My first introduction to Buddhism was in 2001, while a sophomore in college. I was very taken with the philosophy, and during that time, it helped me put into better perspective my various thoughts and theories. My professor, Rev. Monshin Paul Naamon, would later become my Sensei, and before leaving college, I had started my training to become a Tendai priest. I also spent one of my semesters in Japan, living at a Buddhist temple, where I experienced a sample of what it meant to be priest for a village sangha.
This beginning led to a great number of changes in my life, influencing everything from my demeanor to my career choices. I was so positively impacted by this exposure to Tendai Buddhism, that I decided that if I could help even one person by taking vows and becoming a priest, that it was my duty to do so.
Therefore, after completing a Masters in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in 2010, I became temple assistant at the Tendai Buddhist Institute. I continued my training to be a soryo, and took Betsuin ordination during my time there. Then in 2015, during the TBI’s 20th year anniversary celebration, I took full ordination from Rev. Kobori, Executive Director of Enryakuji, and am currently registered on Mt. Hiei.
During this process, I have attended many training periods at the TBI and last fall completed the Gegyo and Shido-kegyo training in Japan. These Gyo have been invaluable to me, and help me understand what it is to be Tendai, a priest, and a better human being. For me, what Gyo does is to provide the opportunity to deepen a resolve to better one’s self, which ultimately is for the benefit of others.
Currently, I live in the Boston area with my wife and young daughter. We own and operate an integrative medicine practice. I do not currently lead a Buddhist sangha here, but routinely visit the TBI for services, classes, etc.
In the future, I hope to continue to benefit the TBI through administrative tasks and the training of future priests. It is my hope to see Tendai Buddhism become a more widely recognized and appreciated in the American Buddhist community and beyond.