Rev. Yongak Prajna, MSN is Professor of Buddhist Studies at Buddha Dharma University. He has spent his lifetime journey plodding through many spiritual practices. Always finding truth to be allusive, always believing it was but a tad further up the road. Until the realization it is but a tad more inward. He describes a indefinable clarity at birth and until age six. After age six he began entering the conceptual world where clarity was obscured. He was raised up in the Congregational Christian Church (Christened) and Society of Friends as a small child, attended Roman Catholic Kindergarten and first grade at Friends Select. He later wandered through many denominations, the most meaningful being the Mennonite Church. Over the years he was a lay youth minister, Sunday School Teacher and Bus Pastor. Intertwining with these stops on his journey were non-Christian forays which brought deeper insights into the words of Jesus and Christian Mystics…During a mediation experience he was simply directed to take a path to other religions. During his thirties he took the Bodhisattva vows, though without ceremony. Yongak credits the works and words of Paramahansa Yoganada, St. Chrysostom, Abdul Baha, The Dalai Lama, Patrul Rinpoche, Alan Watts, and many others numerous to list, to a path toward awakening. Important as well were two little books he found in his twenties in a flea market Vols. I and II of A Search for God, published in 1942 by Reverend Edgar Cayce.
His practices has been primarily Lam Rim and Vissapanna solo retreats, most of his sitting or walking has been self-directed. Yongak’s primary and present teacher Ven. Dr. Wonji Dharma pointed out that awakening comes from through the intersection of introspection of insight. On October 24th of 2015, he took Novice vows publicly at True Nature Sangha in Bar Harbor Maine. Br. Yongak presently lives in Butner/Creedmoor, North Carolina with his wife Teresa and dog Max. His describes his direction as that of a simple monk of kindness who seeks to help others to get unstuck and move on to their awakened nature.