My name is Jacob Karlins. This page is for my classes in Newbury, Massachusetts. I’m teaching Buddhist philosophy, and meditation.
I went to Oberlin College, and studied English. When I was there, I would spend time in the library browsing. I was studying Western philosophy, and theology, but I also found my way to the Eastern section. I’ve loved libraries since I was a little kid. The Oberlin college library is pretty large, really ugly and concrete, in one way, but also a great place to spend time looking at books. At that time, I was also trying to learn Kung Fu, so maybe that’s one reason I ended up in the Eastern philosophy/religion section, looking for books on Kung Fu.
Anyway, I found some books there that I liked, especially Pema Chodron’s writing. From that point on, my interest took off, and I started meditating every day. That was about ten years ago, and my life has changed a tremendous amount since then. I think the dharma, the Buddhist teachings, has a lot to do with that. My life would be a gigantic mess without the dharma. So that’s part of the story of how I got into the teachings. A few years later, I worked up the nerve to visit a meditation center in California, where I was living. Then later, in New York. I took some classes, and did a few weekend retreats. I did some retreats on my own (not very long ones, but retreats nonetheless). Along the way, I’ve studied a number of disciplines, like Qi Gong, and Tai Chi, and I think this has helped me practice.
Right now, I’m continuing to study and practice. I’m a huge fan of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. I still enjoy Pema Chodron, but I read her books nonstop for about three years, so I don’t look at them too much any more (although whenever I pick them up again, there are pleasant surprises). I enjoy Tarthang Tulku’s work, his Buddhist, TSK, and Kum Nye work. Overall, I’m trying to practice a lot, and my practice is very physical these days. I like to think that there could be more of an intersection between the worlds of yoga and Buddhism in the US.