Interview with former resident David Morris (Thaye)

Ngejung Datso, Gampo Abbey’s Off-Site Office Coordinator and a former resident sat down with David Morris (Thaye) to talk about his path to Gampo Abbey and the impact of his experience as a temporary monastic.


It’s great to be here with you. Let’s start with what your path was into the Dharma?


I’ve got an old story that I’ve told people, but there’s a little part of me that always thinks, maybe it’s something else, maybe I don’t know that there could be things that I don’t know about or have forgotten. I used to say that it was reading beat poetry, the beat poets who were interested in Buddhism or who were Buddhist like Alan Ginsburg and Leonard Cohen who referred to it, they just appeared in popular culture. And that sort of sparked an interest in my teens. But I think that as I’ve got older, I’ve allowed myself to acknowledge that part of my path into the Dharma was growing up with a father who was an Anglican Christian priest. I went to church as a child and that spirituality was there. 

And it’s really hard to say whether I had a theistic belief in God or an atheistic belief, I’m not sure. I think there was a yearning for something that would help me explore inner and outer worlds and something that was wisdom that’s been around for a long time, not just popular culture or contemporary scientific explanations or psychiatric explanations of what it means to be a human being. I think I also had this impression that Buddhism was cool as well in some way, and I think that that got the teenager for sure. And then I started reading, I bought some books. I remember buying a book by the Dalai Lama in Dublin when I was on a school trip. I actually saw a bunch of Hare Krishnas and I didn’t know what Hare Krishnas were, but I think I probably assumed they were Buddhist. I saw them and I thought, that’s a sign and I should go and buy a book about Buddhism. So I went to a bookshop in Dublin and bought a book by his Holiness the Dalai Lama. And I can’t remember what the book was but I felt the need to look into this.

There was a shop in Cornwall in Truro, not Truro Nova Scotia, but Truro Cornwall where I was born, there was a little shop called Garuda Trading. They sold kind of Nepalese clothing and Buddhist bits and pieces and books and incense and I don’t know, shrine stuff and what I’m tempted to call sort of Buddhist ephemera. And I would go in there and I’d browse and look around. And then I started having conversations with some of the people that worked there. I bought singing bowls and I bought a mala, not knowing what it was, really. And I don’t know what else, bits and bobs. I had a couple of singing bowls and I remember just getting stoned and dinging them and thinking something magical might happen or stuff like that.

And then I tried going to a Tibetan Buddhist group in Cornwall, which was connected with some of the people that worked in that shop. It was a long way from where I lived. I got picked up by someone who was driving there and I turned up and they were doing chanting in Tibetan and I didn’t feel particularly natural in their world. I didn’t go back, it didn’t connect with me. 

But a really formative and definite moment was a few years later, I got really into politics for a while and all my energy went into green anarchism and feeling very motivated. I was very involved with politics and environmentalism, reading a lot. And if I’m honest, just feeling a lot of anger and a lot of frustration and desperation at the state of the world. Not that that’s gone away entirely, but at that time it was my main focus. I made a friend who was maybe 10 years older than me, I was about 21, and we met at some little party and I immediately found his take on things as being very fresh and not following a script. He had some sort of way of being and thinking and expressing that had something that I wasn’t familiar with. We started going on walks together and I would rant about what needed to change and what people should be like.

And I just remember him saying things, don’t you think it’s a spiritual problem? And I found that infuriating and had all kinds of things to say back to this. And then he lent me two books. One was one of the first Carlos Castaneda books and the other one was Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Trungpa Rinpoche. And both of them were interesting, but the Trungpa Rinpoche book, well, I felt like I’d never been seen so clearly, I felt like I was reading the book and the book could see me, rather the book was reading me or something. It was like, whoa.

And it definitely for me was the first time I engaged with Dharma that felt like something that was going to relate with every aspect of my experience rather than be some add-on or a fashion choice or an artistic choice, and it kind of blew a hole in me as well. I found it quite shocking and uncomfortable. But I had this friend who I could speak to about it and he’d read a lot of Trungpa Rinpoche’s books. This guy had spent time living at Samye Ling, the monastery in Scotland that Trungpa RInpoche had founded in the sixties. He had a bunch of other books, so I kept borrowing the books and reading them and then discussing them. So my way into the Dharma was books and conversations with someone who was more versed in them than me, which is a real gift.

