Tom Sanders, now a young adult, grew up in a dysfunctional family. Tom was uprooted at the age of 14 when his father, a brilliant but troubled professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, accepted a position at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His father's drinking and bouts of rage led to Ton's decision to drop out of school and leave home.
Tom was adjusting well to life on his own. He entered into a relationship with the ambitious but insecure Sarah, was working as a waiter to support himself, and was attending a community college to complete his grade 12.
This was all derailed when his parents were killed in a car accident.
Tom dealt with his problems by running. He ran every day to train for marathons, but he also ran to escape his problems, craving the runner’s high. With the insurance money he received after his parent’s death, he purchased a truck and camper and headed out on the road "for a few days - to clear his head". His girlfriend, who later announced her pregnancy, grew impatient with him, appropriated the money from their Tucson bank account and sued for support. As Tom drove through the mystic wilderness of the deserts of Arizona, Nevada and Utah, he found a sense of peace and spirituality in his journey. However, still unable to deal with the situation back in Tucson, he continued north, ending up nearly penniless in an RV park on Vancouver Island.
It was there that he became a part of an exotic research project that was to change his life. The book The Buddha Technology deals with the clash of technology and the spiritual life and it follows the journey of a modern day Siddhartha, as he learns to deal with suffering and experiences a spiritual awakening..