Introducing Tom – His Journey to Buddhism

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Blog

Tom is a dear friend of mine, and here’s his story of learning Dharma and entering the gates of Buddhism.

Read more about his recommendations of Buddhist communities in our Community Page.

But first, here’s his story.

Tom’s story

I come from a Belgian family and grew up Catholic by birth, but not in a family that was religious.  Starting in my teenage years, I began a philosophical and religious exploration around meaning.   I was attracted to studying physics in university, as a way to understand how the world worked, which informed my young adult view of things.  I concluded that science was the main cipher to decode life’s mysteries.

This view, while still useful to this day, was challenged after a car accident which resulted in a Near Death Experience.  This NDE prompted me to start a daily meditation practice, first influenced by Kabat Zinn’s MBSR approach and also by courses like Search Inside Yourself I attended while working at Google.  My initial goals focused on developing concentration, clarity and calm.   Eventually this did not satisfy the itch, so I decided to study the source material and began to read the Nikayas, as well as start to familiarize myself with the Pali language.  I developed a view that adhering to the five precepts is not only important to live an ethical life in the mundane world, but importantly, is a required foundation for contemplative practice. 

Chade-Meng Tan

Meng is an award-winning engineer, international bestselling author, movie producer and philanthropist. His work has been nominated eight times for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Read Meng's story)

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