United States


I have been practicing meditation and studying the dharma in the Shambhala community since 2011 (six years). During that time, I have been an active student, member, and volunteer at the Philadelphia Shambhala Center and within the greater Shambhala mandala. A committed Buddhist, I have taken my refuge and bodhisattva vows, as well as the Shambhala Vow. I maintain a daily home meditation practice, and seek out frequent opportunities to practice with others. Last summer, I completed a dathun (month-long meditation retreat) at Karme Choling, which continues to strengthen and inspire my practice.

Over the past several years, I have staffed and coordinated many programs and have played a leadership role in various community groups at the Philadelphia Shambhala Center. Currently, I am the Program Coordinator for the monthly Open House program series, where I enjoy welcoming newcomers to our community. I also serve as our Center's Interfaith Liaison, and work with area interfaith groups to promote partnership, collaboration, and dialogue on relevant issues impacting our city and region. In addition, I recently completed training as a Shambhala Guide, and am actively meeting one-on-one with students who are interested in beginning a meditation practice. As my spiritual path continues to unfold, working with others is an essential and meaningful part of my journey.


I am a 33 year-old teacher, social worker, writer, nature-lover, and meditator living in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, I work as a school librarian at a small independent school for children with learning differences in grades 5-12. I love what I do for a living, and enjoy infusing mindfulness practices and a social equity lens into my teaching and work with students, teachers, and administrators. I am lucky to live in a neighborhood that is equally close to the energy and excitement of the city and the peace and solitude of trees, creeks, and trails. In addition to meditating, writing, and hiking, I enjoy cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Main teachers

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield


This summer, I am excited to attend a special Shambhala group program/retreat known as Enlightened Society Assembly (ESA) at Karme Choling in Barnet, VT. The purpose of ESA is to "manifest the principles of basic goodness in order to create a good human society." Along with other dedicated Shambhala practitioners, and with the guidance of senior teachers Acharya Susan Chapman and Acharya Marty Janowitz, I will spend ten days practicing meditation and exploring how to bridge the practice of mindfulness with social engagement and societal transformation.

This program requires a significant amount of preparation in the form of practice and study, as well as financial investment. Over the past several months, I have applied for and received scholarship funding and other financial assistance, and made my own personal financial contribution toward attending this program (total costs are approximately $1500). At this time, I am requesting additional support from my family, friends, and sangha members to assist me in covering the remaining program costs so that I can participate in this special opportunity.


All donors will receive a handmade card with a personal note as a token of my gratitude and appreciation. In addition, I pledge to offer my time and service as coordinator for a weekend program on the topic of mindfulness and social engagement, to take place at the Philadelphia Shambhala Center in the spring of 2018.

Cost breakdown

Program tuition and basic accommodations (remaining balance after applying Hemera scholarship, Karme Choling scholarship, and personal contribution): $490

Materials fee: $70

7% administrative fee (to cover Paypal fees and and The Offering Bowl donation): $39.20

Total: $599.20

Funding until

27 July 2017 (Ended)

Amount Requested





Recent donations

  • - Jigme Gyaltsen


  • Thank you for putting goodness into the world.

    - Nicole Taylor


  • We are thrilled to be able to support you on your journey. Wishing you a wonderful retreat!

    - Sarah, Justin, and Phoenix Alexander


  • You are amazing. Thank you for making this world a better place

    - Toni Traina


  • Love you!

    - Ellen Murphey


  • I don't know you and yet would like to support you in attending ESA. Warmly,

    - Karen Halseth