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Brian O'Donnell: Volunteer Profile

How did you first find out about Spirit Rock?
I found a copy of Tolle's The Power of Now, and was amazed at how my life outlook improved just from the practice of being present. I was also amazed that no one else around me seemed interested! After explaining the practice to a friend, he said "that sounds like what they do up at Spirit Rock... you know -- that place 10 minutes from where you live?" I made my first visit in 2002 and never looked back.

Why did you decide to volunteer?
I'm afraid of people. Large groups of people: even worse. But give me a task, a role, a job, something to justify my existence in a group setting, and I'm right as rain. The volunteer program at Spirit Rock offers a simple, accessible path to get me "in the rooms" to hear the Dhamma regularly, and a safe way to cultivate wise associations with other people.

What have you learned as a volunteer?
It has been a fantastic environment to practice mindfulness while "working"! And the Spirit Rock staff and fellow yogi volunteers lend greatly to that support.

What has volunteering added to your life?
The gist of what I get from most wise spiritual teachings is: the problem is self, the solution is getting out of self. Meditation -- absent of service -- wasn't really fulfilling. Volunteering has made those zafu-generated insights worth having.


Spirit Rock relies on the generosity of our many volunteers. We offer a range of volunteer 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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