Reverend Jiei Teutonico is a disciple of Reverend Ryōei Tyler, Dai-ajari and Abbess of Kongōsan Eigenji in California:
My Buddhist path started at the age of 19 with a small evening meditation class in a martial arts dōjō. There was something about setting in the almost dark training hall, with only a candle flickering and silvery strands of incense wafting about, that spoke to something deep inside of me.
Little did I know at the time, that the materials we used were actually based on the Tendai tradition, but I am glad, they were. They provided my first glimpse into Buddhism in general, and this immensely rich lineage in particular.
This new interest also sparked an exploration of other traditions and I was a regular guest at the New York Nechung Foundation’s classes with Ven. Pema Dorje, a wonderful teacher full of smiles and enthusiasm, and a true example to this day.
It was my fortune to meet Tendai’s Reverend Jikai Choffy in the course of those activities, and through him I underwent further studies with his student Rev. Jion Prosser, both of whom exceptionally knowledgeable in the Buddha’s teachings.
As life would have it, I was led to Switzerland, where I now reside. Again I was fortunate and got introduced to Reverend Dr. Ryōei Tyler, eventually becoming a formal, direct Deshi.
With her as my ordaining master, and in presence of Dai-sōjō Ryokan Ara, the traditional Shukke Tokudo ceremony took place at the Tendai Hawaii Betsuin in 2016. It was a profoundly moving and life-changing experience and afterwards, I was formally registered as Tendai priest at the headquarters on Mount Hiei in Japan, where the primary temple of Tendai, Enryaku-ji, stands.
It has been something to live up to ever since.
Besides the study and practice of Buddhism, I am a student and teacher of Kobudō, antique Japanese martial arts. Those ancient traditions also tell us, that every encounter can be a key to our enlightenment and is thus sacred.
Nature and the wilderness has this tangible spiritual quality for me as well, and occasionally I get inspired to poetry and haiku, when something whispers to my heart.