Tendai Buddhism USA
Rev. Myoei Centanni-Sachs
I began studying Buddhism in 1998 through my own interests in "why life & death" and the exposure of my high school principal who was an enthusiastic existentialist. Over my time looking for a dharma home I studied in the Tibetan and Chinese traditions, spending approximately 2 years living between India and Nepal as a Buddhist monk. There I was leading and participating in meditation retreats for foreigners who had traveled looking for dharma or themselves. My teachers there were Denma Locho Rinpoche and Lama Thubten Lhundrup. My initial journey into the Tendai Buddhist tradition was through self-study and connecting primarily with the Lotus Sutra and the nature-oriented practices of Shugendo.
In 2004, I met Rev.Keisho Leary through my continued interest in Tendai-Shugendo. Over the time I was studying under Keisho-sensei I received teachings on Tendai daily practices and was given refuge under him at the California Tendai Monastery in 2010. In 2013, I moved into the Monastery as a resident and studied under him. There I practiced the Ichinichi Kaihogyo (one-day mountain circumambulation, learned the trails he established, assisted him weekly goma in Japanese & English, learned sutra chanting and the mountain traditions he himself had practiced.
In 2015, Rev.Keisho passed away, following this the California Tendai Monastery and the mountain blackened in the 'Lake County' fire. We refer to this as "Keisho sensei's last goma". It was a profound message of impermanence and trusting the everlasting dharma.
With no leadership or practice place for the few remaining students and friends of the Monastery, we had the fortune of connecting with Rev.Ryoei Tyler in Sacramento- who wanted to promote the practice of Tendai Buddhism as well as being supportive of the vision of Rev.Keisho and his students.
The president of California Tendai Monastery and the remaining students decided together it was best to continue our practices under the auspices of Rev.Ryoei Tyler and the California Tendai Learning Center. With Rev.Ryoei's guidance, I hope to bring the deep wisdom of Tendai Buddhism, as traditionally practiced on Mt.Hiei, to the USA.
In 2016, with the blessings and continued guidance of Rev.Keisho's teacher, Kayaki Kansho-sensei and Rev.Ryoei's sensei- Dai Sojo Ryokan Ara, I went to the Hawaii Betsuin and was given training and formal ordination (soryo tokudo) under Rev. Dr. Ryoei Tyler, becoming a formal deshi (direct student) and registered with the Enryakuji Mt.Hiei as a Tendai priest.
In addition to practice and study of the dharma, I have a full-time job as a traditional East Asian medicine practitioner. My private practice is in El Cerrito, California. I am a graduate of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a Master's in Science. Currently, I am working on a clinical doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Find me at www.hakutakuhealing.com
In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my dog, cultivating vegetarian cooking skills, and learning about holistic health practices.