Fairport, Penfield Women Ordained as Buddhist Teachers

August 11, 2008

Author: Claudia Vargas

Source: Democrat and Chronicle


After years of traveling around the country to Buddhist retreats, viewing Webcasts and listening in on conference calls, two Rochester-area women were ordained as Buddhist teachers Sunday by a Tibetan Buddhist.

Sue Kochan and Jan Cook, both local businesswomen, said Sunday they felt like they were "coming out of the closet" spiritually.

Kochan, 45, of Fairport, and Cook, 57, of Penfield, have been Buddhist practitioners for many years but within the last five years have been studying under the Dharmata teachings of Anam Thubten Rinpoche, a Dharmata Buddhist from Tibet who is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"To be able to be within a sanctioned lineage that goes back all the way to Buddha. ... I'm very happy," Cook said at a retreat prior to the ordainment ceremony Sunday night at the First Unitarian Church on South Winton Road.

Rinpoche was in the Rochester area for the weekend hosting a few retreat sessions at Nazareth College and to ordain Kochan and Cook as Dharma teachers, which he called "a big event in Buddhist history."