needed to be a teacher so that I could facilitate this for myself and be a teacher for others.  

So, in San Diego, I went through the 10-month teacher training, and experienced a lot of changes.  I grew all my hair out, and came face-to-face with an opportunity to live a life of purity.  

In 2016, I acquired the name Chand Dyal Singh Khalsa.  Receiving this name deepened my Kundalini Yoga practice and Sikh exploration.  

This exploration guided me to discover a ceremonial promise one can make to his highest self, called taking Amrit.  Choosing to receive Amrit is a deep and reverent commitment.  

Well, going through the process I knew that I was likely going to break the requirements, especially the vow never to eat meat.

For my body and my personal health, I know I feel better when I consume animal products.  Anyway, I knew at that time that I needed to commit to that community.  I needed to be with that intention.  There is something beautiful that I value in that life of purity and support.  It gives a deep sense of family that I was seeking.  This filled that void of a sense of belonging.  But, still there was something more awaiting me.  

Over the past six months, I have been going through another inward inquiry of asking what does thi all this mean.  At some point, taking Amrit to become a Sikh stopped having meaning nor was I committing fully to the vows.  While I was slipping from this Amrit commitment, I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism at a temple in Escondido.  

The difference struck me immediately.  At a Sikh Gurdwara, there is lots of moving energy; there is Kirtan, bowing to the Guru, reverential offering of money.  There is a lot of energy rising.  Then there is also a lot of shame and guilt that comes to the surface.  Some of the Shabds feel weighty, and it takes energy to process and be part of that.  

By comparison, the Tibetan Buddhist sacred space felt neutral and peaceful.  I felt like I wanted to stay there forever.  Being in that space felt right for me.  So, I am embarking on a transition of going deeper with these teachings.  

I took refuge in the Tibetan tradition in June 2018.

I received the Tibetan refuge name Konchok Gyatso, which means Triple Gem of the Ocean.  The Triple Gem refers to 1. the Buddha 2. the Dharma, and 3. the Sangha.  My relationship with that is the teacher is the Buddha; the teachings are the intellectual aspect of this path; and then there is support from the community, which is the Sangha.  So, this Tibetan name is guiding me into new exploration, and I am really connecting with it.  

I founded The Metta Space on 19 July 2011 and it was my first opportunity as Holistic Health Practitioner and Massage Therapist to open my practice to the public.  At that time, I was healing from a romantic break up, a relationship that trapped me in co-dependence.  I had put all my trust and dependence on this one person.  We broke up, and it felt like my whole life was lost.  I needed a distraction and to focus on me.  So, I created a space that wass safe.  I created a space that was a foundation for any kind of healing.  I visualized a sanctuary and place of refuge.  Metta is a Pali word from the Theravada Buddhist tradition that means loving kindness.  So, Metta had to be the foundation for my new beginning.

There is a long Metta Sutra that discusses the different layers and expansions of love.

First there is love and kindness for yourself.  Next comes love and kindness for someone you care about.  Then, you extend that same love and kindness to strangers and eventually to enemies.

As a healer and teacher, I quickly learned that I may feel I am doing something good to heal and help others; but, it is important that I am aware I need to help myself and feel genuine love for myself; otherwise, I am helping from a place of void or emptiness.  So, The Metta Space keeps me asking, how can I continue to serve myself in ways that prepare me to serve others?  The cycle always goes back to self.  I naturally come from that place of service, as I grew up Vietnamese and Catholic.  In that setting, I had no sense of self; everything was centered around the family unit.  I had to realize when I was older that unconscious selflessness was not quite right; I had to realize that I do matter as an individual.  I needed to start asking, “What do I need?”  Then my work as a healer can depend on, and grow out of, how I take care of me.

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The direction of The Metta Space is still a work in progress; we are still exploring.  But so far it feels like a free-flowing space that is committed to many paths and ways.  We offer yoga, meditation, sound healing, wisdom circles, massage therapy, tai chi, qi gong, Zumba, Peruvian energy work, acupuncture and more.  Every third Sunday of each moth we host a Metta Market to which we welcome local San Diego healers, teachers, artists and vendors to celebrate the community in a mini festival of health, creativity, culture, and beauty.

We invite you to join us in exploring, expanding, and participating in the exciting new space the supports creativity, consciousness, community, and connection.

May all beings be filled with loving kindness.  Sat Nam!