VoM November 2012



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.


Holly Brown – Melrose

“My first time at Against the Stream Melrose was opening night February 2008. It was inspiring & ignited something within me from day one. I’ve explored different spiritual practices over the years but practicing at ATS is the first which has been consistent for almost 5 years. I have met many amazing people and developed so many friendships I am grateful for. People I probably I would not have met anywhere else. In 2008 I had a dramatic, professional life change. My practice was invaluable in the transition. I notice daily how this practice positively effects my life. Volunteering at ATS has varied over the years; planning events, running Noah’s Facebook pages, misc things working with Mary, hosting one of my favorite teachers, Kusala Bhikshu, monthly and in September my term as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors came to an end.”

Shawn Tovar – Santa Monica

“I remember reading a news article in the OC Register back in late 2008 that I found very interesting. It was about Noah and his Melrose Center. As I read the article, I couldn’t help but identify with parts of his life journey through adolescence, addiction, and recovery. I liked what I read and started showing up at the Melrose center shortly after to check things out. I am so grateful that I went with my intuition on trying something new. I can honestly say, the teachings that are given at both the LA & Santa Monica centers have given me the tools I needed to directly experience the seen and unseen realities of life in ways that I previously did not know existed.

I started volunteering at Against the Stream in early 2009 as a way to give back and be part of community. Currently, I am one of the volunteer media coordinators. I kind of invited myself into my particular role – with permission of course – after attending the first couple of Buddhist Recovery meetings in Hollywood and being bummed that only like 7 people showed up. Didn’t people know that this was gonna be big?….So, anyways and flashing forward, I post event info to online community calendars and online publication calendars. I enjoy being of service in this way. If it was not for the news article I initially read, I don’t think I would of ever found the things that I now know I need in my life. In a way, I hope someone else will maybe stumble upon one of my random event postings, take a chance on something new, show up, and have a similar experience with finding a new life perspective they did not know was there.

I am grateful for the Against the Stream community and all the insight, presence, and direct experience it has provided me.”



Thank you so much Holly and Shawn for your continued support and generosity. For those of you who are reading this I encourage you to express your gratitude to Holly and Shawn the next time you see them.