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Sensei Alex Kakuyo is a lay Buddhist minister and former Marine.  His approach to Buddhism focuses on the connection between spirituality and daily life.  He teaches students how to find enlightenment in every breath, every action, and every moment.

Alex's journey into Buddhism began when he had a quarter-life crisis in January 2013.  At this point, he possessed everything that he thought would make him happy (a fast car, money, job success, etc.), but he still went to bed feeling miserable each night. 

Convinced that there had to be more to life than simply earning a paycheck he began studying spirituality, which led him to the teachings of the Buddha. After reading the 4 Noble truths, Alex knew that he'd found his path.  

Finally, he had a clear explanation as to why suffering exists in the world along with a systematic approach to ending that suffering

He threw himself into Buddhist training; spending several hours a day in meditation. However, something still didn't seem right.  He remained unconvinced that he could effectively practice the Dharma while living and working in conventional society.

This led him to give away all of his possessions (including his prized Ford mustang), and spend 8 months traveling the United States; meditating, studying sutras, and working on organic farms.

During this time, Sensei Alex built a tiny house in Indiana, planted an orchard in New York, and had several deep realizations; which informed his spiritual practice.  The greatest one came when he read a quote from Layman Pang, which states:

My daily activities are not unusual,
I’m just naturally in harmony with them.
Grasping nothing, discarding nothing.
In every place there’s no hindrance, no conflict.
My supernatural power and marvelous activity:
Drawing water and chopping wood.

This passage made him realize that running away from the world would not help him realize enlightenment.  Rather, he needed to learn how to find awakening in ordinary, everyday existence.  With this in mind, he returned to the marketplace.  He got a job, an apartment, and a cat named Enso.  In May 2018 he was authorized to teach in the tradition of Rev. Koyo Kubose.

Sensei Alex Kakuyo has a B.A. in philosophy from Wabash college.  He travels the country giving Dharma talks, teaching meditation, and helping people turn their daily existence (washing dishes, paying bills, driving to work, etc.) into a path towards inner peace.



Comments

  1. I just read you reprinted article on Lion's Roar. I am a hungry ghost, too. I never had a name for it. Thank you for your work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also just read your article, reposted on Lion's Roar. The right message, at the right moment for me. Now, off to wash the dishes. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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