The Center, our Founder, Abbot, and Teacher
Thomasville Buddhist Center (TBC) is a 7,208 sq. ft. multipurpose religious, educational, and charitable center parented by Mount Sinai Faith, Hope, and Love Ministries, Inc. (MSFHLM). TBC is intentionally "Off-Grid" in order to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint in the world. Once a progressive Southern Baptist Church, Thomasville Buddhist Center is an anomaly of what it means, and looks like to “be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds,” as the Apostle Paul encouraged. Having been inspired to look deeper into the humanity, and true altruistic nature of Christ as a human being, the body experimented and induced itself with the teachings of the Buddhadharma (Buddhist teachings), and well, the curve towards Dharma was established. Guided by the church’s progressive Christian pastor, and interfaith minister, Rev. T. Marquis Ramsey, STM, PhD, the journey of transformation began. In 2008, Dr. Ramsey, while yet a Christian minister, publicly announced his intention to “leave the institution of the Church,” and "follow the Middle Path." Today, the center is known and recognized by many across the globe as a compassionately radiating Buddhadharma teaching Sangha that finds great resonance with the actions of Jesus as a unique framework to help all sentient beings, suffer less. Dr. Ramsey continues to lead and direct Thomasville Buddhist Center as its abbot, and director, however now, he leads as Bushi Yamato Damashii, the name given to him by his Zen budo Sensei, Shihan Harris Brody. A beautifully compassionate, genuinely loving, and brilliant thinker, Bushi lives to "serve this present age" by helping to heal sentient beings from the sickness of human "unconsciousness." Bushi is a direct student and authorized teacher of two of the country’s most insightful Buddhist teachers, Repa Dorge Odzer (Lama Justin Von Bujdoos), and Lama Rod Owens.
Bushi Yamato Damashii often refered to as: Heiwa no Bushi, or “peaceful samurai,” is no stranger to the Wild Goose Festival, theologians, social activists, Buddhists, or spiritualists. For eleven years Bushi was on contemplative retreat as a Daishin Zen Buddhist monk to deeply discover himself. Only in 2018 did he emerge to tell of his story from Christianity to Buddhism and the emergence of BodhiChristo®️. Bushi is a bright light of interfaith immersive practice for our time and is the founder of Sangha Bodhi Christo (the Buddhist-Christian student and practice community that teaches and practices with Bushi). He is the abbot and director at Thomasville Buddhist Center in Thomasville, NC. Also a well regarded guest lecturer at many colleges and universities abroad as well as many churches conferences and small group spaces. An authorized Buddhist teacher and Vajrayana Buddhist, he uses the Buddhist wisdom as a base for teaching compassion towards oneself and others. A truly deep thinker and luminous energy within humanity, Bushi speaks to the deepest levels of suffering as Western human beings. He is a direct student of two of the country’s most profound Buddhist teachers Lama Rod Owens, and Lama Justin Von Bujdoos (Repa Dorge Odzer). He is completing a book entitled BodhiChristo to be released in November 2019.
Bushi Yamato Damashii with his teacher, Lama Justin Von Bujdoos (Repa Dorje Odzer) in New York.
Bushi and Lama Rod Owens at the Wild Goose Festival 2016. Bushi received his authorization to teach Dharma from Lama Rod Owens.
One of Bushi Yamato Damashii's main teaching, and speaking platforms is Wild Goose Festival. Bushi credits the Wild Goose Festival for offering him a place to commune with fellow, and former Christian exiles a nurturing community to heal. Bushi speaks atthe festival annually, and has done so since 2011. www.wildgoosefestival.org
Accommodations at our Center
Our center, is a small, simple, and rather "minimalist," and cozy "country center," which boasts a “coming home” feeling. We invite you to take your shoes off and feel the easygoing energy. The smell of food cooking in the air, incense aroma, nature, barefoot walkabouts, and wooden boardwalks among the trees. Thomasville Buddhist Center offers a large open hall for meditation, as well as, an adjacent minor hall that can accommodate approximately 35 retreatants, yoga practitioners, martial arts practice, etc. Both halls (large and minor) are used also for "palletized sleeping" and resting. A curtain and partition system is used to isolate retreatants for co-ed purposes. Zafus, mats, and pillows are provided for comfortable sitting. Reading and meditation spaces available inside and around the spacious grounds. The center is excellent for serious yogis/meditators, monastics, martial practitioners, and contemplatives of all faiths. There are four (4) restrooms to accommodate visitors and retreatants, large dining areas, tables, chairs, and creature comforts in the form of three temple cats (Mr. Wiggles, Ginger, and Nina), and one temple dog, Jack (Bushi's K-9 companion).
Thomasville Buddhist Center boasts a phenomenal Security and Emergency Action Response Team (SEART), that is primarily responsible for any/all: security, violent threat, fire, or health-related occurrences should they occur at TBC. Code-named Thermoplyae, this team is comprised of specially trained and conditioned staff, who are exquisitely committed to the safety and welfare of Bushi and TBC attendees.