What was I doing before DRBU?
Before coming to DRBU I was pretty aimless. I moved around a lot and worked a lot of different jobs. The year before I came here I was working at a boarding school in southern Rhode Island.
Influential class I’ve taken
I’m not sure I’ve taken any classes that haven’t been influential in some kind of way. My favorite class is probably the Avatamsaka Sutra. The Avatamsaka is such an open text. Reading it and talking about it bring me a lot of joy.
Concept that blew my mind
I remember having a big realization while discussing a text in Comparative Hermeneutics. I had a very negative reaction to the text, and I was encouraged to look into my reaction and try to understand where it was coming from rather than simply following that reaction to whatever conclusion it wanted to take me to, which was my usual approach. This method of using my own emotions and reactions - both negative and positive - as a departure point for a more radical and penetrating investigation of self is something I’d never encountered before, and has become an immensely important and useful tool.
Title of senior essay/a recent paper:
“Asking as Movement Towards Being: The Question of the Coming into Being of the World”
What is it about?
It’s a juxtaposition of two metaphysically oriented questions, the first from the Surangama Sutra, and the other, a question posed by Heidegger in his Introduction to Metaphysics.
What is it really about?
Good question. I think it’s about what it means to ask questions, and how the questions we ask (and the answers we give) shape our reality.
What’s your service scholarship (work study) job?
I’ve had a few different work study jobs over the last two years. Currently, I’m an Residential Assistant at the Sudhana Center Men’s Dorm and I also help organize events for the university’s Student Activities department. Both of my jobs essentially come down to developing programming for community building, which I really love.
What do you do for fun?
I read, I write, I play board games, I watch movies, I try to get out of town when I have the chance to explore Mendocino County.
How has financial aid played a role in your being here?
Financial aid has been huge for me. I would not be able to be here if it weren’t for DRBU’s generous financial aid policy. I appreciate the ethos of it: there is a genuine willingness to meet any student’s financial need if the student shows a real interest in DRBU. I think it’s fairly unique in that sense, and it demonstrated to me, even before coming here, that this was an institution that was really dedicated to practicing the principles they espouse.
How does what you’re learning here carry out into the world?
What’s the world? I’m not sure what the world is. Or where it is. What I’m concerned about is my mind, which is for better or worse my world. And what I learn here has everything to do with my mind. What I learn here is helping me to better see and understand my mind.