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Glenn Gustafson, Sensei
Early in life, Glenn entered the seminary to become a Catholic priest. In fact, three of the teachers in the Order for Pragmatic Buddhism are ordained ministers in Christian faiths!
Glenn began practicing Buddhism in 2010 and met and began studying under our Abbot, Dr. Jim Eubanks Sensei in 2012.
Glenn was ordained Deshi in 2015 and Sensai under Eubanks Sensei in December of 2017. He founded the Center here in Columbus in 2014. In the beginning, he offered a practice on Sunday mornings at the Stonewall offices on High Street, before taking the leap and moving us to our own location in Grandview, then three years later to our current practice space on Dublin Rd.
Glenn has been the driving force for growth in our Center in Columbus, connecting us with the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio, local charitable organizations, and Comfest and Pride events.
Glenn's teaching focus (usually) is on the history and philosophy of Buddhism and linking those with the needs of our modern practice.
Glenn enjoys spending time with his dog, Cooper, working on his house, and camping.
Glenn's dharma name is Ge Jie - Connected to All.
DeDe Parker, Deshi
DeDe began studying Buddhism in 2015 and attending our Columbus Center that same year. A few months later, she began formal study with Glenn Sensei as her teacher.
DeDe was ordained as a Novice in August of 2016, then took her Deshi vows in March of 2018.
Deshi is one step below a fully ordained Monk in the Order. Deshi is Japanese for "dedicated student", and Deshi can perform marriages in the OPB tradition, in addition to funerals and baby blessings. Also, both Novice and Deshi may teach at a Center for Pragmatic Buddhism.
DeDe sources her own practice for teaching topics, focusing on how we can improve ourselves and our environment using the dharma.
DeDe enjoys performing marriages, reading, watching live music, and trying new vegan recipes.
In 2021, DeDe's will be focusing on female teachers of the Dharma and their impact on Buddhism both historically and in modern times.
DeDe's dharma name is Chuan Guo, meaning "she who cuts through".
Joe Pierce, Deshi
Before Joe was ordained as a Novice in June of 2018, he attended a Christian seminary in addition to training in the ministry of the Unitarian Universalist faith. Joe took his Deshi vows in August of 2019.
From 2007-2009, Joe served in the Peace Corps in Ghana.
Since Joe's first dharma talk in August of 2018, he's been focused on taking parables and stories from the dharma and modernizing them for today.
Joe currently serves as a Chaplain at St. Anne's hospital, helping patients and families cope with illness and death.
Joe enjoys spending time with his young son, running, and wood burning.
Joe's dharma name (the name given you by your teacher) is Lan Zhu, which means "blue bamboo" for "growing modesty and strength".
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