There are a lot of human conflicts and personal suffering in the world today. We all need healthy ways to prevent falling victims to this. For Sensei, it’s a love of reading, a fulfilling spiritual life, martial arts, yoga and plant-based eating. His mother instilled a deep thirst for reading in him at an early age. His favorite areas of reading include philosophy, religion, theoretical scientific thought, spirituality and Consciousness. Sensei’s spiritual odyssey was driven by a deep curiosity about Consciousness. Ultimately, he found his “spiritual home” in Chan/Pure Land Buddhism. (a Mahayana tradition) He is a lay disciple of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order. He completed the Triple Gem ceremony at Hsi Lai Temple. Fo Guang Shan was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun with an emphasis on what he calls “Humanistic Buddhism.”

Educationally, Sensei’s background is in speech communications, rhetoric and philosophy. His early thoughts were influenced by several western philosophical traditions. Among these influences: the ancient Greeks, Stoics, Existentialism and Transcendentalism (specifically Emerson & Thoreau). Physics and phenomenology are other subjects of great interest to him. When it comes to fictional writing, he favors the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  

Though the West had captured his mind early on in life, his heart has always felt most at home with eastern traditions. Some of the eastern influences on his thinking include the writings of Yogananda, Vedanta philosophy (Sri Ramakrishna & Swami Vivekananda), Miyomoto Musashi (the Japanese swordsmen), Lao Tzu (Chinese mystic, scholar & philosopher) and Sun Tzu (Chinese general, philosopher & strategist). The writings of Venerable Master Hsing Yun have also had a significant impact. The Buddha’s life and wisdom have had an exceptionally profound influence. 

Sensei has been a life long martial artist. At age 11, he was introduced to meditation through martial arts training. He became a black belt in karate at age 19 and is one of several black belts in his family. Meditation, and martial arts, have remain essential components of his life. Nutritionally, Sensei follows a fully plant-based/vegan diet. (i.e. no eating any dairy products, fish or meat) His reasons for doing so are primarily spiritual, for the health benefits and the environment. No drug or alcohol use. Early to bed…early to rise.

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