Raul Taido Tovar talks about why he became a postulant:
I had the pleasure of meeting two people that turned me toward spirituality, not by
talking about it directly, but by the way they behaved. One was a professor named Sam.
Like me, he had grown up Catholic and eventually made the transition to Buddhism. He
was kind, yet passionate. He would always start the class with a parable or a Buddhist
As a psychologist, he had a knack for asking questions that cut to the core. I
remember the time I sat down with him for 30 minutes and when I walked out I was
ready to change majors and change schools. I remember being so impressed by how
someone I barely knew could get me to open up so quickly.
The other person was a soccer coach named Brad. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it
when I was younger, but somehow I could see that Brad was mature in ways very few
adults were. He was wealthy yet wore the same old outfit every day, a pair of running
shorts and an old gray crew neck sweater.
I’ll never forget the time he called me out for not visiting him in the hospital when he had cancer. I remember, he said to me, “When your soccer coach is in the hospital on the brink of death, you go visit him.” At the time, I couldn’t see the courage it took to say that to a young man.
Both of these men had qualities I didn’t have the word for. It was only after I spent more
time with them that I found out they had both were very involved in their spiritual centers
and had a meditation practice.
I’ve always had the intention to help others in my heart. I thought that it would be as a therapist, but now this path feels the most genuine. It is the path that has helped me the most. To work with my own mind and to continue to turn towards liberation is the best way I can
serve others. I feel ready to dedicate the next five to eight years of my life to ardent spiritual practice.