Mark encountered the dharma in 1972, at age 15. While traveling across the U.S.A., he stopped in Wichita, Kansas. A friend gave him a copy of Meditation in Action. His next stop was Boulder, Colorado. Having no idea that Chögyam Trungpa lived there, Mark got out at Broadway and Canyon. Soon after, he met his root guru, Trungpa Rinpoche.
In 1974, Mark attended the first summer session of Naropa Institute. When leaving Boulder, while driving down Broadway, near Canyon, reading a prospectus about Buddhist Studies at Naropa, he had the strong inspiration that he should study and translate Buddhist texts. Mark attended the University of Connecticut, majoring in English for two years, led a Dharma Study Group, and began teaching meditation and dharma there. In 1978, he attended his first Vajradhatu Seminary. In 1979, he moved back to Boulder to attend Naropa Institute where he studied Buddhism, Sanskrit, and Tibetan. He completed his BA in Buddhist Studies at Naropa Institute in 1981. In the following years, he completed all the translation and course work for the Master’s program there.
During his studies at Naropa, he began working with Lama Ugyen Shenpen and other members of the Nalanda Translation Committee. Mark joined the Committee in 1981, translating under the direction of Lama Ugyen and the Vidyadhara. In 1985, he taught English and dharma in Kyoto, Japan. In 1986, Mark coordinated the activities of the Committee in Boulder and taught at the 1986 Seminary. After the Vidyadhara’s parinirvana in 1987, Mark got married and moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1990, he and his wife moved to Milk Lake Retreat Center to be the directors there. They had two children, and Mark worked half-time for the Committee.
In 1999, Mark moved back to Halifax to work full-time for the Committee. He is senior teacher in the Shambhala mandala. He enjoys spending time with his two children, Virya and Indranila.