Spotlight on Our Sangha: Jonathan

Jun 10, 2021


From the time I started coming to the Center, I immediately began attending the Monday and Thursday night General Program (GP) classes. Seven years later, I was still only attending GP. Many of the people I had met over the years had moved to either the Foundation Program (FP) or Teaching Training Program (TTP) but I’ve never been a good student and I panic when I hear the words “study” and “test”. So I planned on just sticking with GP which felt fluid and flexible.

Fast forward to around two-and-half years ago, I witnessed a catastrophic event in which a woman was hit by a car and died. She had been only ten paces behind me. I somehow left the sidewalk and then I’m there on the ground and she’s cradled in my arms as she’s leaving this world. From that situation, I realized I have no knowledge of what to do when I die. I realized I need to know this. I need to go deeper. So I committed to the Wednesday Foundation Program. Eventually we had our first test. I told the teacher I close up during tests, I panic, I’m a horrible test-taker. Even when I’m studying for a test I have a nervous mind. The teacher told me something that transformed things for me. She said I need to understand that I cannot fail this test. As long as I am offering up my studying to the Guru at my heart, my Guru is rejoicing in my efforts and it is impossible for me to fail. I could have cried hearing that. It had always been you pass or fail. You fail you’re a loser. Repeat. From then on, I have had a good time studying.

Earlier this year I was in Florida and there was a woman walking ahead of me crossing the road with her son. She had the right of way but the next thing she’s down on the ground bleeding and her son is screaming for help. Very quickly the police and ambulance arrive and taped off the area. To have this happen to me again felt like a loving shake, another reminder that I need to keep going deeper in my practice.

Connect with us on Social



Spotlight on Our Sangha: Shelley

Shelley and her journey through cancer


Buddhist Quotes

Tons of amazing Buddhist quotes
to inspire and uplift


Spotlight on our Sangha: Bliem

Bliem and his journey to counting 10 million mantras!


Spotlight on Our Sangha: Sharon

Sharon’s journey to learning how to overcome intense anxiety


Wisdom is Beautiful

Enjoy this collection of photos of our sangha meditating, along with wisdom thoughts shared in our weekly classes


Spotlight on Our Sangha: Joseph

Joseph shares his journey from discovering Buddha’s teachings as a teenager to learning how to love meditation


Spotlight on Our Sangha: Marcela

Marcela’s discovery of the magical world of Kadampa festivals and retreats


Celebrating the Life of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, the Architect & Artist

In order to give people everywhere throughout the world access to Buddha’s proven methods for attaining peace and happiness, Venerable Geshe-la has also established the International Temples Project (ITP). Already,…


Celebrating the Life of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, the Author

Venerable Geshe-la’s first book, Meaningful to Behold was published in 1980, and since then he has authored more than 20 additional authoritative books and composed over 50 sadhanas. These are…

Geshe-la day 2 1

Celebrating the Life of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, the Visionary

Venerable Geshe-la came to the West by invitation to teach at Manjushri Institute in Ulverston, England. He arrived in August 1977 and gave his first teaching on the Stages of…