I first got my start as a Buddhist practitioner when I left the Oberlin Conservatory in 1970 to go to Japan to study Zen. There I became an “Unsui” training monk in the Rinzai Zen monastery of Daitoku-ji in Kyoto, where I spent a total of 7 years under the masters Kobori Nanrei Osho and Nakamura Kan’un-shitsu Roshi.
Many years later, after meeting the 16th Karmapa and Kalu Rinpoche, and after receiving empowerments and teachings in the Nyingma lineage, I had the deep good fortune of glimpsing Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche from a distance. Then, in 1998, after several years of yearning, Rinpoche accepted me as a student.
My wife Sydney and I completed a three-year retreat at the Vajradhara Gonpa in Australia in 2008, and since then I have been helping out in various capacities as an instructor, Dharma Gar administrator, and practice leader. We live in Seattle. I still speak a little Japanese, and work with students of Rinpoche all over the world.