When were you first exposed to dharma?

I didn’t know much about Buddhism prior to attending an Introductory Seminar held at the Denver Zen Center. My wife encouraged me to go, and as I had just been laid off from my job, I had “nothing better to do.” 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.” Also, I had many unanswered questions in regard to Christian religions that no one could answer, and it seemed to me that a lot of people believed in Jesus / God, because they were more afraid of the alternative – life of eternal damnation if they didn’t. Zen offered its own unique path, with no one telling you what to believe. A path of self-discovery.

How has the path manifest in your daily experience?

One of the first things Zen influenced me on was becoming a vegetarian. I began to “feel” the harm of slaughterhouses and that it was so unnecessary. We eat far too much meat in our country. I haven’t hardly eaten any meat in 25 years, which is reflected in high energy and excellent blood cholesterol levels. My doctor continually marvels as to how my body physically appears that of a 30-year-old. In terms of work, people say I don’t get upset and overwhelmed by projects and take things one step at a time in a very calm manner. I have let go of constant complaining about job assignments. I don’t waste mental energy thinking about how I wish things would be different. I am more accepting of the way things are, which allows me more freedom.

If you explore other lineages within buddhism, how did you come to decide on which lineage was right for you?

I didn’t explore many other lineages. I did attend a two week “Oneness” seminar in India, which was parallel to Buddhism and helped to break open my practice. It was very transformative. Like the Buddha, I was no longer on a treadmill, which can occur in any spiritual practice when followed for many years. I leveraged what I learned in Zen (silence and acceptance) and was able to open to the world. I now continue in Zen, going deeper in my practice with silence. With my teacher I am able to convey aspects of my understanding, but she is a guide, and my practice is my own journey.

Enlightenment is just an opening.
It’s an opening that just gets bigger
and bigger and bigger.

What are some of your practices/rituals that you do to support your spiritual development (meditation/prayers and etc)

Silent meditation is key for me. I love sitting on summer evenings beneath a large maple tree during the summer evening and listening to all the evening sounds and just letting go.

Which sangha do you normally attend?

I belong to the Zen Center of Denver, where I am an assistant teacher and Head of Zendo. It is great to belong to a community of fellow practitioners to help motivative and inspire you in your practice. It is difficult to do silent meditation by oneself, as there is always other stuff you would rather be doing, but sitting with a group motivates a person to sit quietly for longer periods of time.

What is your primarily profession?

I work in the Corporate Strategy department for a large telecommunications company. I am calm and able to flow with the daily demands of the job, without becoming bogged down in mental games. I try to be respectful to others and treat them without judgments. I am open to new ideas or ways of doing things. I don’t cling to any of the old patterns or ways of doing things.


I have far less fear than before. I can see people
without judging them to be bad or good

What teachings/practices have had the greatest impact on your life?

I have far less fear than before. I can see people without judging them to be bad or good. I see the humanity in all people, from people on the Street to Wall Street executives. I greet people calmly and am not upset by the daily flow of “good, but mainly bad news” presented on TV and the Internet.

I see the world in continual expansion. Everything is evolving and expanding, since the Universe was created. I believe in destiny, that your path was chosen before you were born. Not the exact path, but a circuitous path that leads you in the general direction. I believe when you die, you merge with this Universe and quite possibly the goal of our life is to contribute to expanding this Universe. Death comes when you stop expanding. You must continually create and be open. You must take care of your physical body as it is a gift as well as your questioning spiritual nature. Everyone and everything has the spiritual light inside them.

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