Access and Scope

As an asian immigrant from Vietnam, my parents brought their buddhist practices from our home country to the west. Growing up, I attended sparingly attended the weekend services offered by the vietnamese community and quite frankly I didn’t think much of it. When it came time for me to grapple with the spiritual inquiry, the childhood experience wasn’t exactly a workable model to grow from given my own assimilation into American Culture. Hence, even though there are sizable asian communities practicing Buddhism in the West, the language barriers and general accessibly required me to limit the scope of this project to people converting to Buddhism in the west. Even though I have try to be inclusive from different backgrounds and lineages, the reality is that it has been fairly challenging to find people willing to share their stories so many times when I am looking for practitioners in different countries, I don’t exactly have many options to choose from. Still, I have travel throughout the US to diversify as much as I can from just interviewing people from the big cities. 

By geographic location

By experience and lineages

2023-12-27T21:29:08+00:00

Lisa

Lisa, currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee, originated from Florida and spent part of her youth in Atlanta before settling in Nashville. Discovering Buddhism at the age of 17 during a high school elective on Zen Buddhism, Lisa found solace in the teachings of impermanence, especially during a challenging period when she lost both parents at the age of 16.

2023-12-15T14:46:51+00:00

Lama Thupten Rinpoche

Lama Thupten was always drawn to meditative practices, even before they were formally defined as such. He lived in many places throughout his life, but one of the most significant was Selma, Alabama. Thupten witnessed the brutality of racism firsthand, but he also found solace in nature and solitude. Even as a child, he spent a lot of time alone, observing the world around him. 

2023-12-29T17:54:19+00:00

Mingo

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.

2024-03-07T16:21:12+00:00

Steven

Steven resides in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife and 13-year-old son, accompanied by a couple of cats. Despite a professional background in science education and media production, Steven now primarily fulfills the role of a house spouse, dedicating himself to supporting his family, Sangha community, and Dharma community. A digital artist and enthusiast of photography and outdoor activities, Steven finds joy in creating art and contributing to the beauty of the world. His commitment to fostering relationships and communities stems from a deep desire to bring more beauty into the world. However, he acknowledges the challenges he faced in establishing connections earlier in life, crediting his Dharma practice for helping align his aspirations with skills and abilities.

2023-12-29T18:48:06+00:00

Kyle

Coming from a family with a strong history in Jehovah's Witnesses, Kyle experienced a strict form of Christianity until he left at 18, facing significant impact and trauma. In his 20s, he explored agnosticism and even atheism but felt an inescapable spiritual need akin to the necessity of exercising the body or educating the mind. Therapy introduced him to mindfulness through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), laying the foundation for his interest in Buddhism.

2023-12-29T16:28:13+00:00

Pema

Pema resides in Madison, Wisconsin, and is an integral part of Joyful Path Meditation and Healing Center, affiliated with the White Conch Dharma Center. Engaged in both lay and monastic practices, Pema plays diverse roles within the organization, serving as a chaplain, Dharma teacher in training, and a listener for spiritual queries.

2023-11-26T22:09:56+00:00

David G

But same time they said, well, Shambala is having a level 1/2 Trump came up with the very. Yeah actually in retrospect a really clever way to to get past the overemphasis of the religion part of it and really just give us the tools to become own meditation instructor.

2023-12-29T16:30:14+00:00

Gou Yuan Fa Shi

Guo Yuan Fashi is a Buddhist monk trained in Chan Buddhism. In 1985 he first encountered Master Sheng Yen’s teachings while attending a seven-day retreat in New York. He then decided to become a disciple before finally leaving his job in Toronto, Canada, to become a monk in the Chan tradition. He was ordained in 1987 in Taiwan. For over twenty years, he accompanied and became translator to Master Sheng Yen in various Chan meditation retreats in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and Mexico.

