Volunteer Profile: Teresa Reese
I first heard of Jack Kornfield from Sylvia Boorstein, who was my therapist 32 years ago. I began sitting with him in a San Anselmo home on Monday nights, often bringing my infant daughter with me. When I heard Jack’s voice, I knew he was my teacher. Following that we met at the Fairfax Church for several years. At that time Jack was looking for land and would share with us the different locations under consideration. My heart would start racing because those sites were not local. But then the Nature Conservancy land in San Geronimo Valley became available, and we celebrated with Jack.
I remember our first sitting in the meadow at Spirit Rock with Jack and the other teachers, tying ribbons and bells in the trees while my children ran around collecting bones and imagining they'd found dinosaur bones. One of our early gatherings on the land was interrupted by a car igniting a grassy area because we did not have organized parking.
The teachings of the Dharma and the generosity of the teachers inspired me to volunteer. I would do whatever I could: build steps and bridges on our walking paths; clear areas for planting; help in the kitchen and in the bookstore. Before we had a Family Program, the Front Office served as a space for children to play while their parents sat. I helped by playing games and serving popcorn. When Thich Nhat Hanh visited, I organized carpools. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited, I volunteered and was fortunate to have an audience with the him as part of a small group who received his blessing. I have been a regular Monday night volunteer for 16 years.
Volunteering has given me the opportunity to give back to the land and to the teachers who have supported my practice. It has helped me weather the ups and downs of life, feel calm and content and has also been energizing. Volunteering is an act of generosity that comes back to me as a gift that enhances my life. I’ve met like-minded people who have become close friends; we share our daily practice and support each other. I have discovered that I have a scholarly temperament and have participated in the Dedicated Practitioners Program and the Advanced Practitioners Program. As an added bonus, I met the love of my life 15 years ago at the Monday night class! I thank Spirit Rock and my friends for what has become a precious experience in my life.
Spirit Rock relies on the generosity of our many volunteers. We offer a range of opportunities from one-time projects to ongoing service. Check our website to find out more about out volunteer program or contact our Volunteer & Community Coordinator at Volunteering@spiritrock.org or (415) 488-0164 x224.