He first heard of the Shakuhachi through his involvement in Buddhist Christian dialog while a Trappist monk in the mountains of Colorado in 1980. Upon hearing a recording of the Shakuhachi, he was immediately struck with its depth and its spiritual resonance with Gregorian chant. Using a Shakuhachi he received from Japan and the sounds of nature that flow though the silence of monastic spirituality, he discovered the world of breath and sound contained in Shakuhachi. From then on playing the Shakuhachi became an integral part of his spiritual journey.|
After leaving the monastery he studied various honkyoku playing styles as well as classical Japanese ensemble music for the Shakuhachi from 1984 until 1990 under Kurahashi Yoshio Sensei head of Muju-an Dojo in Kyoto, Japan. He cannot adequately express his thankfulness for the support and encouragement he received from Kurahashi Sensei in his studies. Without a teacher it is very difficult to learn honkyoku for, in its essence, it is primarily an oral tradition.
Shortly after receiving the Shihan (Masters) license for Shakuhachi in 1989 he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts and opened Chikufu-an Shakuhachi Dojo where he teachs, performs and makes Shakuhachi using the traditional techniques and materials acquired in Japan.
Despite the initial differences in culture and language, the Japanese people with whom he lived opened their lives and homes to him and gave him the opportunity to study Shakuhachi within the Japanese community.