When Ashoka Mukpo speaks about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, his words carry a compassion and humanity that can only come from firsthand experience. That’s because Mukpo, 33, is one of only a handful of Americans to contract Ebola in West Africa, where he was working as a cameraman with NBC News. It’s an unusual turn in what was already an extraordinary life. Mukpo is the adopted son of the legendary Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who helped establish Tibetan Buddhism in the UK and North America.
With another US healthcare worker possibly infected with the virus and West Africa slipping from the headlines, Mukpo sat down with Tricycle to discuss his work in Liberia, his fight with Ebola, and how spiritual communities can help.