Why you chose Tendai:

I agree with the reasons that most people would give for choosing Tendai Buddhism, such as the wide range of teachings and practices and the way that all of them are treated equally. I just knew that it was my path though. I felt completely magnetized to it in my heart. 

Why you wanted to become a priest:

My method is to take everything I learn and put it into practice. The Buddha asks that we put forth an an incredible effort, which is something I constantly keep in mind, and it has completely changed my life. Because of the gratitude I feel for this, I decided to take the vows and undergo the training so I would have a chance to learn as much as possible and share it with others.

How did you get started:

I attended a retreat at the NY Betsuin in 2009 and met Monshin Sensei then. I couple of the other retreat attendees asked if I had been there before or if I was a member of the sangha there because I felt so comfortable at the temple. I was supposed to be there. I really enjoyed the retreat, but I there was so much more I could learn so I asked Sensei if I could become his disciple. He accepted me and asked me to return a few months later for the gyo. I have been coming to training ever since.

What has the training been like:

The training was very hard at first. I had never been exposed to most of the practices we were doing. I promised myself that I would complete my training no matter what and that mindset has carried me all the way through to today. 

What is your role currently:

Rev. Senshin and I lead a Sangha in Colorado. We teach, officiate services, meditations and and other activities for the local community. I also usually serve in a leadership role during the gyo, offering guidance to the newer priests and demonstrating the skills they are learning.

What do you plan to do going forward:

The Buddha began teaching so he could guide all of humanity to enlightenment and put an end to suffering. The same wish to help others attain freedom is why I walk the path. I prize simplicity, hard work and sincerity. I hope this approach will help others develop a connection Tendai Buddhism as the teachings take hold here in the west.