Mindful Politics - Contributors

A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place
 

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Ezra Bayda teaches Zen at the Zen Center of San Diego. He is the author of Being Zen, At Home in Muddy Water, and, most recently, Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts), with Josh Bartok.

Jerry Brown served as mayor of Oakland, California from 1999 to 2007. He served as governor of California for eight years and was a three-time presidential candidate. He has a strong spiritual and philosophical background as a student of Zen and as a former Jesuit seminarian.

Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun and resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her many best-selling books include The Places that Scare You, When Things Fall Apart, and, most recently, No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva.

Gaylon Ferguson is an acharya (senior teacher) in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and has taught Buddhist studies at Naropa University. He has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Stanford and was a contributor to Dharma, Color, and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism.

Gehlek Rinpoche is the founder and president of Jewel Heart, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan with chapters in the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Netherlands. He is the author of Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan Wisdom on Reincarnation.

James Gimian has been studying and teaching the Sun Tzu text for more than twenty-five years. He served as general editor for The Art of War: The Denma Translation and conducts seminars on the text’s strategies and practices. He is publisher of the Shambhala Sun magazine.

Roshi Bernie Glassman is a Zen teacher and was first dharma successor of Taizan Maezumi Roshi. He founded the Greyston Mandala of community development organizations in Yonkers, New York, and was cofounder of the Zen Peacemaker Order. He recently established the Maezumi Institute in Montague, Massachusetts.

Joseph Goldstein is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the resident guiding teachers. He is also a founder of the Forest Refuge, a center for long-term meditation practice. Goldstein is the author of several books, including the influential One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism.

Rita M. Gross is a scholar-practitioner who has written extensively on Buddhism and gender. She teaches Buddhism in a wide variety of academic and dharmic contexts. Her best-known book is the influential Buddhism after Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Unique in the world today, he is a statesman, national leader, spiritual teacher, and deeply learned theologian. He advocates a universal “religion of human kindness” that transcends sectarian differences.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen master, poet, and founder of the Engaged Buddhist movement. A well-known antiwar activist in his native Vietnam, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2005 he returned to Vietnam for the first time since his exile in 1966. Among his recent books on political themes are Calming the Fearful Mind: A Zen Response to Terrorism and Peace Begins Here: Palestinians and Israelis Listen to Each Other.

Sam Harris is author of the controversial bestseller, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Currently completing his doctorate in neuroscience, he is a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University. He spent many years practicing Vipassana meditation and later studied Dzogchen under Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche.

bell hooks is one of America’s most versatile and prolific social critics. Best known for her ground-breaking book on feminism and race, Ain’t I a Woman?, she is a leading thinker on the search for love and community in a society marked by power imbalances in many forms. She is currently Distinguished Professor in Residence at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky.

Charles R. Johnson is a novelist, scholar, and essayist who combines his study of Buddhism with a deep knowledge of the African-American struggle for liberation. Johnson holds the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Professorship for Excellence in English at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Foundation grant. His novels include Dreamer and Middle Passage, for which he won a National Book Award.

Ken Jones is secretary of the UK Network of Engaged Buddhists and author of The New Social Face of Buddhism: An Alternative Sociopolitical Perspective.

Stephanie Kaza is an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont, where she teaches on religion and ecology, ecofeminism, and unlearning consumerism. A long-time student of Zen, she is coeditor of Dharma Rain: Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism, and editor of Hooked: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume.

David Loy is Besl Professor of Religion and Ethics at Xavier University in Cincinnati. His books include A Buddhist History of the West: A Study in Lack, The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory, and, most recently, The Dharma of Dragons and Daemons: Buddhist Themes in Modern Fantasy, with Linda Goodhew. He has been a Zen student for many years.

Melvin McLeod attended the National Defense College of Canada, the country’s highest institution for the study of domestic and international affairs. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Shambhala Sun magazine and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Journal. He is also the editor of the Best Buddhist Writing collections. He has spent his life studying politics: he took a degree in political science, including a period of study in Washington, and has covered political stories in his capacity as a journalist. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Fabrice Midal is professor of philosophy at the University of Paris. He is the author of Chögyam Trungpa: His Life and Vision and Recalling Chögyam Trungpa.

Reginald A. Ray is professor of Buddhist studies at Naropa University and president of the Dharma Ocean Foundation in Crestone, Colorado, where he teaches Buddhist programs. His books include Indestructable Truth, Secret of the Vajra World, and In the Presence of Masters.

Seung Sahn was the first Korean Zen master to live and teach in the West. He was founding teacher of the Kwan Um School of Zen, an international organization of more than one hundred centers and groups. Seung Sahn died in 2005. The most recent book of his teachings to be published is Wanting Enlightenment Is a Big Mistake.

Sulak Sivaraksa is founder of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. An outspoken activist and social critic in his native Thailand, he has published more than one hundred books, including Seeds of Peace and Socially Engaged Buddhism. In 1995, he won the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Kazuaki Tanahashi is a Zen teacher, author, translator, and renowned calligrapher. Among his books are Brush Mind, Endless Vow, and Enlightenment Unfolds. He recently collaborated with John Daido Loori, on The True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Three Hundred Koans.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) is abbot of Metta Forest Monastery in Valley Center, California. He also teaches at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies in Palo Alto. He has translated a four-volume anthology of Pali suttas, Handful of Leaves; many of his writings and teachings are available at www.accesstoinsight.org.

Jigmi Thinley is Home Minister of Bhutan, where he has also served as Prime Minister. He is president of the Council of the Centre for Bhutan Studies.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1937–87) was a pivotal figure in the transmission of Buddhism to the West. His best-known books are Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. The eight-volume Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa was published in 2003.

Margaret Wheatley is president of the Berkana Institute and an internationally recognized authority on leadership and organization. She is the author of the ground-breaking book Leadership and the New Science; her most recent book is Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time.