In the early spring of 1992, while visiting a Buddhist monastery in Nepal, I had an experience of the Holy that changed the direction of my life. It is the turning point from which I trace my call to ministry, a seedling hunger to convey to others God's unconditional love for them, in all things and at all times. This experience led me to seminary, the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA., a member school of the Graduate Theological Union. While there, I focused much of my studies on pastoral care, including a year internship at the Center for AIDS Services in Oakland, CA. I learned through this experience that listening fully to another empowers a sense of acceptance and invites gentle transformation. It is also during seminary that I encountered spiritual direction for the first time, through the teaching of Fr. George Murphy at the Jesuit School of Theology. It is through Fr. Murphy that I found my first spiritual director, a Holy Cross father, in 1996. Over the course of the next 4 years, as I progressed through seminary, I came to appreciate the sacred space of direction, how it both affirmed and questioned my life experiences, and most importantly, provided a safe place to author meaning from my unfolding life narrative. In addition, through this experience of direction, I came to discern that ordained ministry was not the right fit for me at that time. Since graduating with my M.Div. degree in 2000, I have been discovering where and who God is calling me to be. I believe a ministry of spiritual direction is an emerging part of that picture.
In May 2004, I completed the two-year certificate program in Contemplative Listening at Namasté, led by Sr. Pat McCrann, here in Portland. This program, through a delicate and insightful group process, focused on developing the gifts required for a director and included an 8-month supervised practicum where I worked individually with directees.
In addition, I hold an undergraduate degree in religious studies from Lewis and Clark College here in Portland, OR, where I focused on the religious traditions of South Asia, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism. I am a Christian - baptized as an adult -- an active Episcopalian, and serve in my church as a lay worship leader. I am also a practitioner and group facilitator of Centering Prayer, a silent prayer form that invites contemplation, as taught by Fr. Thomas Keating. In the last three years I have begun a practice of Anusara Yoga and have received the attunements as a level II Reiki practitioner. I have been taught by Jeremy Taylor to engage dream work in small groups, and have also received extensive workshop training in the use of journaling and the expressive arts, including dance, as forms of engaging the sacred. I have personally engaged journaling, dream work, bicycling, singing, dance and photography to explore the spiritual nature of my life.