From his earliest memories, Pandit Tejomaya, born Tim Burns, felt called to a spiritual life. A Christian upbringing in the Roman Catholic tradition instilled in him a deep love of the Sacred, of Ritual, of Devotion, of Divine possibilities. He entered the Dominican Order of Preachers following undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Minnesota. But the Guru had other plans for his spiritual life, and so he left the monastery and returned to the world.
A few years later, Tim was diagnosed with stage III cancer and underwent six months of chemotherapy, followed by a year of close medical scrutiny. This period, he recalls, remains the fiercest, most transformative spiritual experience of his life. Through his long, raw purification of the soul, he was taken to a first experience of union with what he used to call God but what he to be so vastly beyond anything he had been taught that there were no words to describe the experience. Tim began searching for an “organization” that would help him understand and go deeper into that experience.
Although he had lived his adult life within a few kilometers of The Himalayan Yoga Tradition’s “Meditation Center”, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and had practiced yoga in its modern physical sense for many years, it was not until moving to Canada and meeting Pandit Hari Shankar Dabral that Tim came to learn of the Tradition. There is the old saying that when a student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Tim was initiated in the Himalayan Tradition by Swami Veda in 2008. He was initiated as a Pandit by Pandit Dabral, and received the name Tejomaya in 2012. He took the vows of a Vanaprastha, or Forest Dweller, in January of 2017.
Pandit Tejomaya resides on Gabriola Island in the Salish Sea of Canada’s British Columbia where he lives a
life of sadhana and devotion.