Where did you grow up?

When did you become a Buddhist and why? There wasn’t a point when I became a Buddhist, and I am still reluctant to use the label. Nevertheless, I have been immersed in the path since I was a teenager. When I was 17, I went to Asia for several years and lived and studied in the Tibetan and Theravada traditions.

Why are you reluctant? If someone asks me if I am a Buddhist I would likely answer yes, but would prefer, if there were space and time, to explain that the Buddha didn’t, in my understanding, teach a religion.

What is your daily practice? It varies. I focus on the brahma-viharas (the Buddha’s four heart teachings (lovingkindness, compassion, equanimity, and sympathetic joy) and samatha (calming meditation). I also have off-the-cushion intentions, such as generosity or skillful speech, that I work on for a year at a time.

Favorite aphorism? “Whatever we practice, the skillful or unskillful, will grow.”

Longest retreat? Four months.

Favorite breakfast on retreat? Yogurt.

Book on your nightstand? Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology by Paul Broks.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love to spend time in nature and with my young grandson.

Who is your teacher? I don’t have a current teacher, but there are a number that I enjoy listening to, including Ajahn Sucitto.

Coffee or tea? Tea.

Favorite subject in school? In high school I most enjoyed history, but now I realize how selective the curriculum was.

What was your first job? I have never done anything apart from sharing the dharma.

Most used emoji? I don’t use emojis.

What would you do if you weren’t a Buddhist teacher? If I weren’t teaching, I would pause before taking up something new to fill in that space, and enjoy living.

Learn more about Christina Feldman’s online course, Universal Empathy, with Bodhi College colleague Chris Cullen, at learn.tricycle.org