Craig Jared French was born August 31, 1982 in East Meadow, New York.
Craig embraced his Jewish tradition whole-heartedly by honoring his culture, ancestors and religion by getting a Bar Mitzvah. This was Craig’s first conscious foray into the spiritual world.
Craig begins to explore his own spirituality more deeply through music, prayer and reading.
Drawn to the challenge, competition and team dynamic – Lacrosse unknowingly became Craig’s first form of moving meditation. He went on to receive a scholarship to the University of Denver, where he ended up breaking his jaw his Freshman year in double-overtime, while scoring the game winning goal.
After recovering, Craig transfers to the University of Massachusetts, plays in one game and then tears his ACL, sidelining him for the season. This second critical injury taught Craig a new type of perseverance along with humility and ultimately, acceptance.
After graduating from college, Craig begins working in the fashion industry. Inspired by his learnings and experience from breaking his jaw, he creates an inspirational brand called Crooked Jaw. The brand was featured on the pilot episode of ABC’s business reality show “Shark Tank.”
Craig moves to Los Angeles, California in February of 2011. He enters tech sales and starts to establish a network of creative and entrepreneurial individuals while helping to build and scale a number of successful start-ups.
Craig discovers the life-changing practice of Zen Buddhism through author Brad Warner. Intrigued by the “goal-less” and peaceful nature of the practice, Craig ends up practicing under Brad and eventually joins him for his first ever Sesshin (retreat) at Mt. Baldy Zen Center.
Lacrosse finds Craig again where he begins coaching for the Santa Monica Youth League. A few years later, he is invited to become the Head Lacrosse Coach at Alexander Hamilton High School in West Los Angeles. Under his guidance, the team makes it to back-to-back City Championships in 2015 and 2016.
Craig receives Jukai, the Buddhist precepts, from Brad Warner and is given the ceremonial name ‘Ho Fu’ which translates to ‘Dharma Wind’.
As a board member of Dogen Sangha Los Angeles, Craig becomes a founding member of the Angel City Zen Center (ACZC) which was built as an accessible, community-based space for both those with dedicated practices and curious minds. The center opened its doors in September of 2016.
Craig launched his own life coaching and meditation instruction project, Dharma Wind, as a way to share the practices that brought his life balance and meaning. He shares his passion for Zen combined with breathwork, yoga, creativity, compassion, dietary changes, stress reduction and balanced living to people of all backgrounds, religions and demographics. In his own words, “Zen and meditation is not just for people in a temple or in robes, it can be done anywhere and by anyone.”