Chris Harazda died on December 16, 2007 of a heart attack on the beach in Jupiter, Florida after surfing. A devout Tibetan Buddhist, Chris received a bachelor's degree in Comparative Religious Studies at the University of South Florida. He was awarded the College of Arts and Letters Distinguished Scholars Award, the first time such a distinction was ever bestowed upon a religious studies major at that institution and later went on to receive a master's degree in that area. Upon graduating, Chris taught at Tampa Preparatory School from 1983 until 1988. He was an active participant in the Tampa Coalition for Peace and Justice, and a strong supporter and contributor in the early days of WMNF public radio in Tampa.
In 1988, Chris Harazda moved to Karma Triyana Dharma Chakra Center for Tibetan Buddhist Sutdies in Woodstock, NY, where he worked as fundraiser while studying and practicing in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He attended the Atlantic Institute for Oriental Medicine from 1997-2000, receiving his Masters of Oriental Medicine, after which he and his wife Janet moved to Melbourne, Florida where he opened his acupuncture practice.
Chris was an accomplished guitarist and songwriter, performing at many venues throughout the Tampa Bay area in the 1980's. In the mid 1970's he started playing Japanese shakuhachi, making many of his own bamboo flutes. He played shakuhachi at various events in Tampa, including modern dance performances and art openings. Although he never had any formal training, Chris listened endlessly to many great shakuhachi players and was especially influenced by Watazumi Doso Roshi.
Chris's cassette, White Waves, and his CD, Illuminated from Within are currently available. Also his original guitar songs on CD will soon be available on the forthcoming harazda.com website along with his artwork.