This friend was quite a critical person. So if I came up with some opinion about what this or that meant, he would say really, are you sure? So there was a sense of engagement with another person’s mind and that obviously makes you look at your own mind. And then I moved to London when I was 28 and I still basically hadn’t really meditated but I’d been reading the books for a long time and considered them a core part of who I was and then had an experience. 

I won’t go into all the details, but it was a crazy coincidence that a friend I’d had for a number of years, we were messaging on social media. This person had been through a breakup and was struggling. I’d just been reading some dharma and I thought, well, this quote might be useful to this person. So I wrote this quote into the message window and this person replied what the f***, are you Shambhalian? And I said, what do you mean … I read the books. And this is a friend who had grown up in Halifax and had gone to the Shambala school and we just never discussed spirituality before <laugh>.

So she then said to me, “well there’s this whole practice community around that was generated by Trungpa Rinpoche’s presence in North America. When I went to France for the summer, I was living at this retreat centre” and I was like, what retreat centre? She sent me a link and I think within 24 hours I’d sent off an application to go there that summer as a volunteer and to do two week-long programs whilst I was there as a volunteer. And so I just jumped in with both feet and I showed up in France and went to Dechen Choling and was shown how to meditate. 


And then at some point you were inspired to go to Gampo Abbey. What inspired you to go to Gampo Abbey to do a residency?


So I was at a point in my life in my mid thirties where I’d come out of a long-term relationship and I’d finished a master’s degree and I’d been in London for five years, but I’d always had a reason to be in London … that was my undergraduate degree or my master’s degree and also being in a relationship. So having a long-term partner and all those things had sort of come to an end. And I had a job that I liked and I was lucky to have, but I also recognized, I was like, well, I’m quite free right now. I don’t have children and so what do I want to do? Because maybe these times in life they don’t appear very often where you feel like you have some degree of, well, I could make a leap, I could do something.

So I thought, what do I want to do? And the answer was a long retreat. I’d like to really get into meditation and go further with that practice and be in a situation where that inspiration is supported. At the same time, our mutual friend Tharpa Terri had returned from spending two residencies at Gampo Abbey and he’d returned to London and our friendship deepened. We knew each other from before he went, but not as well, but when he returned we kind of became very close friends. And the way he spoke about his experience of temporary monasticism and the Abbey was intriguing. I would ask him things. He wouldn’t tell long stories about it, but he would occasionally say something or you could ask him something and the way I remember it, there was a little moment where something inside me said I could do that.

As soon as I said I could do that, it transformed into – you’re going to do that. There was some sense of, you asked for something, you were looking for something and there it is. Really? Am I going to do monasticism? I dunno, actually it’s not exactly what I had in mind, but I thought, well why not? And so obviously the way it was then, it was a nine-month commitment and the applications system was open. So I put together my application and I did my interview and loads of things in my life lined up to allow me to go. Before I was accepted, I spoke to my line manager at work where I was working at a university as a chaplain and I said, look, I’ve applied for this thing and if I get in I’m going to go, just so you know. And he supported that and really recognized what the wish was there. Then he said if you could come back, would you want to or would you be interested in that? 

I’d not thought that would be possible. So he went and talked to the director of the services where we worked and I also knew this person quite well. And it just so happened that she was a huge fan of Pema Chödrön. So when she heard this, she basically granted that I could have 12 months of unpaid leave, which obviously would allow me to come and do the residency and have a bit of time on either side. And then I also got offered a house sit so I could live somewhere rent-free for about six months before I came to Canada to look after someone’s place. And that made it financially possible. I also received support from people via the Offering Bowl as well. So any excuses to say, oh, it’s too difficult, oh I can’t go, oh, this has happened. No excuses appeared. In fact, the summer before I actually tried quite hard to find someone to fall in love with and failed completely. So I literally had no excuses left and I was like, right, well you’re going. 


You said that you were a chaplain before coming. What is it that a chaplain does?


That’s a good question. I think it varies on where that chaplain is based because chaplaincy as a tradition has changed quite a lot. I think in the past, before the middle or the late 20th century, mostly in western European and North American contexts, there would be a Christian priest who would be embedded in a hospital, the military, a university, or a prison. They would be there to conduct religious ceremonies and rituals that were requested or required by that community. And alongside that, they would be there for people to go to speak about what they might go to a religious leader for. Perhaps in the past, there might also have been an element of them being there to provide moral guidance or instruction as well.

