Lama Joe became interested in the Buddha Dharma in the late ’80s and took refuge in August of 1993 with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in Santa Clara. In 1995, he entered the Three Year Retreat at Kagyu Thubten Choling. The retreat completed in the spring of 1999 and Lama Joe remained on at KTC for some time, working with Lama Willa at a Charlottesville, VA retreat center and supporting other local KTC centers.
At the end of the summer of 2000, he moved back to Boston. In the summer of 2001, he took over the care and administration of Kagyu Trinley Kunchab in Watertown, MA, where he is acting director. In February of 2007, he was conferred the title of Tripon (teaching) Lama by Lama Norlha Rinpoche. Lama Joe also works as a computer systems administrator at Boston University.