2024-03-07T16:21:35+00:00

Shinge Roshi

Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi is abbot of the Zen Studies Society’s mountain monastery, Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji, and New York City temple, New York Zendo Shobo-ji, and is also abbot of the Zen Center of Syracuse Hoen-ji in Syracuse, NY.

2023-11-27T13:20:17+00:00

Joann

I’m the Buddhist chaplain at Syracuse University. Which is an amazing thing for me, because I came here as a student when I was 18, and this is where I learned about Buddhism and got interested in Buddhism. And then to come back much later in my life after I retired from a job teaching in the city schools here to to return to the very place that I used to hang out all the time.

2023-11-27T22:37:14+00:00

Karen

And I met Allen Ginsberg there, and I met the Grateful Dead. Allen Ginsberg and, you know, Gregory Corso and he Wolfman a Bob Dylan. I just hung out there and Allen Ginsberg came up to me one day and he said, Do you look like you could try some meditation like Merton? And I said, Oh, okay. And so he brought me to a little room and there were other people there. And he said, You know, you just sit and breathe.

2023-11-28T01:29:37+00:00

Terry

My wife had a little bookshelf there for books for sale, pulled out a copy of Awakening the Buddha Within My Love of Syria and said, You need to read this. Oh, okay. So I took it home and I did. I read it. In fact, I was I still had a studio up in New Mexico, had some property up there, and I'd built a studio up there. And so shortly after that, I went back up to spend some time in the studio up there, and I took the book with me where I ended up the whole time reading that book and learning to meditate. And there was a at the end of the book, there was a thing about who he was, whose emissary was, and and there was a name, you know, the Dzogchen Foundation.

2023-12-19T15:26:39+00:00

Joe

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.

2024-03-07T16:26:57+00:00

Christopher

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.

2024-02-21T23:13:07+00:00

Cynthia

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.

2024-03-27T15:12:13+00:00

Bruce

I would go to bookstores and actually the first book a guy recommended to me was, um, Sex, Spirituality and Ecology by Ken Wilber. And it's a thick, rough going read, right? But I dove into it and it just kind of really opened me up and I thought, okay, I'm going to go further. And I started reading other stuff of his and of course he talks about Buddhism and the relative and the absolute and, you know, these kind of things in there. And one thing led to another. I picked up a book by showing him Trungpa, uh, spiritual materialism, I think it was. And I read two or three of his others, uh, and then I found a book by Sylvia and became the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and which is written in even more plain English than Trump was even.

2023-12-01T14:08:22+00:00

Mark G

Mark is an authorized Guiding Insight Meditation teacher who began his meditation practice more than 45 years ago with insight meditation teachers Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield. His primary teacher has been Joseph Goldstein, and he has trained more recently with guiding senior insight teachers Rodney Smith and Narayan Liebenson. His teaching emphasis is the essentials for a skillful wise affectionate life and how Mindfulness/Awareness in all aspects of daily life can provide an opportunity for Awakening.

2023-12-01T14:45:53+00:00

Sensei Michael

And I was known for talking people down from bad trips and things of that nature. And he said, Oh, I don’t do that anymore. I just do Zen. Okay, well, that’s interesting. What’s that all about? And so I said, Well, I’m going this weekend. Why don’t you come with me? So that weekend I went with him to the temple on Halsted Street near Fullerton, on the North side of Chicago. I met Matsuoka Roshi, who became my teacher, so I sort of backed into that. Like everything else, I think I’d read maybe a book on Zen or to not not much.

2023-12-22T16:00:20+00:00

George

But I went to this bookstore, I got there and I was soaking wet with sweat, and I went to the bathroom and I’m standing in the stall and I’m take off my clothes and I’m flapping my clothes trying to dry them off, you know, and and I was like, God, this is just not a way to live, you know? And and the reason I was going to this, bookstores, I love books, but also they had a Starbucks and I was going to get my Frappuccino and my chocolate chip cookie, you know, and as I came out of the bathroom and headed for that Starbucks there, as I passed by an end cap of books, and there was this white cover book with a slice of an orange on it, and it just said, savor mindful eating, mindful living. And I don’t know why that caught my attention. I don’t know why I even bothered picking it up. And, you know, I don’t know. But I picked up that book and I saw it was by this Buddhist monk and a Harvard nutritionist.

