Raised as a fundamentalist Christian in a small town in North Texas who, by the time she left for Rice University in 1995, knew that the religious tradition of her childhood did not suit her. When she stumbled across a course on East Asian civilizations co-taught by Anne Klein, she signed up with a deep curiosity of Asian religious culture.
When Anne assigned Buddhist texts for the class reading, Claire was immediately hooked on the dharma and added a Religious Studies major. When Claire started meditating with Ajahn Ken of Wat Buddhavas and sitting with Anne’s sangha, Dawn Mountain, she obsessed over Tibetan history and did a Tibetan Studies semester abroad with the School for International Training.
After graduation, Claire taught secondary English for a couple of years, trained in Wing Chun and tai chi chuan at Authentic Kung Fu for seven years, and left in 2003 for a long trip to Asia, and after returning home began formally teaching meditation.
In 2007 Claire joined the doctoral program in Rice’s Department of Religion and spent the next eight years learning, writing, and teaching about Tibetan Buddhism, contemplative ways of knowing, and how those can enrich modern Western life. After earning her PhD in 2015, she joined the staff of Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism, where she became the Programs Director before leaving in 2019 to offer meditation and spiritual instruction online and in person.