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Charlene Fowajuh ’20 to travel country for monastic training

Charlene Fowajuh ’20, former vice president of the Buddhist Meditation Association, is taking a year after graduation to gain monastic training in various monasteries. She will be participating in several residential Zen trainings across the country.

She is currently an intern at Dai Bosatsu Monastery in the Catskill Mountains where she is following the schedule of the Buddhist monks and pursing a personal research project in meditative painting. In October, she plans to spend three months at Chozen-Ji, a Zen monastery in Hawaii. Then she heads to Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon for three months, and finally Upaya Institute and Zen Center in New Mexico for at least four months. After the residential training at Upaya, she will have an opportunity to work in the community while receving a small stipend.

When asked why she is doing this, Fowajuh replied, “to know myself.”

"Understanding the true nature of who you are is what Zen training is about, and how extraordinary it is to see a student take on this mission before embarking on one’s life’s work," says JoAnn Cooke, Buddhist Chaplain at Hendricks Chapel.

Fowajuh has committed to sharing her experiences with the Buddhist Meditation Association and students at Syracuse University. Her service learning experience is supported by Hendricks Chapel and the Contemplative Collaborative.