William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William, earned a B.A. in Sanskrit from UC Berkeley (1975) and a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University (1986). He also holds a California single-subject teaching credential in English. He has been studying and practicing traditional Hindu Tantra since 1969, and he lived in India for two-and-a-half years between the years 1972-1977 first as a pilgrim, then as a student at Banaras Hindu University (Hindi, Sanskrit), and finally as a preprobationary monk of the Ramakrishna Order. He left the Order in 1977 and rejoined in 1980 at the Vedanta Society of Southern California. He left the Order again in 1982 to teach meditation and Sanskrit and to explore his being gay in relation to spirituality. He trained and worked as a psychotherapist both in a public clinic and in private practice, and he founded and coordinated a student counseling program at the public high school where he also taught English for ten years. He retired in 1994 when AIDS complications impelled him to focus exclusively on the needs of his physical body, and he experienced an astonishing recovery starting in May, 1996. This physical change reflected an equally dramatic mental and spiritual change, and he was inspired in 1997 to found Ashram West, which offers meditation instruction, spiritual coaching, and counseling free to all sincere seekers. He lives as a gay Tantric monk, the first in a new Order he founded as part of the work of Ashram West.
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