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I was first introduced to the teachings of Buddhism in the 1970’s by reading Ram Dass’ books Be Here Now and Grist for the Mill and then attending two retreats, one a vipassana retreat with Joseph Goldstein at Barre Insight Meditation Society, and the other with Zen master Seung Sahn in Providence. I have continued to be drawn to and studied within those two traditions. I love vipassana for its warmth and its unadorned focus on seeing clearly and with compassion. I love Zen for its ability to cut through our confusion and lay bare what is true and essential. Vipassana gives us crystal clear instructions and permission to be fully human, and Zen gives us koans that tickle our brain and reveal insights by confounding reason and cutting through dualism.
My life-long profession has been in education. I have a Masters in English and taught at OSU and LBCC for 21 years, and then upon retiring in 2014, I was able to pick up the intensity of my youth to more formally study the teachings offered in Buddhism. Since then, I have attended many residential retreats with Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and many other beautiful teachers of vipassana and mindfulness.
I then began to merge my love of teaching with my passion for these wisdom traditions. In 2015, I attended a two-month mindfulness teacher training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness, where I earned my qualification to teach MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). In 2018 I completed a 9-month intensive through Mindfulness Northwest, becoming fully certificated to teach mindfulness.
Partnering with Kate these past few years through CSI has allowed me to integrate the various teachings and keep them living and shared as we foster a strong local sangha, something precious, and rare. I’m excited to help develop and offer this new program as we distill what we see as essential teachings to form a coherent program. Mindfulness and Buddhism put an emphasis on direct experience rather than knowledge and concepts. Accordingly, I, myself, am excited to practice within the structured framework we are setting up for participants. This is work we do together and with great love!
I met contemplative practices through postural yoga as a sophomore in college. It took some years for me to slow my pace enough to develop an interest in the quieter, more still practices of meditation -- but the importance and value of embodiment work has stayed with me and remains a vital piece of my practice and teaching. My pursuit of yoga teacher trainings across the U.S. in 2009 unexpectedly landed me in the good care of teachers offering philosophical and practical teachings from the Geluk and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. It is in this style of study and practice, and in the rich lineage of Indian yoga, that I have since found a spiritual home.
I earned a Master's degree at OSU in Applied Religious Ethics, completed and taught several advanced yoga teacher programs, trained in the secular, research-based curriculum of mindful self-compassion (MSC) and in 2018, had the profound privilege to spend a year in a solitary, largely silent meditation retreat. There, I pursued a dedicated trajectory of resting my nervous system, gently stabilizing my attention, and increasing perceptual clarity through shamatha (calm abiding) and vipassana (inquiry/insight) practices. Now, I work as OSU's Contemplative Studies Initiative coordinator, I teach courses in REL and PSY, and juggle the dynamic balance of dedicated meditator and busy householder/student/teacher/partner/workerbee. The deep study and practice of meditation with others is the pursuit of my heart and the fire in my belly. It's the central commitment of my life, because of the way in which it directly helps me to remember my own dignity and the dignity of others amidst the ebb and flow of fortune/misfortune, joy/pain, insecurity/arrogance, connection/separation, gain/loss, and praise/blame that the world and my own personality present.
I am immensely grateful for the teachers and guides who influence my practice and whose work I hope to represent in my own offerings -- Mira Shani, Jarret Levine, Doug Veenhoff, Kira Sloane, Will Duncan, and Lama Drimed Norbu. That gratitude extends wholly to my co-teacher and sister in the dharma, Audrey Perkins -- who reminds me at least weekly that the practice is always here now, available to be directly experienced through this human heart, and to the local and broader community of wise friends past, present, and future.