Joseph Chinnock Style
I’m a freelance journalist writing about sexuality, culture, the arts especially writing and film, spirituality and Asia.
Joe Chinnock began his love affair with Asia his sophomore year in college when he traveled solo to Nepal and completed the Annapurna and Everest treks before taking an afternoon course on Buddhism at Kopan Monastery. A monk invited him to stay for a couple of weeks and he spent the time studying Buddhism, meditation and yoga. The kindness, openness and joy of the monks made an indelible impression on him and upon returning to the US he changed his major to South East Asian Studies graduating Summa Cum Laude.
Upon graduating he drove a motorcycle from Madison, Wisconsin to New Orleans through the Yucatan Peninsula to Belize City selling the bike on the side of the street using the money to buy a one way ticket to Thailand. Living in northern Thailand and teaching English he became the English teacher for the head abbot at a monastery and took his Buddhist vows eventually being accepted into the monkhood. Before he could cut his hair and take up his alms bowl a bout of malaria sent him back to the US for treatment.
Returning to Nepal in 1996 he began a three year odyssey studying with traditional Tibetan doctors and lamas throughout Nepal and Ladakh, India. He started the non-profit Foundation for the Preservation of Tibetan Medicine to help support the practice of lineage transmitted traditional medicine throughout the Himalayas.In 1997 he founded Tibetan Formulas and the Tantric Tea Company to market a line of herbal teas based on 1,200 year old Tibetan medical herbal formulas. Receiving funding from an ayurvedic herbal company he set up shop in Kathmandu and employed traditional doctors, thangka painters, and herbal workers from northern Nepal.
He has worked 20 hour days in fish canneries in Alaska, hitchhiked through the US, traveled into the bush with big foot photographers in British Columbia, motorcycled through the Golden Triangle, slithered like a snake over ice to reach Everest Base Camp, been saved by one legged Sadhus from rioters in Kashmir, saved a three legged ox in Dharamsala and evaded Maoist insurgents in order to throw a birthday party for a friend in Kathmandu. He has no regrets.
In 1999 he returned to the US and has been involved in a number of successful entrepreneurial ventures before joining Green Tara in the fall of 2007 as our guide recruiter, journey developer as well as marketing director.