cropped-14311228_10154393001166877_9180590305160779936_o-1.jpgI’m Caroline. I’m currently an MDiv student at University of the West, studying to become a Buddhist Chaplain, and am doing my CPE at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles this summer. During the school year I work for Refuge Recovery, a Buddhist-based, trauma-informed drug treatment center and I’ve previously volunteered at an LA County women’s jail for the past year doing one-on-one counseling. I love hearing people’s stories!

I live in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, but I’m originally from Virginia, about 30 miles outside of DC. I have also lived in the Bay Area, Austin, TX, Northwest India and Ithaca, NY. I love living in LA! I also love animals, especially dogs. I’m vegan and I love to cook. I used to write for the vegan lifestyle blog, Vegansaurus,and may again in the future.

I’ve been practicing Buddhism for a decade—it profoundly changed my life and the lens through which I see the world. As a cis, white, hetero, American-born woman who converted to Buddhism a decade ago, I try to pay attention to how my inherent privileges and rank blind me to many things. I hope I’m becoming more aware of them—I know I have a ton to learn. I recognize that being a white person who is a Buddhist clergy member carries with it particular responsibilities, especially around culture and the potential to appropriate it.

My call to ministry is to be of service, as best I can, with each person who I cross paths with. My inclination towards service work transcends my identity as a Buddhist— it comes from the depth of my humanity. I see working in hospitals, rehab, or jails as spaces where I can connect with people from that deep desire to serve in a variety of ways.