Je Kan Adler-Collins and Adoption
Also known as Paul Adler-Collins
English Buddhist priest
Adler-Collins was the child of a military family who was taken into care at the age of three when his mother shot his father during a domestic dispute. He was abused in care for years, but when he was 11 or 12 he was reunited with his father, who had by then remarried. The reunification was unsuccessful and he attempted suicide when he was 14. He then ran away from home to Dorset, where he was found by the social services and put into a care home, where he remained until he finished school and joined the Royal Army.
He became a successful Army nurse but was injured by a rock thrown from a lawn mower when he was 30 and invalided out. With his severance (redundancy) pay he started a medical equipment transport company, but that went bankrupt and he had a severe nervous breakdown. He lost his wife and family as a result, and when he was discharged from the hospital he became involved in New Age philosophies and alternative medicine.
With his second wife he established a refuge and healing center for traumatized people, near Bath, and he gradually found his way to Shingon Mikkyo Buddhism. He went to Japan to study and there became the first European head priest of the sect in 1998. His path to the priesthood included two thousand-mile pilgrimages without money, an eight-hour meditation under a waterfall and a hundred-day fast on rice water, during which he lost 112 pounds (51kg) and all the fillings in his teeth.
"The Day That Changed My Life," Radio Times, 1-7 August 1998, p. 66 HTV Group. "Faith - One Man's Route to Buddhism." [Includes portraits]. Formerly available at:  The Day That Changed My Life. BBC2 Television, 6 September 1998