2023-12-03T03:28:08+00:00

Lama Palden

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.

2023-12-29T15:58:25+00:00

Gareth

Gareth, a man raised in the UK with a Christian background, found himself questioning traditional beliefs as he delved into his career as a mergers and acquisitions professional. The turning point came when he, engrossed in work, realized he was missing out on the important moments with his family. This realization prompted a spiritual journey that led him to embrace the big bang and evolution as his personal “religion.”

2023-12-03T16:15:46+00:00

John

And when I arrived in India in 1971, I went up to the Himalayas and did a trek from outside of Katmandu to the base camp of Mount Everest. And during that trek, I there were no hotel walls or roads, just paths and the Tibetan villages. And so one could either stay in the home of a Tibetan family and you could sleep on the floor and share their food, or you could stay in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. And so that's where I first got introduced to Buddhism was on that trek to the base camp of Mount Everest.

2023-12-03T16:38:57+00:00

Jackie

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.

2023-12-29T16:29:03+00:00

Geshe Denma

Geshe Denma Gyaltsen was born in the Dolpo region of northern Nepal. In 1981 his father brought him to Menri Monastery in India, regarded as the most important Bön monastery, to begin his program of study toward the Geshe degree.

2024-04-22T14:55:35+00:00

Alejandro

Alejandro is a Senior Teacher of The 3 Doors, an international organization founded by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche with the goal of transforming lives through meditation, and since 1995, he has been teaching meditation classes and Tibetan Yoga (Tsa Lung & Trul Khor) workshops nationally and internationally under the auspices of Ligmincha International.

2023-12-04T00:23:53+00:00

Donovan

I was going through the process of 12 step, got a sponsor, did those things that we're supposed to do. But I wasn't feeling it at all. I was just going through the motions and I was not it was not working. And so I asked someone at the treatment center when I was outpatient about how to what what I could do, like what are my options. And he gave me two names and I called both of them. And the first one to call me back was Alejandro Trouble. And that was the beginning of my of my path.

2023-12-10T02:27:03+00:00

Dennis

I resonated with Buddhism because of its emphasis on silent meditation. I was always attracted to silent meditation, remembering the quiet time after Communion and silent prayer in Christian traditions. The old saying, “Be quiet and you will know God."

2023-12-10T02:52:23+00:00

Amber

Tibetan Buddhism resonates so strongly with me firstly, because of karma. It is well known to me from past lives and now I am remembering. So it is very dear to me and has stirred deep emotion from my first exposure. I think it is probably this way with most practitioners, once it grabs a hold of you, it’s like welcoming a dear old friend back into your life after a long absence.

2023-12-13T13:26:54+00:00

Nancy

Those years were deeply involved with meditation in the path of Raja Yoga, studying the interface of psychology and spirituality, religious symbolism, and raising my fantastic children. In the 90’s, I met a remarkable Canadian born nun, Cecilia Kwiat, and began the ever unfolding process of study, contemplation, and meditation in Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism.

2023-12-10T21:40:26+00:00

Zoe

I faithfully, joyfully attended AA meetings for 5 years. During this time I searched for a teacher of meditation. In 1980 I met the 16th Karmapa as above and then Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and began the Tibetan Buddhist Path, though I have a PhD in world religions and psychology I got during this time.

2023-12-29T16:38:18+00:00

Grace

Grace, a native of Toronto, Canada, was born into a unique blend of religious backgrounds – her father a devoted Won Buddhist and her mother, a hybrid of Won Buddhism and Presbyterianism. Raised amidst the teachings of Won Buddhism, Grace's exposure to its practices deepened during family trips to Korea. Although she initially attended the temple due to her parents, her true connection to the faith emerged during her university years.

