Ryan was raised in Nova Scotia, Canada. While still a teenager, a friend lent Ryan a worn copy of Chögyam Trungpa’s Myth of Freedom and took him to the local Buddhist center to learn to meditate. It didn’t stick. During his undergraduate degree, Ryan again encountered Buddhism in a course simply titled “Buddhist Traditions.” The notion of taming the mind and developing kindness toward others resonated so strongly that Ryan began to practice meditation and to study the Tibetan Nyingma and Kagyu traditions with the Buddhist communities of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
After graduating from the University of Toronto with a master’s degree in Religious Studies, Ryan traveled to Nepal to study Tibetan at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, where he met Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. Through his work on the Zurmang Kagyu, he studied with Karma Senge Rinpoche, Trungpa Rinpoche’s nephew and Dharma-holder of his terma from Tibet. Ryan is currently a doctoral candidate at McGill University, where he is studying the early and central place of lineage in the Kagyu traditions, in particular, the special transmission of the Zurmang Hearing Lineage.
Ryan is former coeditor of ARC and subeditor of Religious Studies Review. He trained in editing Dharma texts with the Opening the Dharma Treasury group at Naropa University. His “Fresh Bread from an Old Recipe” in the Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies explores Chögyam Trungpa’s transmission of Buddhism to North America. A happy father and husband, Ryan also dreams of becoming a farmer, like Marpa.