Steve Lee will tell you that his path to a secular activist Buddhist practice began during a period of great doubt following his wife’s death that merged with his longtime interest in Eastern philosophies.
Steve grew up in Wilmington, spent many years working in the boating industry and teaching in local Lutheran churches before going back to the University of North Carolina Wilmington for his education degree. He taught at New Hanover High School until his retirement in 2011. Now he’s the secretary and treasurer for the Southeastern Alliance for Community Change and writes about Buddhist happenings for Wilmington Dharma.
He’ll be writing about the intersections between Buddhism and activism on Religion News Wilmington.
Learn more about Steve here:
“My students used to ask me all the time ‘Mr. Lee what are you?’ I actually struggle with that because I’m not sure I consider myself a Buddhist so I say I was raised Southern Baptist and spent most of my adult life in Lutheran church. Since my 20s, I had been reading Eastern spiritual literature, predominantly the writings of that 60s Eastern hippie Alan Watts. A lot of it I didn’t understand. Then my wife of 21 years contracted cancer and within four months was dead, and I was left with a 16-year-old and 12-year-old. . . I was full of this existential doubt – asking myself what’s real and what can you depend on? The fall of 1999 I encountered (the book) “Buddhism Without Beliefs.” I had tried meditation many times but mostly in conjunction with yoga classes. I decided I would start meditating. I tried sitting on my own. And it was hard. . .This secular Buddhist approach resonates with me. Buddhist social engagement is bringing Buddhist principles and world view to engagement with issues of social and racial justice where the status quo causes unnecessary suffering.”
Welcome aboard, Steve!