Where did you grow up? Jersey City, New Jersey.
When did you become a Buddhist and why? In 1988 after learning a very powerful Vajrayana meditation practice that immediately transformed my life.
Is your family Buddhist? No, they are Episcopalian.
Favorite aphorism? Stay in your lane.
Musician? John Coltrane.
What was your first job? Receptionist in a furniture store.
What’s your daily practice? The Nature of Mind practices developed by my teacher, Lama Tsultrim Allione.
What’s the longest you’ve gone without meditating? I think a week.
How did you get back on track? I had the thought that my life was in a funk specifically because I wasn’t meditating, so I got up one morning, went directly to my shrine, and started again.
What do you like to do in your free time? Watch films and read.
Last film? I found On the Basis of Sex and The Notorious RBG, both about Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so inspiring. She is such an example of fierce compassion in the world.
What non-Buddhist do you look to for guidance? I look to the wisdom coming from the West African system of Ifa [of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, known more commonly in the West through the Caribbean religion Santeriaor Lucumi], in which I am an initiated priest.
Coffee or tea? Strong, rich, dark coffee.
Most used emoji? ♥
Watch Karla Jackson-Brewer’s July Dharma Talk series, “Turning Turmoil into Clarity,” at tricycle.org/dharmatalks.
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