What pronouns do you use? He/Him
Where will you be located while serving on the board? Salt Lake City, Utah
Please describe your activity with any Recovery Dharma sangha, including local, affinity, inter-sangha, circle, or volunteer with the board. (Affinity: some members of Recovery Dharma create sangha groups around identities such as Black, Indigeneous and People of Color (BIPOC), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Ally (LGBTQIA) Women; or interests such as recovery around process addictions, food or codependency. Circle: an independent volunteer work group)
I have started and facilitated meetings here in Salt Lake City, UT. Currently facilitating an Inquiry meeting.
Briefly describe your professional/livelihood history in a narrative , and upload a resume or copy it below. Reminder that many life experiences can be applied to the work of a Board. This includes, but is not limited to service with local groups, managing a household or service on another nonprofit board.
I have worked in the Natural Foods Industry since the mid 80’s in various roles, in stores, outside sales as a representative and broker, as a National Sales Manager and educator. I have been employed by Xlear, a natural manufacturer of dental and nasal care products, since 2016. I have been working as a musician since 1980 and, up until the pandemic, continue to perform regularly. I teach a variety of Martial Arts at The Bernales Institute. I have teacher certifications in seven arts, Level 1 and 2 Crossfit certifications and have recently graduated from the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification that was offered by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. I am currently halfway through a Yoga certification with Yoga Forward, that is being offered specifically to People of Color to take Yoga where it is not readily available to marginalized communities. I facilitate a BIPOC meditation meeting online once a week. I teach a Chi Kung and meditation class five days a week.
Are there other special or unique skills that you believe would benefit serving as a board member? (please see announcement)
Part of my recent practice has been deep listening which I believe would be a valuable skill when serving as a board member.
Please use the space below to share a brief (300 words or less) statement about yourself. The questions below are offered as prompts for topics you might find helpful. We do not anticipate that you will answer each one.
Thank you for the honor and opportunity to serve this community.
My recovery path began in the mid 80’s with Alcoholics Anonymous. I had mixed results and found a good place with Refuge Recovery and now Recovery Dharma. I attended three Refuge Recovery conferences and served as a regional representative for Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. I’m not quite sure when it happened but renunciation has become comfortable, an easy place to be, for now as I am always aware that this may change by degrees at any time. I am working on deep listening as a practice. Buddhism has attracted me over the years. I became curious during my time as a book buyer for a little store I worked at in Southern California. Our shelves became well stocked with Buddhist titles but I had no direct experience will I invited a teacher to do a seminar at my martial arts school. My first experience was with Zen meditation. It seemed that I was not quite ready till I found Refuge Recovery and began a regular meditation practice.
One powerful experience I had concerned a co-worker who I had conflicts with and experienced great difficulty being around. I literally could not be in the same room with them. They became the focus of my forgiveness practice. After a few months, when we were in a meeting, I noticed that my feelings of revulsion had completely left and I could interact freely. What a relief! I continue to observe how the practices of equanimity, compassion and the heart practices have softened my interactions with others and in general have made my experiences in day-to-day life better. Less reactivity, I feel I now can respond appropriately.
I attended an Against the Stream retreat in Joshua Tree a couple of years ago and one of the break-out groups was for People of Color. It had occurred to me that most of the spaces for retreats and Buddhist groups were mostly white space. My first experience in openly discussing was powerful. I realized I may have been naïve in how I viewed race relations. This lead me to explore the teachings offered by POC teachers. I attended a one-day retreat with Lama Rod Owens which allowed me to see what could be possible in POC spaces. I reached out to JoAnna Hardy in Los Angeles and Vitoria Cary in San Francisco to dicuss establishing a POC meditation group here in Salt Lake City and although that group remains small we continue to meet weekly.
My interest in becoming a member of the board is rooted in wanting to serve and give back what was so freely given to me.