Karma Wall joined us in January 2020 as our keeper of the ground, both in terms of maintaining an uplifted, safe physical environment, as well as an uplifted and aware community. He now serves the school as a Dharma Teacher, leading weekly guided meditations for the community, as well as co-leading Dharma Discussion Circles and occasionally a Dharma Talk. His commitment to daily practice and his clear written and spoken explanations of dharma concepts bring something unique and essential to Middle Way School.
We asked Karma to introduce himself in his own words:
“I am a practitioner at heart, and after having a child of my own, and now working at the Middle Way School, I can see that discovering the Dharma in the minds of children and nurturing their own discovery is one of the best practices one can apply. It seems that everything else I’ve tried gets hijacked by my ego, but children are wise, and they let you know it!
I was born in Milwaukee, WI, and found the Dharma in college at Columbia University where I studied English Literature and Religious Studies. After a year spent looking for a teacher in India and beyond, I spent the next eight or so years studying and practicing under the guidance of Lama Norlha Rinpoche and Tai Situ Rinpoche at Palpung Thübten Chöling Monastery, about an hour from Woodstock, NY. When I was sent to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in 2011, I became the resident teacher at Milarepa Retreat Center, where we are building a stupa and retreat facilities. I also helped to found the Lotus Light Contemplative Community Center in Knoxville, which is an umbrella for over six different sanghas in the city.
Along with my wife Karina and my daughter Gomadevi, I travel between Tennessee and New York, helping at the Middle Way School and with the communities in the Smokies. I am honored to be helping in some small way to fulfill Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s vision of Buddhist education for children, and hope that my own daughter will soon be a part of the Middle Way community.”