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Tendai Buddhism USA
Rev. Jiei Teutonico
My Buddhist path started at the age of 19 with a small evening meditation class in a martial arts dojo. There was something about this setting in the almost dark training hall, with only a candle flickering and silvery strands of incense smoke wafting about, that spoke to something deep inside of me.
Little did I know at the time, that the materials we used were actually based on the Tendai tradition, but I am glad, they were. They provided my first glimpse into Buddhism in general, and this immensely rich lineage in
This new interest also sparked an exploration of other traditions and I was a regular guest at the New York Tibetan Nechung Foundation's classes with Ven. Pema Dorjee, a wonderful teacher full of smiles and enthusiasm, and a true
example to this day.
It was my fortune to meet Tendai's Rev. Jikai Choffy in the course of those activities, and through him I underwent further studies with his student Rev. Jion Prosser, both of whom exceptionally knowledgeable in the Buddha's
As life would have it, I was led to Switzerland, where I now reside. Again I was fortunate and got introduced to Rev. Dr. Ryoei Tyler, eventually becoming a formal, direct Deshi.
With her as my ordaining master, and in presence of Dai-sōjō Ryokan Ara, the traditional Shukke Tokudo ceremony took place at the Tendai Hawaii Betsuin in 2016. It was a profoundly moving and life-changing experience and afterwards, I was formally registered as Tendai priest at the headquarters on Mount Hiei in Japan, where the primary temple of the Tendai school, Enryaku-ji, stands.
It has been something to live up to ever since.
Besides the study and practice of Buddhism, I am a student and teacher of Kobudo, antique Japanese martial arts. Those ancient traditions also tell us, that every encounter can be a key to our enlightenment and is thus sacred.
Nature and the wilderness has this tangible spiritual quality for me as well, and occasionally I get inspired to poetry and haiku, when something whispers to my heart.
May there be peace in this world, may all anger cease and may all beings find
the way to happiness...
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