That’s changed where it’s become more pluralistic. So you have people of other faiths, but also called chaplains, which is interesting because the word chaplain does have a particular Christian history. But you have chaplains from across faiths. I’m living in a very diverse international city and whether it’s a hospital or a university or prison, you have people from an incredible variety of different cultures. So those needs have been more or less recognized. And these places began to employ chaplains of other faiths and humanists as well, and pagans which people wouldn’t necessarily immediately place into a bracket of religion. But there is some recognition that it’s for people, it’s there to support diverse life philosophies. And rather than providing religious instruction or conducting services, I think the emphasis has grown on providing pastoral and spiritual support to people. So for a hospital chaplain that would be visiting people, patients and families and being a listener, someone who comes into that environment sits alongside the people and offers them a chance to share something of their situation or perhaps to sit in silence, but to have company. I think the best chaplains are the ones that are very adaptable to whatever the person is needing. And that might be a chit chat, small talk about sports results or it might be about end of life and looking ahead to feelings and fears about mortality and healthcare. Chaplains provide end of life care and sometimes they will conduct ceremonies or last rites perhaps in certain faiths where there’s a sense that certain words should be said at the point of death or near the point of death and prayers and so on.

I think the best chaplains are the ones that are very adaptable to whatever the person is needing. And that might be a chit chat, small talk about sports results or it might be about end of life and looking ahead to feelings and fears about mortality and healthcare.

The job I was doing before coming to the Abbey was at a university and that had an aspect of also promoting good interfaith relations between faith groups on the campus. It involved the use of shared facilities for prayer and contemplation. It also involved one-to-one support with students who wanted to come and talk to someone. Sometimes this involved referring them on to counselling services if a mental health need might arise, but they might feel more comfortable talking to someone from a faith background first. Sometimes it would just become a supportive boundaried relationship with someone who’s going to listen compassionately and empathetically to them as best they can. That’s the job I was doing. I was also teaching meditation. That’s often how Buddhist chaplains wangle their way into jobs when the business or the institution thinks that it would be good to have some mindfulness classes. So although mindfulness is broader than Buddhism, I think there’s still an association that that’s something that Buddhists can do.

For my current job, I’m working in healthcare in a hospital in London. My job is sort of a new job where these jobs weren’t in existence 10 or 20 years ago. My job title is Staff Wellbeing Chaplain. I actually don’t see the patients or the patient’s families at the hospital, I’m entirely there for the staff. My experience is offering one-to-one appointments for staff who are going through difficult experiences and running reflective practice groups. Sometimes that’s just an ongoing thing to help a team look into what they do in a reflective way. It’s a group where they think, how do we do what we do, and why do we do what we do, and how does that affect me? Those kinds of questions. But people can come and talk about things at work, things at home, and subjects like bereavement and emotional well-being. Sometimes people are talking about feeling stuck in life or the end of a relationship, something that’s affecting them.

I think chaplaincy always has this element that people expect that they might get religion pushed on them. But the practice that we come from, and most good chaplaincy comes from, is one of actually using one’s training in a spiritual tradition or as a humanist or whatever tradition, as your way of developing your ability to stay present and open to the person that you are with. So I’m not there as a Buddhist. That’s my training in Buddhist chaplaincy, but I don’t wear it on my sleeve. I don’t have a badge saying, Buddhist Staff Wellbeing Chaplain. I’m honest about my background if people are interested. But it’s also often not something that comes up and I certainly don’t insert it into the situation unless it feels like there’s something relevant. There’s a sense of being … the word that gets used is a generic chaplain. So you are there for people of all faiths, and none. Whereas sometimes in healthcare you’ll have specific chaplains. We have two Jewish chaplains at this hospital and they will be called out of hours to come in because they’re needed. I don’t respond in that way. I don’t have that approach. I’m not called in to speak with Buddhists, let’s say for end-of-life care, but we do have a Buddhist chaplaincy volunteer who does do the rounds like the other healthcare chaplains.

I think chaplaincy always has this element that people expect that they might get religion pushed on them. But the practice that we come from, and most good chaplaincy comes from, is one of actually using one’s training in a spiritual tradition or as a humanist or whatever tradition, as your way of developing your ability to stay present and open to the person that you are with. So I’m not there as a Buddhist. That’s my training in Buddhist chaplaincy, but I don’t wear it on my sleeve.

