|Photo Courtesy of Luboš Račanský, "Love." Creative Commons.|
Ven. Adhimutta: What led you to be interested in Buddhism?
Jacqueline Kramer: I was led to Buddhism at a very young age. I had the good fortune to have a mother who was a mystic and spiritual seeker. She was meditating and practicing yoga in the late 1950’s. My birth religion is Judaism and my mother taught Sunday school at our local temple. They didn’t have her continue teaching because she was too ecumenical for them. She imparted this openness to all wisdom paths to me. When I was around 11 years old, she asked me if I wanted to commit to Judaism and become batmitzvahed. I told her there were certain things Judaism taught that I couldn’t go along with. She said, that was fine, but I had to continue my religious training somewhere. I chose a Vedanta temple I had visited in Hollywood. This is the wonder of my mother - she drove me to that temple to hear the sermons every weekend. Then in junior high, I got hold of the Paul Reps book, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, and carried it around in my purse. I loved its direct, clear expression and have since returned to the koan practice it introduced to me.