2023-12-11T14:28:09+00:00

Kalpana

And that's when I said, I need a break. It is a flier with one of the reverend's doing a retreat at the one Dharma Center, which is like four hours from here in upstate New York. That is my beginning of real, you know, waking up to ways of really cultivating myself under this long spiel. But now that's by way of introduction.

2023-11-26T21:00:33+00:00

Lennell

So I kind of grew up in what was nontraditional, if you will. And so I joke because I see that Won Buddhism as the Jehovah’s Witnesses of Buddhism.

2023-12-29T16:29:21+00:00

Ani Lodro

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.

2023-12-11T19:33:56+00:00

Josh

I was raised Roman Catholic and my grandfather was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. So, I was very intrenched with a fixed Idea of what God was and was not. As well as a lot of dogma and beliefs that I wasn’t even sure were real, that the people telling me weren’t eve sure were real either. I always suffered because I was trying to force myself to believe in a God or higher power.

2023-12-31T20:21:52+00:00

Ben

In his reflections, Ben traces his journey of self-discovery and spiritual exploration. Raised in a Christian family, he found himself questioning traditional beliefs during his teenage years, particularly during confirmation. Drawn to the promise of a universal truth, Ben pursued science, studying material science and delving into quantum theory in graduate school. However, the complexity and lack of simplicity in scientific explanations left him unsatisfied. Amidst his intellectual quest, Ben encountered Buddhist philosophy, initially exploring connections between Buddhism and environmental science. A friend suggested he read Buddhist books, leading him to a profound connection with the teachings of the Buddha, especially through texts like "The Night on the Old Pathway." At around 23 or 24 years old, Ben officially identified as a Buddhist.

2023-12-12T21:19:07+00:00

Zselyke

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.

2023-12-12T15:03:19+00:00

Albert

I didn't have the pressure of parents. I didn't have the pressure of religion. I didn't have a pressure of society. I was on a quest to finding who I was, and it was a very interesting.

2023-12-12T15:23:07+00:00

William

I'm a combat veteran, I work with veterans. I teach martial arts. I teach haiku. I'm the resident haiku poet at the Japanese Culture Center and the Labor Lay Buddhist chaplain at the Jesse Brown VA Hospital.

2023-12-12T15:46:42+00:00

Aaron

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.

2023-12-12T22:07:01+00:00

Willy and Kim

My first exposure to Buddhism wasn’t significant. In fact, it was a turn off. A man who claimed to be Buddhist visited our high school and basically told our class his goal was to become a heartless robot. Well, not entirely, but pretty much… There wasn’t any joy. 

2023-12-29T19:11:41+00:00

Alex G

For Alex, the karmic approach resonated, particularly focusing on desire types—those motivated by what they like. He expressed a preference for a lifestyle seamlessly integrated into everyday life, avoiding a disconnect between meditation and regular activities. Alex embraced the concept of tantra, emphasizing the incorporation of spiritual practices into every moment. He discussed the importance of holding a high-level view after meditation, seeing everything as perfect, pure, and full of potential. To him, recognizing the inherent Buddha nature in beings and appreciating the positive aspects of people's lives were paramount.

2023-12-29T16:29:39+00:00

Shinchok

As she reached the limits of her knowledge in Hinduism, Shinchok turned her attention to the Mahāmudrā, discovering that Buddhist teachings provided the answers she sought. Her desire for a genuine meditation master led her to a Buddhist center where she encountered the teachings of Je Tsongkhapa. Feeling a profound connection, she embraced Buddhism and its emphasis on devotion, recognizing it as a path to crack open her heart and discover her true self.

