Where did you grow up? My dad was a park warden, and so I was very fortunate to grow up in Prince Albert National Park in central Saskatchewan, Canada. This introduced me to my first teacher: Nature.
When did you become a Buddhist and why? Likely the same reason as everyone reading this: I was suffering with anxiety, confusion, and reactivity, and I was searching for meaning. I stumbled upon the first insight meditation retreat held in our community 25 years ago. I tasted peace that weekend.
Is your family Buddhist? We are a Métis family with mixed Swampy Cree and Scottish heritage, which I think contributes to my capacity to see different perspectives.
What’s your daily practice? My go-to practice is to combine metta [lovingkindness] and joy with settling into the breath. Then, from this base, to open awareness. And then touch into this all day, as best I can.
What’s the longest you’ve gone without meditating? How do you get back on track? If you consider “meditating” to include daily practices like compassion and mindfulness, I’d say . . . not that long. Joys or sorrows get me back on track.
Book on your nightstand? Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson.
What do you like to do in your free time? Canoe, kayak, walk, hike, and nap on warm boulders.
Favorite subject in school? Canadian literature. I still love novels.
What was your first job? Librarian assistant at our little local library.
Most used emoji? Hearts of various shapes, sizes, colors.
What would you do if you weren’t a Buddhist teacher? I’ve truly always wanted to be the person who gets to dress up as a mascot and shake hands and hug little kids at events. I got to be the beaver mascot for Parks Canada once and had so much fun. It was just channeling metta and joy all day.
In October, watch Jeanne Corrigal’s Dharma Talk series, “Befriending Mortality,” at tricycle.org/dharmatalks.
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