Well, first of all, when I was young, I was I was interested in Zen. And, you know, interestingly, there's a connection between music and Buddhism for me because my very first violin teacher, he was interested in Zen Buddhism. And, and so he would he would sometimes say a few things. He was really amazing guy just, you know, really talented in so many areas of, kind of kind of a genius type. Um, and, um, yeah. So, you know, based on that, I thought, oh yeah, that sounds like a really cool thing. So I explored a little bit, right, a little bit when I was young, you know, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I love that.
So my my spiritual journey, I started the Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship about almost nine years ago after reading a book called River of Fire River of Water. And it was interesting because I had picked up the book off of the used bookshelf many times before. It had put it down, put it down, put it down. And then one day it just picked it up and read it. And it was pretty transformative, even though I didn’t I even though I didn’t buy everything in the book, like hook, line and sinker and like, Oh, this is Nirvana and this is what I wanted.
But he looked at me and he said, You look so happy. He said, What happened? I’ve tried all my life to make you happy. You look so happy. What happened? I said, I have never felt so peaceful and happy and content in my entire life and it’s not a result of anything outside of me. It’s a result of of working deeply within myself and meditating.
My experience with Tibetan Buddhism as both a student and teacher has been truly life changing. I have been drawn to the Himalayan region of the world since I was a small child, and realizing that the path I was on wasn't working , more than 20 odd years ago, I started to study the Buddhadharma in earnest.
And so it’s fit well with my traditional, the way I had been before I found Buddhism, which was as an agnostic or atheist. So this there wasn’t any conflict between those different philosophies of life. The other part of Buddhism that I was extremely attracted to is that it was besides the fact that it gave you a pathway, a curriculum, it was very laid out to achieve this wisdom and this peace that comes from that.
And then at a certain point in around 30 years old, you know, I just was extremely unhappy and it seemed like I shouldn't be because I had, you know, done all the schooling and then gotten these good jobs and then was, you know, making money, which was supposed to be a really important thing, you know, in acquiring the assets. And and I was looking at my life and it just dawned on me that, Wow, you know what? I have all these things and I am actually very empty inside. I don't feel fulfilled.