I am writing from my home at the base of the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York. It is a great place to live and work — full of natural beauty, friendly people, and a strong community life. I moved here with my husband Tom after we raised our children, Shanti and Chandan, and found the empty nest a bit too roomy. We live happily with our dog, Bodhi, one of a line of poodles who have made our houses homes.
For over twenty years, I worked as an educator in higher education and then in the classroom teaching immigrants. That experience was a wonderful way to learn about the world and I probably would still be teaching except for 9-11. One stunning day made me want to take everything I had discovered through work, study, relationships, and travel to make a difference in new ways.
I was ordained in Thich Nhất Hanh’s Order of Interbeing and then as an Interfaith Minister at One Spirit Seminary in New York. My work focuses on writing, teaching meditation, spiritual direction, and leading retreats.
I write for journals, in particular “Presence”, the journal of Spiritual Directors International, and “The Mindfulness Bell”, the journal of the community of Thich Nhất Hanh. Some years ago, I wrote a book about that community entitled Visiting Thich Nhất Hanh: An American in Plum Village. And now I am pleased to share my latest work, Divine Sparks: Interfaith Wisdom for a Postmodern World.
I took up art because I believe in the power of art to communicate and heal. There is great need for both of those energies in today’s world. In addition to making art, I support local art organizations and artists in every way I am able.
I have a special love of my Irish heritage. Tom and I like to spend part of each year in Ireland, exploring new places and revisiting old favorites. It is the landscape where I feel most at home, and I am proud to be a citizen of both Ireland and the US. And while much of my work deals in weighty issues, I love to laugh. One of life’s greatest pleasures, wherever you are in this incredible world, is sharing a leisurely meal with meaningful conversation and loads of laughter.
To relax I like to listen to music, draw, paint, practice yoga and read. All my life I have been a reader. When I was small, my parents had to remove all the lights from my room because they’d find me reading late at night. Undeterred, I stealthily read by flashlight. Now I can read whenever I wish, day and night. I read a wide variety of books, usually nonfiction in the morning and switching to fiction later in the day, especially relishing the treat of an engaging mystery.
Enjoy the website. I hope one of the books you pick up soon is Divine Sparks.