When a small child, I escaped Vietnam with my family as Boat People refugees three years after the War. A Catholic church in southeastern Virginia sponsored us out of a refugee camp to settle in the United States where church members provided crucial initial assistance and guidance throughout years all without proselytization. After completing a B.S. degree in Chemistry, I moved to the Washington, DC area in 2000 to pursue work in computer networking and technical support.

When I sought to practice Buddhism with a Sangha in 2007 and 2008, I hoped for guidance to understand the Dharma, connect with more community, and get more deeply in touch with my Chinese heritage. While I still enjoy occasional visits to other temples, primarily practicing with Tendai answered those needs and more. I live more resiliently and more clear minded with joy. After five years, I took refuge receiving the Dharma name of Yusei (優静) from Ven. Monshin Naamon who would become my shisho three years later. In 2017, I received Doshu tokudo ordination at the New York Betsuin.

Currently I serve as a priest for Great River Tendai Sangha in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Our local branch Sangha has the distinction of being led by two priests who are LGBTQ. I wish to generate an environment welcoming to all persons to Ekayana practices in Tendai tradition and foster Bodhisattva values near and far.

With gratitude and sincerity,

Yusei Van