With the array of resources available offline and online to learn about Buddhism as a practice and religion, the purpose of this project explore these aspects through the lens of ‘native’ lay practitioners. Through a broad survey of factors such social economic backgrounds, geography, identity types, lineages and stages of development, the project will explore real life stories of the challenges and success of integrating the ancient practice into the multicultural world of America. The goal of the project is not so much as be comprehensive given the diversity of practitioners in America. However, the project will explore the subject along these contexts:
- Anthropological visual study of Buddhism in the west
- A resource for people interested/engaged in the practice as it relates to lay practice
- A primer to demystify Buddhist practice for people with little knowledge about the subject manner
The inspiration for this project came through my own experience of embracing Buddhism in America. Even though my parents were Buddhist when I was growing up, I eventually found my own lineage.
The arrival of Buddhism in the west has been well documented in many books, documentaries and even Hollywood movies. As a lay practitioner and photographer, I am interested in exploring the blossoming of the path through a different angle.
The fruition of this project will be a book highlighting the diversity of how lay practitioners integrate their path. From the sciences to the bedroom, Buddhist practices have seeped into every fabric of American culture. Join me in discovering the richness of this ancient practice in a modern context.
Professionally, I’ve been a photographer for over 15 years and have focused on growing a photo/video agency I cofounded. Orange Photography. As an entrepreneur, I am excited to integrate my practice into the business. As a photographer, this project embodies my passion to integrate service and art.
The seed of this project was planted over 10 years ago when I was on meditation retreat. Since then, meditation and mindfulness has gained much traction in popular culture. I hope this project will inspire those still looking for their path. And for those already on the path, I honor your commitment.
My intention is to publish a book from this project and donate the profits to Tsoknyi Nepal Nuns. I dedicate this project to all my teachers and especially to my root teacher, Tsoknyi Rinpoche.