The embodiment of fierce radical presence through dharma practice, turns every moment into rich fertile soil through developing a fearless open heart.
Justin von Bujdoss is an American Buddhist teacher and chaplain.
He was ordained as a repa in the Karma Kamstang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism by His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche in 2011 and given the name Repa Dorje Odzer. Justin is passionate about the preservation of the heart-essence of the tantric Buddhist tradition in a way that meets the needs of, and simultaneously challenges, the modern western way of life. He is committed to the development of a repa tradition rooted in the west and has been working to this end for a number of years.
From 2012 until 2017 Justin served as the resident-lama and executive director of New York Tsurphu Goshir Dharma Center, an urban dharma organization which functioned as an affiliate of Palchen Chosling Monastic Institute, Ralang, Sikkim, India.
Justin is presently the first dedicated Staff Chaplain for the New York City Department of Correction where he provides spiritual support for the 13,000 employees, both uniformed and non-uniformed, who work through out the New York City Corrections system. Part of his work includes developing and implementing meditation programs for officers throughout the NYC jail system in addition to the typical work of ministering DOC staff.
Justin has also worked as a full-time home hospice chaplain and is trained both in CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) as well as Buddhist end-of-life practices and spiritual care. Justin has taught on Buddhist end-of-life care and teaches dharma in a variety of settings from monasteries, retreat centers and dharma centers, to hospital didactics, CPE groups and at conferences and museums.
Some of my work
Lion's Roar Magazine
Wall Street Journal
Front Page April 25th 2017
Central to both Buddhist practice and dharma teaching as well as chaplaincy is ethics. As a dharma teacher and a chaplain adhering to an ethics code is important to me as a form of practice as well as an activity model for others.
To this end I am committed to an ethics that includes disrupting patterns of abuse and harm that arise both outside of, but especially within, spiritual communities. In this regard I am committed to the application of the dharma towards liberation from unexamined habitual behavior that causes harm. Such cycles of harm include, but are not limited to, the exclusion of underrepresented groups in dharma communities, misuse of power, poor boundaries and lack of understanding around sexual ethics. I vow to do whatever I can to break these cycles of harm.
Especially central to my work is the support of lay tantric practitioners and upholding the repa tradition. Included here is the presentation and propagation of the dharma in a way that is not only applicable to the times in which we live, but is also rooted in the foundation, and spirit, demonstrated by Tilo, Naro, Marpa, Milarepa and others. I vow to do whatever I can to keep this tradition alive and bright.
In this way, it might not be uncommon for me to avoid teaching at dharma institutions in which the lay sangha is not regarded as equal, or where the lay sangha is not empowered, or where there is a history of patterns of abuse or an unclear stance with regard to issues of abuse of power. This being said, I also make myself available to help sanghas and dharma institutions develop an ethics statement that best serves their communities. Maintaining a sense of discernment about where I teach is rooted in the desire to promote growth and to challenge communities and institutions to be better, and to help support authentic dharma practitioners who are sincere and dedicated, not about punishment or derision.
At the end of the day, I am committed to responsible leadership, being accountable to those I serve, and maintaining the commitment that I have made to my teachers to serve others. Hopefully at the time of death, I will be able to say that I effectively aided in the relief of the suffering of others more than I contributed to their suffering.