John was born and raised in Fort Worth Texas. He went to Vassar College in Pougkeepsie New York where he graduated in 1995 with a degree in film. During his freshman year at Vassar he became interested in Buddhism and meditation after visiting a nearby Zen Monastery called Zen Mountain Monastery. He started going there regularly to meditate and to hear John Daido Loori, Roshi teach the Dharma. John maintained a daily mediation practice during and after college and in 1998 he became a Buddhist Monk with the Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He trained at 2 of Thich Nhat Hanh’s monasteries, Plum Village and Deer Park Monastery, for 6 years.
In response to an inner calling he left the monastery in 2004 and spent 2 years traveling and practicing at different monasteries and Ashrams throughout the world. His path eventually led him to Tiruvannamalai in South India where he was with a Guru in the direct spiritual lineage of Ramana Maharishi for 3 years.
John graduated from The University of The West in May of 2015 with a Master of Divinity. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Claremont School of Theology and an adjunct professor at UWest. He is an active member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing and co-leads the San Gabriel Valley Sangha in Rosemead.
The meditation practice that he does and teaches includes awareness of breathing, resting in natural awareness, and investigating the source of awareness.