The following is an interview with Sam Karlin, a 2018 graduate of the MA program.
What are you currently up to?
I manage vegetable production at Fortunate Farm in Caspar on the Mendocino coast. I also work on local ecology projects that model innovative solutions and reimagine conservation in the age of climate change.
How have you applied what you learned at DRBU to what you are currently doing?
The Dharma is rich with agricultural and ecological metaphor. Whether it is planting good seeds, nourishing good roots, or being patient with the constant chaos of the garden and natural systems, the teachings are alive and layered. I am lucky that my work enriches my dharma practice and that my dharma practice enriches my work.
What is a favorite pastime / memory from your time at DRBU?
I miss the persistent commitment to inquiry that all DRBU students, teachers, and faculty share. That despite our cultural or other differences, we always find meaningful ways to connect and support each other in our practices. Never before did I understand the depth and importance of Kalyanimitra.
Insights, advice, and/or words of wisdom you'd like to share with new/current students?
Existential confusion and breakdowns are to be expected. Find the roots and embrace them with nourishing compassion, persistence, and humility. Laugh at yourself and laugh with others. Study the paramitas. Practice, practice, practice.