Member Spotlight: Korin LaJoy


Korin LaJoy, but folks call me Rin.

Any identifiers you’d like us to use when introducing you? (pronouns, community identities, etc.) :

I am a white bodied trans man.  I am proudly the T in the lgbtqia2S+ community.   

Occupation (This doesn’t have to be a job! Answer this as you wish – cloud dwellers welcome):

I am a biology professor at a local community college.  My interests revolve around teaching biology through a multicultural lens to bring science out of the textbook and into everyday life.

I also love building things and have a hobby job as a handyman.

How did you discover Clouds?

I discovered Clouds in the spring of 2019 when I was moving back to the Cities after living on a sustainable farm in Northfield for several years.  My life was seemingly in shambles and Flying Fish, a former teacher here, was giving the Sunday dharma talk and I knew this was the place I needed to be.  And I just kept coming back. 

If your life was the title of a book or movie, what would it be called?

Wild Presence

Why do you practice?

To know and unravel my own ancient, twisted karma and to help others do the same so we can firmly stand together in the present. Liberated.

What excites you?

Trees, wild spaces, glimpses of nature in the city, traveling anywhere with my wife, learning new skills, seeing my students surprise themselves.

Where are some places you feel at home in the Twin Cities?

Como Park, my literal home with my wife and fur babies.  Anywhere I can look up and see leaves rustling in the wind against a blue sky.

If you had to recommend one dharma book, what would it be?

Well, I would say Start Where You Are by Pema Chödron for sentimental reasons.  It was the first book I ever read about meditation.  I was about twenty years old and going through a rough patch and it felt like Pema was giving me a soul hug through her words.

Anything on your bucket list?

Traveling the world with my wife, building a log cabin, by hand, myself.

What are you listening to right now?

At this very moment, the sounds of the city intermingling with bird songs.  But prior to now, the last music I listened to was Dessa on shuffle.

Do you have any favorite words of inspiration – a quote, song lyric, poem, or something else that supports you?

There are too many to list.  Slogans and short quotes have been central to my life and practice, they help motivate me during tough times.  Two are:

“Fall down seven, get up eight.” Which I believe a translation of the Japanese proverb, “Nana korobi ya oki”

I have been going through some tough times as of late and the Heart Sutra sung by the Plum Village has been a grounding anchor for me.

Summer or winter?

For this Texan, summer.  But I am learning to appreciate the slower pace of winter and the silence cold brings.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee.  Hot.

Evening with a book or a night on the town?

Evening with a book.  But if we are really fantasizing…Evening in a wild space with just my tent, stove, the stars, and sounds of nature.

What or who is nourishing you most right now?

Shared laughter with my wife.

What are you most looking forward to at Clouds in 2023?

The continued focus on using practice to unravel all our inherited “isms,” because none of us our free until we all are. 

Any Twin Cities community organizations or efforts you’d like to highlight?



Aliveness Project.

Anything else you’d like to add to help us get to know you better?

I have been told more than once that I come off as rather stoic in public and especially Zen spaces.  My wife will gladly tell you that this is not always so. I tend to break out in random songs, made up or known, spontaneously, and am quite the goof ball.  Also true to my name, Wild Presence, I act upon wanderlust whims and will go on multi-day solo backcountry packing trips without a map, or cell service- just me and nature.  My wife does not love this.  Although she loves that I love it.