Liz

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Background Liz is a Korean American who was born and raised in New York City, living bicostally between New York and LA for much of her life after the age of 15, and is now based in LA. Her parents are from South Korea, where Mahayana Buddhism has been a significant part of the culture for many centuries, although Christianity has become more prevalent in modern times. Despite her mother's later conversion to Catholicism, which influenced Liz's early education and religious practices, Liz never fully subscribed to the Catholic faith. Instead, she appreciated certain aspects of it and was later [...]

James

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It wasn't until college that James began to reconcile his identity, discovering and embracing Chicano, African American, Native American, and queer histories, which he had not been exposed to in his earlier education. This period of self-discovery was both exciting and challenging, as it led to difficult conversations with his parents, who viewed his newfound perspectives as rebellious. James' search for a spiritual home led him to explore Buddhism in his 20s. Initially self-taught through books and videos, he was particularly drawn to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. It wasn't until 2018-2019 that he discovered Won Buddhism, which resonated deeply with him. The inclusive and non-judgmental community at the LA temple and the One Institute Graduate Studies program provided a safe space for James to explore his identity and spirituality freely.

Mingo

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Mingo's spiritual journey began during their teenage years, driven by a curiosity that extended beyond their Christian upbringing. In search of answers, they explored various religions, ultimately finding a connection with Buddhism and alternative spiritual paths. This exploration led them through phases of atheism and anastism before settling into a belief system rooted in Buddhism.

Zselyke

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So both of my parents are actually time practitioners, they both met lama for the first time in 1994, if I remember correctly. And I myself met my root lama first in 1996, so only a year after I was born.

Aaron

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I encountered spiritual practice through reading BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga when I was 18 and immediately trying a number of the forbidden pranayama techniques that he described in the back of the book, because of course this is what you do when you’re 18.

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