A native of Fulton, New York, Wells graduated from the Boston School of Electronic Music in 1979, and from Duke University (cum laude) in 1981 with a B.A. in Music and English Literature. Following college, Wells went on to have a 'storied' career in the music business as music producer and hired gun to many music industry stars.
Introduced to Buddhist meditation in 1982, Wells has been an active member of the Shambhala Buddhist community ever since. He formally became a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 1990.