Camilla is passionate about memoir as an agent for radical social change. She is in the process of revising her memoir, TREETOPS AND THE BUDDHIST MONKS ACROSS THE ROAD: A Memoir of Interspirituality. Her engaging story subversively weaves in spiritual ideas from both Eastern and Western world faith traditions. She is also the author of: The Mini Book of Mindfulness (Running Press/Hachette, 2016).
The central questions infusing her writing are:
HOW DOES ONE LIVE THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE AS A SPIRITUAL BEING (without getting hung up on religious dogma) and HOW DOES ONE TRANSMUTE ADVERSITY INTO SPIRITUAL GROWTH?
Her own spiritual yearning for mystical unity, along with a lack of interest in what she observed in religious institutions—crumbling patriarchal hierarchies, dogma, hypocrisy, deadly earnestness, judgmental attitudes—inspired her to read deeply.
Her most significant influences include the work of: interfaith minister, Reverend Doctor Stephanie Rutt; Tosha Silver, astrologer and author of 'Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead,' and 'It's Not Your Money'; Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chodron; vulnerability and shame researcher Brené Brown; and Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn.
Serendipitously, Camilla was led to study world religions with Rev. Dr. Stephanie Rutt at Tree of Life Interfaith Temple. Rev. Dr. Rutt asked for a commitment to a daily spiritual practice, or sadhana, for the two-year duration of the interfaith seminary program, advising this to be the most important aspect of any spiritual journey. Camilla found her sadhana to be life-transforming.
This two-year study of world religions included a deep dive into the ancient Hindu sacred text, The Bhagavad Gita. Camilla was so inspired by her study of the Gita, she acquired seven different translations and compared sections side-by-side to gain deeper insights. By reading select verses in multiple translations, each spiritual principle is reiterated in a slightly different way, providing deeper understanding. She now refers to herself with a grin, as a Gita nerd.
Dharma is one of the essential concepts in the Bhagavad Gita (different from the Buddhist definition of the same word.) We do not even have an exact equivalent English word for the Hindu concept of dharma, but it centers around the idea of our “sacred duty,” or “the great work of our lives,” or our “personal legend” as Paulo Coelho puts it in The Alchemist, or as the poet Mary Oliver writes, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
From Hinduism, the world’s oldest religion with a recorded written text, to Shamanism—one of the world’s oldest indigenous spiritual practices, the Aboriginal Dreamtime being even older—to Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism, native American Indian spirituality, and more. The perennial wisdom, found in ALL faith traditions, points towards how an evolution of human consciousness is possible, perhaps even necessary, for our planet to survive. Camilla’s writing and stories embody the energy of mindfulness and speak to one's inner divinity.
After becoming an ordained an interfaith minister, Camilla now also works as guide for the Tree of Life interfaith seminary program. If you feel called to embark upon this transformative spiritual journey, she would feel both privileged and delighted to be your guide. https://www.tolinterfaithtemple.org/overview.html
Born and raised in Australia, during her early twenties to early forties, Camilla worked in the publishing industry while living in Greenwich Village, New York City with her American husband Jamie Jones.
In 2011, after Jamie recovered from cancer, they both quit their jobs and lives in Manhattan and moved to TreeTops, a log cabin in the woods of Southern New Hampshire.
In November 2014, a Thai Forest Buddhist monastery happened to take root on 250 acres of land across the road, bringing much loved Buddhist principles, ideas, and practices into the local community: http://forestmonastery.org/
In response to feeling called to write, Camilla continues to practice the art and craft of writing. She also teaches 'Writing Personal Essay and Memoir as a Spiritual Practice' through Tree of Life Interfaith Temple.
Jamie creates hand-crafted maple syrup, and connects with his own spirituality in nature and through friendships with our Buddhist monk neighbors.
While Camilla perceives money as simply another energy to be used wisely, and believes that conscious capitalism is possible, she also believes our planet needs more people interested in an evolution of consciousness and living a creative life, versus the endemic consumerism inherent in "The American Dream" which often creates endless suffering and is killing our planet.
After exploring sacred texts in a variety of the world's faith traditions, Camilla's intention is to INSPIRE and BE INSPIRED to collectively:
*cultivate the courage to be true to who we authentically are -
knowing we need both our gifts and our muck,
and like the lotus flower we blossom not in spite of, but because of our muck
*strengthen our connection with our soul
*cultivate resilience by transmuting adversity into spiritual growth
*reinvigorate our connection with our own inner divinity, inner authority, intuition and creativity, and
*practice the art of extreme self care, radical self-acceptance, deep compassion, forgiveness, and infinite impersonal love.