Kathleen Irby

Kathleen Irby
BA student | Class of 2020

Kelseyville, CA

What was I doing before DRBU?
I owned and operated my own bookkeeping service.

Influential book I’ve read
All the Sutras,
Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharmas, The Daodejing of Laozi, The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Upaniṣads, No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, just to name a few.

Concept that blew my mind
Most of the Buddhist teachings, such as: we all have a pure nature, all dhamas have no ‘self’, and the biggest–that the world is an illusion.

Challenge(s) I faced
Time management. Trying to balance the vast amount of textual readings with my spiritual practice while attending all the wonderful student activities and clubs that are available.

How has DRBU changed me? 
I think about it as moving toward universality, versus the accountant’s bottom line. I try to be mindful of our interconnectedness, not only with each other, but with the world and beyond.

What surprised me about DRBU?
That I am not alone. There are people from all walks of life and from around the globe coming together to share and learn how to bring peace and tranquility to all beings, while keeping in mind we are a work in progress and that feathers still get ruffled.

Title of senior essay:
Habit Energy

What is it about? 
Consciousness vs habits

What is it really about?
How our habitual minds operate from the sixth consciousness instead of from bodhi or our inherent wisdom.

What language are you taking? 
I have taken both Sanskrit and Classical Chinese.

What’s your service scholarship (work study) job? 
I have worked all over the campus from the farm to the kitchen, but mostly I catalog books at our extensive library.

Do you have a daily practice— if so, what is it?
Recitation, I recite the Buddha’s name and bow.

What do you do for fun? 
I go home to the forest each weekend. My husband and I enjoy walking our dogs and cats (yes, cats love to go for walks too!) I also like to bike and swim.

How has financial aid played a role in your being here? 
It is like water; it is the gift of life. I would not be able to study and share thoughts about the great minds of the past with great minds in the present without financial aid.

How does what you’re learning here carry out into the world?
From the moment I wake up until I go to sleep I think of the world. I consider how I can improve beings' lives with compassion and by being mindful of my lifestyle choices.

What’s next?
I remain open to what comes next. Being of a spontaneous mind is how I arrived here, so I hesitate to create any form of boundaries at this point.