Jacie describes that her yearning to find out where happiness comes from began as soon as she could formalize thoughts as a young child. While growing up in rural Illinois, she followed the advice and instructions of the adults in her life, but everything they suggested, although well intentioned, had shortcomings. Even her parents’ ability to meet her every material need fell short of providing perfect happiness as these pleasures were easily interrupted.
Finally, Jacie found herself in graduate school thinking perhaps there she could discover the cause of happiness but, alas, she, again, was disappointed. Then, she decided to do something very brave. She quit graduate school to begin what Jacie calls her, “Twenty years of independent study.”
While doing self-sufficient farming in Idaho, circumstances led Jacie to California and a one week long course in Tibetan Buddhism with the late great Geshe Sopa Rinpoche. For the next year, back in Idaho, Jacie followed a strict meditation practice plus she practically tested in real life everything she learned during that one week. In her own words, Jacie found Tibetan Buddhism to be, “Water tight.”
She needed to know more so, in 1977, Jacie attended a one month long course, again, in California, this time led by Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. This sealed the deal. Jacie knew she had finally found what she was looking for and she had found perfect teachers.
In 1978, Jacie ended up at Kopan Monastery outside of Kathmandu, Nepal, the main headquarters for Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa. Shortly thereafter, Lama Yeshe asked Jacie to be Lama and Rinpoche’s full time secretary which included being the Director of the Central Office of the worldwide organization which organically grew from the inspiration of the lamas. (The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition).
Jacie remained serving in this capacity until Lama Yeshe took the aspect of passing away in 1984.
During this time, Lama Yeshe, Jacie had the opportunity to take teachings and initiations from a long line of the greatest lamas of the time including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness Sakya Trinzin, His Holiness Song Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche and more. She had the opportunity to participate in a number of retreats with her longest being one year long conducted after the parinirvana of Lama Yeshe.
In 1986, Jacie returned to Boca Raton, Florida to be with her family. Her daughter, Felicity Noel, was born that year. In 1987, Jacie was asked to teach meditation in Palm Beach and Broward counties which she has been doing ever since. Jacie is the founder of Tubten Kunga Center for Wisdom Culture in Deerfield Beach.
Additionally, Jacie was a founding member of Vajrapani Institute, a former director of Tushita Mahayana Meditation Center and a board member of Milarepa Center where she presently serves on the advancement team.
Jacie’s daughter, Felicity Noel, is at this time the director of Milarepa Center in Vermont.