Rev. Camilla Sanderson
Growing up, I intuitively knew my own inner divinity – the same inner divinity that exists within us all. I connected with my divinity during times of presence: sailing our twelve-foot Laser on Pittwater where I grew up in Sydney, hiking in the Australian bush, running and playing softball on the sand flats with my three sisters, playing my flute by the waterfall near our home. It happened most often in nature. I wasn’t brought up in any particular religion, but went to a Waldorf school that honored body, mind, and spirit.
During my twenties to early-forties I worked in the publishing industry while living in Greenwich Village with my American husband Jamie Jones. We were lucky to be able to periodically escape the city and spend time in nature with Jamie’s family in Cape Cod and at Treetops, a log cabin in the woods of Temple, New Hampshire. In 2004, Jamie’s parents told us they planned to sell Treetops. We asked them if we could buy it. After exchanging contracts, while still living and working in New York City, we spent many work-at-home Fridays and weekends at Treetops. In 2011, after Jamie recovered from cancer, we both quit our jobs and lives in Manhattan and moved here.
Serendipitously, I was led to study world religions for two years with Rev. Dr. Stephanie Rutt and some now life-long soul sisters. I was ordained an interfaith minister in 2014. Feeling called to write, I then completed an MFA in creative non-fiction writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2017. I’m the author of The Mini Book of Mindfulness published in 2016 by Running Press/Hachette and am presently in the process of revising, Treetops and the Buddhist Monks Across the Road: An Interfaith Memoir.
Rev. Stephanie advised us that the most important aspect of seminary was to establish a daily spiritual practice, which I found life-transforming. In essence, each day I created a space to connect with my inner divinity. Also transformational was our study of the ancient Hindu sacred text, The Bhagavad Gita where I learned about dharma. We do not even have an exact equivalent English word for the Hindu concept of dharma, but it centers around the idea of our “sacred duty,” or “the great work of our lives,” or our “personal legend” as Paulo Coelho puts it in The Alchemist, or as the poet Mary Oliver writes, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Samples of my writing may be found at: