Letter of Recommendation
Ven. Mahinda Wetara
June 17, 2018
I met with Norene Cashen when I was residing in Southfield, Michigan having come from Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2006 for one-year sabbatical leave from the University of Peradeniya. During one of the mediation sessions I was asked to do by the head of the temple of Great Lakes Buddhist Vihara, I happened to meet Norene as one of the participants. I was convinced that Norene was highly interested in properly understanding Buddhism and the techniques of meditation.
She was also pretty serious about practicing what she was introduced to, and she was always willing to engage in learning and completing practical assignments. Norene became a devoted student who came regularly to the Vihara to learn from the teachings and to practice mediation.
Over time, I saw Norene finding peace in her life while facing difficult situations. She made it a practice of living with peace from moment to moment. She was student of mine for a short time, but she became a student of the ‘Dharma’ for a lifetime. As the years went by, she proved herself to be gaining competence in the subject of practicing as well as earning the benefits of Buddhism and meditation.
Eventually, I left Detroit for Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Boston, and Minneapolis. Norene and I stayed in touch, and she continued to communicate with me making me aware of her new developments in a number of fields including higher education, social work, counseling, writing, editing, and helping others.
She became an advocate for others while remaining heavily engaged in creative writing, composing poetry and producing artwork. Norene is an ardent supporter to those engaged in literary work, highly critical in her outlook to creativity, realistically humanistic in her approach to life, substantially compassionate to the community, and appropriately mindful of the social welfare work at this most crucial time.
Norene continues to pursue her studies in whatever areas might give her the tools to assist those in need. In view of the above qualifications she possess to the best of my understanding, I strongly recommend her to those who require the services of a profusely talented and genuinely hardworking person.
(Former Head of Department of Archeology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Theravada Buddhist monk and Buddhist Counselor, Mindfulness Center, Chaska, MN, USA; Chief Incumbent of the Dharmakeertyarama Buddhist Temple, Kollupitiya, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.)