So what does else does a chaplain do? I think the context is important because in a prison it’s different again. In a prison they do employ chaplains based on their faith, based on whether they have prisoners requesting support in their faith. So they actually do talk with Buddhists or they might run a meditation class for prisoners.

And then in the military, in the UK, there is one Buddhist chaplain for all of the armed forces, the army, the navy, and the air force. He has that role and in the British armed forces, we have a number of I don’t know if the word cultural Buddhist is appropriate, and I’d be interested to learn if it’s not. There are a number of people who are culturally Buddhists who come from Nepali Gurkha communities, who were a unit that was brought into the British army in the 20th century and fought in the British Army in World War II and maintain a strong tie. These units are largely people who have a Nepali heritage. And so for them, Buddhism is part of their, not all Nepalis, but many of them have an upbringing in Buddhism. The armed forces provide spiritual and pastoral religious support for them. So what a chaplain does certainly varies.


What inspired you to become a chaplain?


I actually wasn’t inspired to become a chaplain. It happened in a weird way, more coincidences and good luck. I was at the London Shambhala Meditation Centre in 2015, or 2016. I was talking with someone who was regularly there on the same evenings I would go to meditate. I was doing a master’s degree and I was struggling to find enough work to keep myself afloat. And I told this person I was planning on dropping out of my master’s degree, which was in religion and politics, and that I was going to leave London because I couldn’t make my life work. And he said, well, what kind of jobs have you been looking for? And I said, pizza delivery, working at the local council, libraries, anything. It was a difficult time for jobs. And he said, do you want to do these jobs you’re applying for? And I said, well, no, but I have to have a job. Then he said, well, what kind of job do you want to do? I sort of was slightly taken aback by it and I said something that would combine my academic background in the study of religions with my spiritual path. He said, have you looked for something like this? I said, no, I haven’t. And so the next day or two I went online and I started typing in things into search engines for jobs like this. And a job popped up and the title was Interfaith Advisor, and it included pastoral support as well as working on policy and interfaith relations at this university. I applied for it and I got it. Now, this was chaplaincy that had been rebranded a number of years before. Sometimes chaplains get called different things to try to make it more relevant or understandable or perhaps they have a particular portfolio of activities and they get called something else.

There are jobs where you get called the spiritual and pastoral support coordinator rather than the lead chaplain because they’re trying to use terms that are more familiar to people. Anyway, I got this job and again, it was like I got the job and I felt that I had to follow this up. So I jumped in and I just started doing it. And at that point I had a history of meditation and retreats and I’d done some training with Shambala. I had been a volunteer there, so I had a sense that I could get a reference from my faith community. But I didn’t have any chaplaincy qualifications. I’d done some care work in the past and other things that had a pastoral dimension to them but hadn’t done anything like this, exactly. So I was fortunate to get it, and I then, over time, built up my credentials.

That said, I was a real Buddhist chaplain, but I kind of did fake it till you make it, if I’m entirely honest. In North America, there are some established programs of Buddhist chaplaincy training. There’s a variety of them and it’s an established career pathway. But in the UK there are fewer of us and there isn’t quite the same level of accreditation and courses you can do. I’ve actually ended up teaching on one in the last couple of years, training new British chaplains and in truth, never having done the training myself. So that’s the fully honest answer. I was lucky.


How does somebody become a chaplain? You’ve kind of answered that.


It depends on the faith tradition. There are some very established roots for more mainstream established faiths. And I can only really speak for the UK about the other faiths, but there are Muslim chaplaincy trainings, definitely Christian ones, definitely Jewish ones. Some of the other minority faiths are less developed.

I did a postgraduate certificate in chaplaincy studies at a place called Newman University, which is a Catholic university in Birmingham, and they offer that as a multi-faith program so people from other faiths can apply. I did that qualification and they encouraged me to write in my own faith language when I had to write assignments. It was a good course, but it would’ve been interesting to do that in a Buddhist environment with people who understood the teachings and who could challenge me maybe a little bit more or understood where I was coming from a bit more. So we’re looking into how we might build something like that to make it easier for Buddhist chaplains to train. However, it’s also quite a small field of opportunity.

