Rev. Camilla Sanderson
Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary: Ordained 2014
Certified Spiritual Mentor: 2014
Call of the Mourning Dove and a variety of other classes with Rev. Dr. Stephanie Rutt
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, 2017.
Born and raised in Australia, during my twenties to early-forties I worked in the publishing industry while living in Greenwich Village with my American husband Jamie Jones. In 2011, after Jamie recovered from cancer, we both quit our jobs and lives in Manhattan and moved to Treetops, a log cabin in the woods of Southern New Hampshire.
Serendipitously, I was led to Rev. Dr. Stephanie Rutt, with whom I studied world religions for two years at the Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary. 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.
AREAS OF SPECIALTY
I would love to offer Writing as a Spiritual Practice as an additional discipline you may choose to employ. In studying creative non-fiction writing for my MFA, I focused on memoir and personal essays and I experienced how the practice of writing can become a spiritual practice in itself. While we studied The Bhagavad Gita, we cultivated the capacity to observe our humanity from our divinity. This kind of “witness consciousness” serves the process of writing memoir and personal essays very well. It’s as though we develop the capacity to get out of our own way, while simultaneously remaining detached from outcomes.
At different times in my life I could say that writing has saved my life. I hope to offer that same tool to you, for you to keep in your toolbox and engage as needed.
MY PERSONAL STATEMENT
It would be my privilege to have the opportunity to guide you through Path of Crow, Journey to Your Inner Treasure – through Rev. Dr. Stephanie Rutt’s curriculum and the study of the world’s religions, with a focus on The Bhagavad Gita: one of the ancient texts from Hinduism, the world’s oldest religion. I was so inspired by this sacred text, I acquired seven different translations and compared various sections side-by-side.
The spiritual ideas and concepts we studied transformed the way I live my life. It is because I have been so inspired by this course, that I would truly love to be your guide.
Before interfaith seminary, where I developed my own daily spiritual practice and experienced the power of chants and mantras, I never would have had the courage to write and to share my writing with the world. I didn’t even have the guts to admit to myself that I wanted to write. It was only through engaging with this two-year interfaith journey that I was able to excavate my own gifts to offer in the world.
It will be my delight to offer you guidance as you excavate your own treasures that help to provide meaning in your life. When we work with passion and purpose, it lights us up, and benefits both ourselves and all with whom we connect.
Dharma is one of the essential concepts in the Bhagavad Gita and is discussed at length. It’s different from the Buddhist definition of the same word. 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?”
My offering as your guide is to help you to live your dharma.