My basic introduction to Buddhism was in 2000 through Charles O. Lucas, my sensei in a martial art. At that time, I was in law enforcement and pursuing a graduate degree in counseling psychology. Once I completed my graduate studies, I decided to officially explore Tendai Buddhism given the aforesaid. I had the pleasure of meeting Rev. Monshin Naamon in early 2003 and formally took refuge on September 24, 2003. The following year, I started my training and completed my level of training (gyo) on June 30, 2004.
Due to many changes in my life, I was unable to formally continue with training until 2016. It should be noted that my initial training changed my outlook on several things including my career path. As such, I ended my career in law enforcement in 2005 and started my career in counseling. From 2005 to present, I have focused my efforts on helping individual adults along with children and their families regarding various issues and concerns. In 2012, I became a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of New Jersey and in 2013, completed a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology (Ed.D) program.
As mentioned previously, I continued my training in 2016 and took Betsuin Doshu ordination in 2017. For me, being Tendai is an everlasting journey, a continued crossing that explores / examines emptiness and developing the necessary ingredients in guarding awareness without attachment. On my path, I have committed to the loving service to others and furtherance of all. I have also committed to mindfulness and regular practice of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual generosity and self-cultivation.
Currently, I live in New Jersey with my wife and enjoy spending as much time as I can with my two sons. I own and manage an in-home and office counseling practice. I do not lead a Buddhist sangha, but do engage with Doshu / Soryo and sangha when able.
With regard to the future, I wish to assist the Tendai Buddhist Institute (TBI) through clerical / organizational tasks and trainings. I am optimistic that Tendai will continue to grow in the United States and be recognized by those uninitiated to Buddhism as a path of possibility.