Greg Suffanti

Greg Suffanti

“I graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in 1987. My area of interest was art and film history. After graduation I worked at two commercial art galleries in Los Angeles as a sales associate in contemporary fine art. During this period I spent about two years studying acting at Playhouse West in Los Angeles.

Realizing that neither selling art nor acting was what I wanted, I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1992 and took a job as a production manager for a fast-growing company called PSI Group. PSI Group (then a private, now a NYSE public company) is involved in the commercial processing of mail. I worked at their Seattle plant and over the next five years was promoted to sales manager, co-director and eventually director, handling local clients like Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft. Towards the end of the last century I was asked to open a new facility for PSI Group in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a gay man, this was not a place I could imagine myself living in.

I had become interested in Buddhism during this period as my disillusionment with corporate capitalism grew. I eventually gave in to my dream of another life in Amsterdam learning a new language and the hopes for a different future now that I’d discovered my interest in studying Buddhism.

I’ve studied Buddhism at Maitreya Instituut in Amsterdam since September of 2000 and since 2001 worked there as a volunteer. Through the years I’ve served in various capacities such as leading guided meditations, leading Pujas, working at the front desk and hosting visiting Tibetan Lamas in my home because I have a guest room. In 2001 I began working as a caregiver at Stichting Fokus in Amsterdam. Over the last few years I helped two university students write their theses and I found that process interesting and enjoyable.

Since 2017 I work as a volunteer for the Quest for wisdom foundation to translate, edit and write about Buddhism to contribute to their ‘Wijsheidsweb’.

My favourite quote concerning the ‘quest for wisdom’ is:

The more you learn about different cultures and customs, the more that your own barriers and negative judgements are replaced with curiosity and acceptance. We find ourselves, our humanity and our essential sameness when we take the time to look beneath our cultural differences and discover the meanings behind the various stories, symbols and customs.”
This question makes me think of something I heard the Dalai Lama say: “Just because someone is on a different path, doesn’t mean its the wrong one.”

Maitreya InstituutFPMT

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