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Derek has considered himself ‘spiritual but not religious’ since his pre-teen years. Recently however, he has learned much about Buddhism and feels that his life has been a constant practice that follows much of the Buddhist teachings. He has always believed in volunteer work, beginning with a Crisis Intervention Hotline and the ‘Free Angela Davis’ committee in the early 1970’s, continuing through a volunteer firefighter career and, most recently, teaching English to Burmese refugee children on the Burma-Thailand border and cleaning up after hurricanes in Haiti and a tornado in Arkansas. His first book, Walking Buddha's Path, was written in the evenings and weekends in Mae Sot and Khampaeng Phet, Thailand, as he was learning so much from those extraordinary Burmese children.