As a child, I watched people destroying life on earth and I knew that “I must do something.” I wanted to face the problem directly, but I did not know how. As a teen, I left home to study selfishness and the end of selfishness. After visiting teachers for some time, I found a true Zen Master, Shodo Harada Roshi, with whom I was fortunate to train for several years, and under whom I was ordained in 1998 at Sogen Temple in Okayama, Japan. I also trained, and served as head monk, at Sariputta Boudh Vihar, an Ambedkar Buddhist monastery in southern India, where I worked for the rights of those born into the lower castes and helped to raise thirty boys with the understanding that we are all inconceivably valuable, regardless of social position. I led peaceful protests and organized community efforts to overcome the injustice of the caste system. I further trained at Hemis Gompa, a Kagyud Tibetan monastery in the far north of India, where I maintained a rigorous meditation practice, and later at Xue Feng Si, an ancient Ch’an monastery in eastern China. Since returning to the United States, I have had the honor of participating in several Native American ceremonies, including the Sun Dance and a four-year cycle of Vision Quests.
I am currently living in Johnson, Vermont, at the Monastic Academy. Over the past 20 years, I have practiced formal meditation, sometimes joyful and sometimes painful but always exciting, for about 25,000 hours.
I teach meditation techniques at residential retreats around the US and internationally, one-on-one in Vermont, over the phone and the Internet and through text messages, and in local schools and youth centers. To bring mindfulness and selflessness to more people, I run a non-profit named the Center for Mindful Learning that maintains a full-time training program for 12 residents and provides an extremely easy and effective online mindfulness course for school teachers. It is a blessing for me to have the chance to provide meditation guidance as a full-time job.