2023-12-29T16:34:42+00:00

Genjo

Genjo's journey began in a family disconnected from religious traditions, shaped by a scientific worldview. Intrigued by the origins of inspiration and insight, he embarked on a spiritual quest during college. A transformative encounter with an English teacher, Jim Chambers, introduced him to the classical humanistic tradition, prompting profound questions about the sources of creativity and wisdom. Initially drawn to science, Genjo's quest led him to Buddhism, which offered a harmonious blend of spiritual practice and scientific inquiry. Engaging with a Vinaya teacher at UCLA's College of Oriental Studies, he discovered the fusion of social activism and spirituality through a Zen priest who had evolved from a Christian missionary to a Vietnam War protester.

2023-12-29T16:25:46+00:00

Jogen

Jogen Salzberg, Sensei has been practicing Zen since 1997, he entered monastic training at Great Vow in 2003 and received Dharma Transmission from Chozen Bays, Roshi and Hogen Bays, Roshi in 2017.

2024-03-11T18:24:51+00:00

Bryn

Besides reading a few books over the years, I was first exposed to Buddhism twenty years ago. I was in a transition period of my life, leaving a relationship and moving to a new town. One of my main goals was to find a spiritual community.

2023-12-13T13:25:23+00:00

Dottie

Nothing seemed to fit, however, until I began to be introduced to Buddhism. At first it was Insight Meditation, and then I moved to a town where the only Buddhist community was a Tibetan Buddhist Center.

2023-12-13T15:27:38+00:00

Clare

i was first exposed to buddhism as a teenager and though this is definitely not for me - all that focus on suffering ! growing up in a catholic family suited my devotional /wild girl nature quite well.

2023-12-13T16:03:17+00:00

Tamara

I was first introduced to Buddhism during a course in college on world religions. I was raised Lutheran but was so confused and questioning of it my entire childhood.

2023-12-31T19:59:21+00:00

Michael

Michael delved into Eastern traditions, studying with various teachers, including a yoga master who deeply influenced him. Becoming a certified yoga teacher and massage practitioner, he aimed to help others recognize the unseen energies that influence mind and body. Encountering Buddhist teachings, specifically in the Vajrayana tradition, Michael delved into understanding the nature of the mind and one's true self. The teachings prompted him to question the nature of perception and explore the interplay between thought and reality. The Buddhist tradition became a guide for settling the mind and recognizing one's absolute identity.

2023-12-13T18:42:11+00:00

Dick and Bonnie

Joking in 1980 as I introduced myself to the workshop leader of a weeklong seminar entitled “Owning your Religious Past”, I described myself as a Zen-Baptist. It was an attempt at the time to show off my witty nature to the attractive teacher. She and I remain married.

2023-12-13T20:42:18+00:00

Linda

Retired Lawyer from Portland, OR. In the fall of 2004, a friend asked me to attend with him and I did. The first time I went, I knew I would return. Not sure I would call that experience knowing this was the path for me; what I knew at that point was that being able to stop talking, to be away from being an “expert”.

2023-12-13T21:27:36+00:00

Karen

My father was an Atheist and said any religious reading was a waste of time. This was a huge seed for me to explore “religion” (Episcopal –Methodist -Divine Light from Guru Maharaji –Occult.

2023-12-13T22:29:08+00:00

Phyllis

I was first introduced to Eastern philosophy when I was about 15. At 16 I read Hesse’s book, “Siddhartha”, and thought, “Ok, I’m the Buddha!” I began to explore yoga at that age, and it was a time of many eastern ways of being introduced into our culture.

2023-12-14T02:27:20+00:00

Lisa

I became exposed to the dharma when I was dealing with chronic pain. I was required to meditate as part of my treatment, and at the time I couldn’t relax any of my muscles. But the meditation helped me learn to relax. My massage therapist told me it was as if I’d switched bodies. That change was so profound that I got curious about what else meditation could do for me.

2023-12-14T15:59:54+00:00

Ryan

I am not sure exactly when I first became aware of the dharma path, but my first brush with it was through reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Beyond the Self a translation of the Sutra on the Middle Way. At the time I had been in recovery for about 10 years and had a sustain spiritual practice of self-reflection and service, but I had never been exposed to the truth of Dependent Origination.

