Coming up as a young meditator in the early aughts was interesting. First, almost no one had heard of mindfulness yet, so no one really meditated that wasn’t either a new age hippie or fairly serious about it. Second, there were almost no other 20-somethings doing hardcore practice at that time. Fortunately, as Jack Kornfield once quipped to me, “interest in this stuff seems to have skipped a generation.” I’ve since seen many of my millennial peers come into their own. Third, all of the good teachers I could find, with just a couple exceptions, were Boomers who had gone to Asia to study & practice as young adults, and then came back and made a career out of teaching. To say there was a generation gap between me and my Boomer teachers would be a vast understatement. That said, my teachers were not monks. Some had been monks, but all of them decided to teach as lay people. And they all undertook the challenge of making a living doing that, using generosity-based models, in a country that has very little tradition to hold it. They took a huge leap by trying to translate, not just the contemplative practices, but also the economic models of that are rooted in the monastic tradition of Southeast Asian Buddhism.