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 chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The development of chanoyu was heavily influenced 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 Community & 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 offers a much wider variety of practices than Zen. This held a great deal of appeal to me. As my knowledge of general Buddhism and of Tendai grew, I decided that Tendai was to be my spiritual home. I took Refuge in 2010 under Rev. Monshin Naamon and was given the Buddhist name Junsen (純泉), meaning Pure Spring (water).
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. One year later, leadership of the Great River Tendai Sangha (previously, the Washington Tendai Sangha) was passed to me.
I moved to Northern California in 2018 to take a lead role in helping to rebuild our presence there, after our extraordinary losses from the 2015 Valley fire. In 2019, I received full ordination as a priest, Soryo tokudo, by the New York Betsuin (training center) and received the lineage name Junshin (純真).