VoM February 2013


Our volunteers are an integral part of what makes both of our centers run efficiently.  We offer 17 weekly classes along with ongoing series, daylong classes, special events, fundraising events, sangha socials and more. How would we manage all of this without these special people?


Because we honor the generosity that the volunteers bring to our sangha we are going to spotlight two volunteers every month, one from ATS Santa Monica and one from ATS Melrose.


Aura Vasquez – Melrose


I moved to Los Angeles three years ago to pursue a career in advocacy, organizing, and social

change.  I have been fortunate to also find myself on a spiritual journey that has helped me to find a greater purpose in life.


I started going to Against the Stream in December 2011.  Shortly after I started my practice I spoke with Noah about having a 66 day meditation challenge. That was my first volunteer project for Against the Stream. I was excited because it worked for me to participate in this way and it helped me to create a new habit at the same time.


Since then I have volunteered with the Fundraising Committee and also intermittently lead the morning meditation group.  Recently I helped facilitate ATS involvement with the upcoming Climate Change walk.


I have experienced first hand the power of meditation, relationship and service to others. I want to share with the whole world how meditation and service has transformed my life. It can also transform yours.


Casey Crossan 


I have been attending Against the Stream since the fall of 2008.  When I first sat with Noah on a Monday night I felt I had arrived and I had an instantaneous feeling that ATS was a safe place


I started volunteering right away because i was unable to pay the suggested donation and wanted to do what I could to show my appreciation.  Sometimes I would show up early and clean the parking lot.  Whenever there was a Saturday clean-up I would come and help.  I also would help put away the chairs and cushions at the end of class. 


Since those early days I have been given a key and I open up the center on Thursday nights for the Buddhism and Recovery class.  I have also shown up early at Retreat to help get the schedules up and prepare the sanctuary space.


Although now I am a monthly supporter I have continued to volunteer because this place feels like my home and I love to nurture it and see it grow.  I can never repay what has been given freely to me.  By volunteering and making myself known I have developed a deeper relationship with the teachers and the community.  I am forever grateful to the Buddha, the Dharma and our community at Against the Stream.


Thank you so much Aura and Casey for your generosity and service to Against the Stream. For those of you who are reading this I encourage you to express your gratitude to Aura and Casey the next time you see them.