This September, the Durango Dharma Center welcomed our very first operations manager, Stephanie Herbst! Stephanie is a longtime member of our sangha and a retired schoolteacher. She has also volunteered with many local organizations, including Stillwater Music Foundation, Four Corners Orff Schulwerk Association, the Durango Film Festival, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, and the Community Concert Hall. In honor of her new role, we asked Stephanie to share about her practice and what inspires her about serving the center.
- How long have you been involved in our sangha and in what ways?
I found the Durango sangha and started coming to sits in the mid-1990s when we used to meet at the Rocky Mountain Retreat Center. Over the years, I have participated in both residential and non-residential retreats. I have volunteered to clean the Dharma Center, helped with social gatherings, and participated as a member of book clubs and spiritual friends groups. I have also been a flower volunteer.
- Can you tell us a little bit about your dharma practice over the years?
Vipassana meditation has been the foundation of my meditation practice, but I also enjoy and have devoted a lot of time to metta practice. I have enjoyed a number of retreats with the Durango sangha including sitting with Lama Palden and Debra Chamberlin. I have also had the pleasure of sitting a retreat with Sharon Salzberg and Roshi Joan Halifax at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe.
- What inspired you to apply for this job?
I was inspired to take this job because I knew that I wanted to continue to serve, support, and give back to the place that has given so much to myself and my community. I feel that I have experience and skills that can support all the amazing people that contribute and participate in the Durango Dharma Center.
- What are you most looking forward to in terms of your new role at DDC?
I enjoy the day-to-day interactions with the members and leaders of our sangha. It is so inspiring to be immersed in a community that cares so much for each other and the world. I look forward to more time sharing, growing, learning, and giving in this community.