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Marlena Jan: Volunteer Profile

Born and raised in the beautiful region of Bordeaux, France, I moved to the USA permanently at the end of the ‘90s for a job in IT. A few years later, I returned to school to become a veterinarian.

In April 2014 I attended a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class at InsightLA where Spirit Rock was mentioned as a place to attend retreats. In choosing a place to live in Northern California, being close to Spirit Rock was one of my criteria. I moved from L.A. to Santa Rosa in December 2014 and attended my first daylong at Spirit Rock in February 2015. At that first daylong, I was blown away by the kindness, acceptance and sense of belonging I felt. I applied to be a volunteer that same day.

Volunteering is a way for me to spend more time with spiritual friends and to support a wonderful sangha. Every volunteer shift is an opportunity to commit more deeply to my practice and to the path.

Buddhism is of great help as I am exposed to a lot of suffering in my profession. I’ve also gained more clarity in my life, which allows me to struggle less with the way things are and to cultivate hobbies that bring me joy and peace, like hiking, dancing and mushroom hunting.

Volunteering here gives me access to the best teachers in the country as often as I want. I'm very grateful that Spirit Rock is so generous with its volunteers. Contributing to something larger than myself fulfills me and makes me feel connected and happy. 

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.


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