When were you first exposed to dharma?

My interest in religion began very young, pedaling my bicycle to many of the local churches, becoming immersed in the Christian Bible. My family background is Quaker, with such illustrious women as Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony in the family tree. As the 60’s unfolded, the religions of Asia came to my attention, and I began my first forays into meditation. And, there was college and graduate school for psychology and Marriage & Family Therapy. During graduate school, I became involved in Rosae Christi, an experiential and meditation gathering of Christians. Some of the exercises can be found in the book, Prelude To The New Man, An Introduction To the Science of Being by Martin Muller. 

After Martin died, I lived in Idaho, with a private practice in counseling, teaching at Boise State University and the College of Idaho, for many years. Those years were deeply involved with meditation in the path of Raja Yoga, studying the interface of psychology and spirituality, religious symbolism, and raising my fantastic children. In the 90’s, I met a remarkable Canadian born nun, Cecilia Kwiat, and began the ever unfolding process of study, contemplation, and meditation in Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism. With many trainings and years of study with the Dalai Lama, Cecilie, various geshes and Rinpoches. During this time, I transitioned from counselor to chaplain, spending over a year as a resident training in hospital and hospice chaplaincy, and working as chaplain for several hospices. I came to Thrangu Rinpoche, beloved Garchen Rinpoche, and Khenpo’s Lobsang and Khenpo Jigme, all in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. In this beautiful and living tradition, I stay learning and becoming.

How has the path manifest in your daily experience?

The primary manifestations of Buddhist practice in ‘personal’ life are increased happiness, calm, and generosity. A tiny bit more patient, especially driving. I practice being impeccable in all dealings. Take responsibility for my actions and use the 4 steps of the Vajrasattva practice: regret, reliance, use antidote, and promise. The other major change is with pain, disability, and sleep problems. All three of these challenge daily life, and used to be sources of grief, frustration, despair, debility, i.e. suffering. There may be brief periods of a few hours of any of the above feelings. Overall they are just not important. If I sleep 3 hours a night or 7-no difference. If there is pain, I do not dwell on it, no does it stop me from the activities I would like to do. I just have to get creative about how to go about it. I have also learned ways to handle more intense, show stopping pain. Disability is simply disability-adapt, change, proceed.


The other major change is with pain, disability,
and sleep problems. All three of these challenge
daily life, and used to be sources
of grief, frustration, despair, debility, i.e. suffering.

If you explore other lineages within buddhism, how did you come to decide on which lineage was right for you?

I have studied or had empowerments in every lineage. I’ve met the Dalai Lama and had many teachings from him and met and had teachings from Sakya Trizin. I’ve taken courses from FPMT, these al Gelugpa, Did a 2 year Dharma Apprenticeship Program in the Nyingma tradition and am now looking at the Great Perfection teachings, and years now of teachings, meditation, and personal instruction in the Kagyu tradition-Dokpo, Drikung and Karma Kagyu. My primary teachers are within the Kagyu lineage: Ayang Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, and Thrangu Rinpoche. I love them with a whole heart, and wish to aspire to their teachings and their way of being. Ayang Rinpoche has shown me the nature of mind. For me, Garchen Rinpoche embodies love. And Thrangu Rinpoche clarity, luminosity, and Mahamudra.

What are some of your practices/rituals that you do to support your spiritual development (meditation/prayers and etc)

The two practice most influential are the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva and Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra by the 3rd Karmapa. Both of these show the whole Buddhist path. The Aspiration Prayer was the clincher for my involvement in Tibetan Buddhism. The most sacred document I have every read. My daily practices are Vajrasattva, offerings, Chenrezig, and Mahamudra, with Green and White Tara, Medicine Buddha, Mahakala, and Guru Rinpoche according to the moon cycles. I also do a wrathful deity practice.


I attend Vajra Vidya in Crestone. The regularly attending sangha influences my attendance. We move as a group through the rhythms of meditation and cycles of meditations linked to the vast cycles of the moon and sun and other stars. We have discussions that help clarify my understanding and practice. We volunteer at the center and have learned to accept each other’s idiosyncrasies and kleshas, to trust each is working the path.


I have been amazed at the lengths to which
my my mundane mind will go to trick myself.

What is your primarily profession?

My professions were counseling and hospice chaplain. Then, disability and retirement for 15 years. They are now custodian and (possibly soon) a code compliance officer. How Buddhist practices influence work? First, with the custodian jobs, I think of Tilopa and is sesame seed grinding. With code compliance, it hopefully will be calm, awareness, generosity, creativity, and patience. Meditation opens up calm and creativity. The paramitas open up patience and generosity. Awareness comes with calm, meditation, and the unfolding realizations of interdependence and impermanence. With hobbies, with gardening it is a joy to give away healthy food. With running the VVRC gift shop, is mindfulness, concentration, and cooperation. Reading includes many dharma texts. Really, everything I do has some connection to dharma.

What teachings/practices have had the greatest impact on your life?

37 Practices of a Bodhisattva and Mahamudra are the more influential. How have I been transformed by the path. I asked others this question/ Here’s summary of the answer. Where I live is because of opportunity to practice at Vajra Vidya. Intentionality in all life areas about how I want to be as person and practitioner. And, awareness of both.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!