2023-12-14T16:22:20+00:00

Rachel

My first exposure to dharma was during my undergraduate studies majoring in Philosophy/Asian Studies. However, this didn’t translate to a personal practice until a few years later when I lost two friends to suicide in a six-month period. The bereavement related to their deaths was so overwhelming that it forced me to seek out additional community and support.

2023-12-14T18:41:40+00:00

Mara

I walked into Against the Stream Nashville Meditation Center in January 2012,  shortly after coming out of rehab for alcohol dependence.   It was suggested that meditation could be helpful in further recovery.  I remember in one of the first talks Dave Smith mentioned that, sitting was just sitting.  Whether you were in traffic, the motor vehicle department or sitting comfortably on your  own couch that the experience of sitting was all the same.  

2023-09-17T00:33:20+00:00

Indigo

I was more connected to the teacher than the teaching at first. I had a vision of a teacher, in the way you generate a visualization of a deity during some Vajrayana practices, while the lines of “Crying to the Guru from afar” started playing in my head. I had only ever read the text once, so was quite surprised to learn that I had memorized it.

2022-08-04T15:13:52+00:00

Alex

I was first exposed to dharma when I was in high school/college. It was recommended by my therapist to check out a group call Dharma Punx and thought that meditation would be a good way to help with depression/anxiety. I initially didn’t like it but when I came back from college, I thought I would give it another try.

2023-12-29T16:03:28+00:00

Jung

January 2004. I participated in my first 10 day Vipassana retreat as taught by SN Goenka. It was a profound experience for me. I re-lived deep-seated memories and the emotions that came with them and started the process of shedding old traumas, dramas, and attachments to suffering.

2023-09-17T00:34:41+00:00

Z

My first year of high school I attended an independent Episcopalian school that required us to take a course teaching “world history” and “world literature” as seen through the lens of the religious traditions of the world. The course was constructed explicitly as a rite of passage, and the challenges were so intense that every one of us was transformed by the experience.

2023-12-14T22:53:25+00:00

Jeff

I learned about meditation as a youngster, but it wasn’t until around 2004 that I started going to the Dharma Punx group on Friday nights in SF (the Back of the Bus) and hearing the dharma talks there in a language I could understand and with people that looked like me that I really felt exposed. It became my path when I learned to walk again as a sober man in 2014.

2023-12-14T22:11:54+00:00

Kim

I had the blessing to be born in a dharma household where my parents volunteered to host weekly meditation sittings in our home for a local Vipassana organization in Hawaii. We recited the three refuges in pali every night before I went to bed. Monks like Munindra and Sayadaw U Pandita would come to stay with us when I was growing up.

2023-12-14T22:27:46+00:00

Alex M

Growing up, my mother would take my brother and I to Chinese Buddhist Temples scattered around the Bay Area on a very sporadic basis. Usually, just a few times a hour, if that. I wouldn’t say that I was introduced to the dharma per se then, but it does have a place in the memories of my childhood as an introduction to traditions and ritual.

2023-12-15T01:05:47+00:00

Rigzin

At 19 I was finishing my second year of college. I was studying fine art photography. One of my professors was very scholarly and her class was very challenging. I was always looking to be challenged. Her subject was East Indian Art. My boyfriend at the time was graduating. He was/is Japanese American and had grown up always being a minority, and wanted to experience being in a place where he was in the majority. We couldn’t afford to travel in Japan, so he chose India. It was about 1980… I took the year off from school. We were serious budget travelers, 3rd class all the way….

2023-09-17T00:35:33+00:00

Melissa

In brief, I currently aspire to the Vajrayana path as laid out by the great masters of the Indian and Tibetan Buddhist lineages. Many have dedicated their entire lives to the preservation of their lineage which has been unbroken and thus is an intact living lineage, still “whispered” from teacher to student .