So oftentimes, the majority of people who’ve done Buddhist chaplaincy training end up being volunteers, which is incredibly valuable in diverse settings. They’ll give a few hours a week to being a Buddhist chaplain. In some public sector situations there are not many of us who are paid or paid full-time. If people are interested in it as a career it’s possible.

In the National Health Service in Scotland, which is slightly different from the NHS in England, they call their chaplains Spiritual Care Practitioners. And they are, I would say, a step ahead in terms of equality, in terms of employment, where they all employ people who are qualified to provide spiritual care in a generic way. In other locations they might employ people who are more coming from a faith specific background. It’s interesting because some people ask for a chaplain and they might want someone from their own denomination of a particular religion. So do people really want someone to turn up who’s spiritual in some way in a kind of non-descriptive way? I don’t know how popular that will be. I’m not trying to warn people off it, but I think an awareness that, depending on where you are in the world, there are more or fewer opportunities.


Looking back over the teachings that you engaged with at the Abbey, what was useful to your work as a chaplain?


I can’t think of something that wouldn’t be useful in some way. It’s a big broad question. Well, we studied the paramitas when I was there, and I think that the six qualities that a boddhisattva aspires to realize are all quite inspiring and all of them come into chaplaincy work. As the paramitas, they could come into every single corner of your life, so they are definitely suitable. To be generous with people with time, but to also be generous with yourself because you need to have boundaries as a chaplain. 

One of the guidances of the paramita of generosity is to give only as much as what is needed. There are three forms of generosity. There’s the generosity of material possessions, which also includes your time or your shelter, clothing, or food. And the second one is giving the generosity of protection from fear. That does come into chaplaincy work. Sometimes people are in a crisis and you might try to create a space where there’s a sense that their fears can be recognized, at least. Maybe you can’t always protect people from their fear, but you can create a space where it’s okay that they’re afraid. 

The third form of generosity is giving the teachings or giving people the ultimate truth, I think is how it gets put in some cases, but which traditionally is interpreted as teaching the dharma. One of the reasons why Ani Pema resonates with people around the world is that she brings the Dharma into relatable everyday situations in an earthy, humorous, and genuine way. And that inspires me. So when I’m talking with people, I don’t need them to think that they’re learning the Dharma, but if there’s something I can pass on about how we can relate with uncertainty or with change, instability or powerful emotions, if I can put that in a way that’s accessible to them then that’s incredibly valuable. So there’s an act of translation going on and often it’s not appropriate to say, and by the way, if you like that you must be a Buddhist. That would not be generosity, that would be laying your trip on someone, I think.

And then giving people only as much as what is needed, you’re not there to be a rescuer to try to save someone from everything. You’re there to walk alongside them for a period of time and to remember that you are not there to take them on as a project, that they are someone you give time and space to listen to well, but that you also have to facilitate them to find other kinds of support that will help them continue on their way. You’re not their friend, you’re not their therapist. You show up in their lives or they show up in yours for a certain amount of time, and then you move on and they move on.


How do you think you’ve personally changed after your time at the Abbey or as a result of the Abbey?


There’s almost like three different responses. There’s an earnest one, there’s a cynical one, and then there’s a humorous one. So the earnest one is that having encountered the possibility of resting my mind in the way that it’s supported in a monastic lifestyle and developing more of a sense of space, less of a sense of urgency, well, I can never forget that this is possible. Whilst also knowing that as I returned from the Abbey, integrating that was a difficult process. So it’s changed me because I know how my mind can be when I’ve been practicing meditation multiple hours a day and cooking for a community and participating in regular rituals.

So I always have the touchstone of that experience. It’s changed me because I’ve had a taste of something that so far in my life, I’ve not been able to taste as deeply. I’d tasted it before, but not as deeply. Sometimes that leads to a feeling of being glad to be out and free. And then other times it leads to a feeling of, I miss that and that nourished me in a way that sometimes my instincts and my desires do not lead me into circumstances where that’s the part of me that I’m growing or supporting. I’m growing, instead, my neurosis or my passions or my clinging or my wish to be entertained all the time.

