Volunteer Work Experience
Q: For Light of the Valley and Prayers of the Ancient Ones you created the beautiful graphic art: posters, maps and credits to the overall Guna Foundation image. Your work has set a high standard for the Guna team. As we are all volunteers, often with little professional training, could you tell us a bit about the challenges you face?
Pauline: In some ways, since I do not have extensive formal training to rely on, it forces me to look more directly or simply at the situation to see what it is that I can draw from. I think walking on this edge is what keeps me engaged and responsive. Also the beauty of the material and the joy of learning to convey meaning through aesthetic mediums.
Q: Recently you became the Art Director and one of the main editors for The Great Transmission. What is it about your work that allowed you to continue to expand your capabilities and take on more responsibility?
Pauline: The challenge of the work itself becomes the driving force; the pressure and intensity that it can offer is actually a gift. In this volunteer-based environment, where we are often learning to expand into our jobs on the run, a subtle shift happens when you take on more responsibility. You gain a sense of self-reliance, and simultaneously you learn that the world will meet you halfway. The next step emerges almost organically, and sometimes at that moment the right person also shows up at the door to move the project along. The entangled nature of film projects also heightens the stakes, as every move you make has repercussions that ripple through the project and affect the rest of the team. When you value your own contributions and potential, you become very independent as well as very responsive to the needs and dynamics of the project and people around you.
Q: You’ve been here about six months now. What led you to apply?
Bennett: I originally applied because I was looking for a community of people who were intentionally bringing spiritual practice into daily life. I wanted a community that would support meditation practice, and at the same time give me a chance to explore my interests in Buddhist Studies.
Q: What kinds of work have you been doing.
Bennett: I’ve been doing a wide range of work. I’ve been doing design work, using Adobe InDesign. I’d never worked with the program before, and since it’s been fun learning that new skill. With that program I’ve been doing layouts for publications, promotional materials, and data-visualizations. I’ve been doing some web development too, and I’ve been writing technical manuals for the Buddhist Translators Workbench project. Also, I’ve done some cooking, which I really like.
Q: What’s it like living in Berkeley?
Bennett: Berkeley is great. It’s sunny, and it seems like flowers are always in bloom. For me, coming from Washington D.C. the weather is predictably good. Berkeley is also very vibrant: there’s a lot going on in terms of arts, and also Dharma activities. It’s just a great place for culture.
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