Not only did I move around a lot as a kid, my basic religions changed as well. Beginning with a strong Catholic upbringing and transiting to Episcopalian and back to the Catholic church as a non Catholic, because of some rule pertaining to my now ex being divorced. There was a place in my life for religion, but nothing took hold as a foundation for something meaningful.
So how did Buddhism come into the Picture?
I was teaching and practicing hatha yoga at the time and that moment I was in a bookstore looking for a book to help round out my yoga practice. Well I was on the wrong side of the bookstore and looking in the wrong section and picked up “The Path of the Sacred Warrior”. After picking it up and putting it down 4 times, I decided if I pick it up one more time I should buy it, well I did.
So of course I wound up at the Shambhala center, the only Buddhist center in town at the time. Had no idea what kind of transformation I was stepping into. My first teaching and empowerments (including Vajrasattva) were given by a renowned Dzogchen Master who just escaped to Mustang, in Nepal next to Tibet.
Thinking I should stick with traditional teachings I found my way to a Gelup Center, Loseling that just started with the help of his Holiness the Dalai Lama creating a relationship with Emory University. The teachings at Loseling laid down a great foundation of Bodhichitta. There were a lot of great teachers coming to America to start centers, to visit and even for medical reasons would be invited to teach at the center.