I’m not going to say it’s made me a more compassionate person. I’m just not going to say it because I think that there’s also something about the monastic approach, which means that you know you are always in process and that just because you’ve been somewhere for nine months doesn’t mean that you’ve now crossed over to the other shore and are now behaving from an enlightened position all the time. But I’m definitely softer and more accepting of my own confusion. And I think I’m slightly more honest with myself about it than I was before. That’s as positive as I could be. But it’s good, it’s in the right direction. It feels like a good direction.

I guess the cynical one is like, can I say that it’s changed me or who even was the person who went in? I don’t even know. So it’s really hard to say if I’m on a continuum in the first place. Three and a half years out from leaving I also know that I have a nostalgic memory, and I’ve told the story to people and I’ve dined out on it a little bit, which means I’ll probably have some karma to do with that at some point. But it’s also easy just to touch the heart space of it and feel it’s a sense of warmth, spaciousness, and challenge being around people who are doing their best to engage with that themselves. And I recognize that situation arising in other places in my life. When I know that’s what’s happening, I know it’s time to put some energy into whatever that is. That’s also how it’s changed me. I can recognize a genuine practicing practice context. I don’t know, actually. I don’t know.


Thank you very much. Thanks for sharing that. You’re also a musician and you made music inspired by your time at Gampo Abbey. Can you tell us about that?


I’m going to take the artist’s defense and say it speaks for itself because I’ve spoken for ages already.


Where can people find your music?


There’s the video my friend made for one of the songs that’s on YouTube. You can find here. 

That’s the video that uses videos I took on whilst I was at the Abbey. My friend pieced them together to fit alongside the song that I care about most from the album of songs I made after leaving the Abbey. That’s the friend who’s the reason why I found my sangha as well. So there’s all kinds of connections there. 


Great. And then last, do you have a favorite or perhaps a funniest moment from the Abbey that you’d like to share?


Yeah, it’s a library related memory. There were lots of times of shared laughter with people and surprising things and hilarious moments. And actually it’s about our friend Tharpa Terri. At one point I overheard him respond to the question “if you could sum up your experience at Gampo Abbey in one word, what would it be?” And he said, playful. And I was like, what? I understand that now. There was a lot of playfulness, there was a lot of other stuff as well, but there was a lot of playfulness. 

The biggest laugh I had, and it was an incredibly deep laugh that came from somewhere I didn’t think I’d laughed from before, involves a book I kept trying to read and getting stuck. It was No Self No Problem by Anam Thubten. I kept having false starts with it. And then I decided I am going to, and my copy was given to me by Ani Samten on the day I took the Bodhisattva Vows. She did a little drawing in the inscription. Anam Thubten presents the Dharma in such a simple and direct way that I think at the time I was looking for more complicated stuff or stuff with more weird edges or strange stuff going on. But what he presents is incredibly and beautifully simple. 

So when I got into it, I really started to get into it. And then I reached a point where it was gripping, very gripping. And there’s a quote towards the end, and obviously when you’re reading a book, it’s all about the journey. It’s not just these little moments, but this moment the quote said, if anybody tells us that they have the answer, they are obviously lying because there isn’t any answer. Next we might ask, if there are no obstacles holding me back, then why am I not awakened right now? And when we look, we realize that we are attached to our thoughts. That’s all that is happening. Samsara is nothing more than our identification with thoughts. That’s all there is. There is nothing there except thoughts. And, it’s moving me right now.

I wrote in pencil in the sideline, I wrote ‘biggest clear laugh’. I wanted to remember how I laughed because when I read that it was like, that’s it! That’s all there is. And a lot of the stuff that I get caught up in is just that I’m attached to the thoughts. And it’s a message that gets repeated often, but sometimes these simple messages get through to you even though you’ve read something similar 15 times. And then something is just, maybe it’s where you’re sitting or it’s who says it to you. But that made me raw with laughter at how ridiculously I overcomplicate things. And it felt funny that I made things so complicated. There’s something funny about that because yeah, there’s also something very tragic about it. But at that time I was finding it hilarious. So that was the funniest moment.


Thaye, thanks so much. It has been so wonderful to have this time with you.


Yeah, likewise.

David Morris is Staff Wellbeing Chaplain at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London. You can read more about his music inspired by his time at Gampo Abbey in Tricycle Magazine. To see the official video for his song New Safe from the album Monastic Love Songs click below

Ngejung is a former resident of Gampo Abbey and is currently our Off-Site Office Coordinator. She is also Lead Editor for One Earth Sangha