Volunteer Profile: Michael Whyte
A Warm Welcome on Monday Nights
By Marya Mayer, Volunteer Coordinator
If you have been to Spirit Rock for our Monday Night Class, you may have been greeted by Michael Whyte, a volunteer who has been helping with parking for over five years. Michael’s interest in Buddhism started many decades ago. He has been studying Eastern religions for more than forty years. Starting in the early 1970’s, Michael made his first of seven pilgrimages to India and Southeast Asia to visit ashrams and experience where the roots of Eastern religions began.
In 1980, he opened a bookstore in San Anselmo. Thirty-two years later, Whyte’s Booksmith is an anchor of downtown San Anselmo and beloved by customers of all ages. A longtime Marin resident, Michael had known Jack Kornfield for many years before coming to Spirit Rock.
Once he found the Monday night class, he started volunteering. “I wanted to be really involved with what Spirit Rock offers and help make that available to other people.” Michael says he has fun helping new people get oriented. “They arrive wide-eyed, open, and expectant,” he says of new visitors and volunteers. “It’s great being part of an excellent group of folks. It’s an honor.”
After nearly five years of volunteering, Michaels says, “I can’t imagine not doing it; it’s become addictive. It’s become part of my life, it really fits in.”