My journey to Tendai Buddhism runs through a variety of experiences with other religions. That journey began with Sunday School and exposure to Christianity. During my adolescent years, my exploration of other religions expanded to Judaism and Buddhism.
I was first introduced to Buddhist ideas through my exposure to chanoyou, the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The development of chanoyou was heavily influence by Zen Buddhism.
This initial exposure to Zen inspired me to learn more about meditation. About twenty years ago I joined the Zen Center of Denver. I spent eight years practicing with the Zen Center of Denver, where I learned zazen and studied Buddhism.
In 2007, I moved to Washington, DC to work on my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the George Washington University. About a year later, I learned about a small group of people sitting meditation with a group called the Washington Tendai Sangha (which is now known as the Great River Tendai Sangha). I had never heard of Tendai Buddhism, but was intrigued since the group was meeting close to where I was living.
I soon learned that Tendai Buddhism offered a much wider variety of practices than Zen. This held a great deal of appeal to me. As my knowledge of Buddhism in general and the specifics of Tendai grew, I decided that Tendai was to be my spiritual home.
After practicing with the Washington Tendai Sangha and attending retreats at the New York Tendai Buddhist Institute for a few years, I decided to deepen my Buddhist practice. In 2012, I began the Doshu/Soryo program.
In 2015, I received Doshu tokudo, a novitiate ordination in Tendai. The same year I was awarded my doctorate in Clinical Psychology. One year later, leadership of the Great River Tendai Sangha (previously, the Washington Tendai Sangha) was passed to me.
My training as a priest continues at the Tendai Buddhist Institute, while I also served as the spiritual leader of the Great River Tendai Sangha. I am deeply committed to helping diminish suffering though my work supporting this active Buddhist congregation, as I work toward full ordination and Soryo rank.