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I write the column Bodhisattva Road at Patheos and Awake in the City at The Tattooed Buddha.

I am a teacher online through the Open Heart Project. I have given several public talks and led workshops and I’ve been practicing since 2000. I’ve spent over 40 days on retreat.

I’ve had a wide ranging experience in several Buddhist traditions, studying with teachers in Tsaotung Ch’an, Rinzai Zen, Tibetan Rime, Thai Forest Theravada, and Korean Zen traditions.

Currently my main focus is on Mindfulness practices rooted in the earliest Zen teachings and Compassion practices rooted in the Bodhisattva tradition. I sit regularly with the Inner Peace Buddhist Center Sangha in Kansas City and sometimes I volunteer with the Rime Center in some of their outreach programs.

I also practice with two online communities, The Open Heart Project and The Dharma Winds Zen Sangha. I am recognized as a Dharma Teacher in both of these communities.

I started studying Buddhism in 2000, mainly focused on overcoming my own suffering.

In 2010 I completed Meditation Instructor Training and Certification through the Rime Center. I also took lay ordination (pratimoksha) and Bodhisattva Vows there.

From 2010 until 2014 I ran the Dharma School program there, teaching kids about Buddhism (including my own).

In 2012 and 2013 I spent some time as a Novice Monk in the Five Mountain Zen Order.

In 2014 I went through lay teacher training through the Richard Hunn Association for Ch’an Studies. I took the Mahayana Precepts from the Brahmajala Sutra and became a teacher in the Tsaotung Ch’an tradition.

In 2018 I was recognized as a Dharma Teacher in the Dharma Winds Zen Order, an online network of Zen hermitages.

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On Being a Teacher:

I didn’t realize I was a teacher until people started asking me to teach. That’s how it goes sometimes. While I’ve gone through several traditional certification systems, I also think such things are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the modern world. The truth is everyone can be a teacher and as students we should just be learning from everyone. I think the future of Buddhism is more Community-Centered and less Master-Student Centered. I see myself as more of a tutor than a teacher, just pointing the way and trying to inspire. I am a certified Meditation Teacher and more and more often it seems like that’s what people want and need, rather than really traditional Buddhist philosophical teachings.

Classes Attended:

(All classes attended in Kansas City, Missouri, unless otherwise specified)

Rime Tradition: Rime Center Buddhist Community:

Meditation Workshop, Basics of Buddhism, Mahayana Sutra Studies, Way of the Bodhisattva, Lojong Mind Training, Four Foundations of Mindfulness, Turning the Mind Toward the Dharma, Preparation of Practice with the Four Wheels, Establishing a Practice and Working with a Teacher, 37 Practices of All Bodhisattvas, Emotional Awareness

Zen Tradition: Five Mountain Zen Order:

Meditation Practice, Buddhist Ceremonies, Buddhist Precepts, Life of the Buddha, Buddhism Beyond Religion, Intro to Zen, Mirror of Zen, Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, Compass of Zen, Foundational Buddhism, Zen Poetry, Platform Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Huayan Buddhism, Chan Master Bodhidharma, Chan Master Huango, Chan Master Mazu

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My practice:

I practice what I call Hermit Dharma, meaning I spread my teachings around whenever I can, rather than trying to build a temple, start a community, or attract students. I want to share my practice with simplicity, sincerity and humility but I don’t offer all the services that a Buddhist temple may offer. I consider myself in the tradition of Zen lunatics like Han Shan and Ikkyu.

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