Robina Courtin is a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa tradition and lineage of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Ordained since the late 1970s, Ven. Robina has worked full time since then for FPMT. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom.
David Listen has been teaching Chan (Zen) meditation for over 10 years, leading numerous intensive meditation retreats, classes, and activities at various meditation centers, as well as teaching at many college campuses and private institutions throughout the U.S., Europe, and East Asia. Previously known as Venerable Chang Wen, he was one of the few western monastic disciples of Chan Master Sheng Yen. He had been a monk for over a decade, and has since returned to lay life to share Buddhism in his own creative way. David holds a BS in Environmental Studies, and is currently getting his MSEd in Mental Health Counseling. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and is working on translating Chan texts to English. He nowadays does life mentoring/coaching, continuing to guide people in their Chan Buddhist life practice on an individual and group basis.
Reverend Monshin Naamon has been practicing Buddhism since 1970. He began formal training in Tendai Buddhism in Japan in 1989, under the guidance of Reverend Shoshin Ichishima, and was ordained in 1992. While in Japan he also translated several key Tendai texts into English. In the fall of 1994, he returned to the United States and established Karuna Tendai Dharma Center, a monastery in upstate New York. He offers ordination and training for Tendai priests, as well as regular meditation programs, retreats, and Sutra study classes for both lay and ordained practitioners.
Ven. Dr. Pannavati, a former Christian pastor, is an African-American nun ordained in both Theravada and Chan Buddhism. A disciple of Great Master Kuang Seng, Rinpoche Zhaxi Zhouma, and Roshi Bernie Glassman, she has been a long-term advocate of women’s rights, humanitarian aid, and social equality. Her teachings emphasize the importance of both contemplative practice and compassionate action. She conducts retreats nationally at over 50 centers each year.
Ajahn Brahm is the popular Buddhist teacher to a growing international audience of people keen to learn meditation and develop a deeper spiritual understanding. He is also the founding father of an emergent Australian forest tradition of Buddhist monasticism focused on being true to the original roots of the Buddha’s Teaching of Dhamma and Vinaya. www.bswa.org
Rev. Myo Denis Lahey is the Abbot at Issan-ji (Hartford Street Zen Center) as well as Practice Leader at Valley Streams Zen Sangha in Sacramento, California, and has previously served as head of practice (Tanto) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. A Dharma heir of Tenshin Reb Anderson, he serves as Treasurer for the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of North America (SZBA) and is a member of the Association for Soto Zen Buddhism of Japan (ASZB). Raised in an observant Roman Catholic home, Myo was drawn to religion and spirituality at an early age and found Zen Buddhism in his teens. He began sitting in 1969 and practiced with many San Francisco Zen Center practitioners and teachers, including Dainin Katigiri-roshi, Kobun Chino-sensei, Yoshimura-sensei, and Issan Dorsey. Myo studied Sanskrit at UC Berkeley for ten years.
(Amma) Thanasanti Bhikkhuni started meditating in 1979. From that time she consciously committed to awakening and envisioned living her life as a nun. She joined the Ajahn Chah lineage and community of nuns living in England where she received higher ordination in 1991. After 20 years, she returned to the U.S. as an independent nun and founded Awakening Truth, a 501c3 religious non-profit whose mission is to awaken joy, compassion, and peace through pervasive love and awareness. In August 2010, when she had been a nun for 19 years, she was ordained as a Bhikkhuni in the historic first dual Theravada Bhikkhuni ordination to be conducted in North America. Ayya Tathaaloka is her preceptor. She blends rigor with gentle loving encouragement to find your own way – finding a balance between fierce holding of the Dhamma and compassion, tenderness, humor and empowerment. She extends an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Currently she is based at the Awakening Truth Learning Center in Santa …
Ajahn Piak is one of Thailand’s most respected teachers of Dhamma and meditation. As a child and young man Luang Por Piak did not have much interest in religion or meditation. It was when he was studying for his Masters in New York that Luang Por Piak began to develop an interest in cultivation of the mind. On the subway, for example, while heading to work, he would find his mind naturally observing and converging on his breath. There he found both pleasure and peace. He also noticed that he was able to wake up in the morning at whatever time he wished simply by mentally determining the time the night before. Even if he’d spent most of the night at a party, he’d still wake up exactly at the predetermined time. These experiences made him curious about how the mind worked and led on to an interest in meditation. After returning to Thailand, Ajahn Piak then received monastic ordination from Ajahn Chah of Wat Nong Pah Pong Monastery on July 3rd, 1976. In 1981, when Ajahn …
Geshe Jampa Kunchog Pryor is an American monk from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. A monk for over 40 years, he has received a Geshe degree, the highest scholastic achievement in the Gelug tradition, and has full knowledge of both English and Tibetan. Gelong Jampa Kunchog is the first American to have spent over twenty years in India, studying at Sera Jey Monastic University the five primary areas of Buddhist philosophy. He is the founder of Scholastic Institute Chokyi Gyaltsen (SICGU) and SICGU DhargeyPublishing, undertaking the study and the translation of Sera Jhe Monastery’s curriculum in the West.
Venerable Chang-Hwa is the Director of Chan Meditation Center. After completing monastic education at Dharma Drum Sangha University in Taiwan and receiving full ordination in 2005, Venerable served as Director of the Department of International Relations and Development in DDM Taiwan. In addition to her current position as Director, Ven. Chang-Hwa also supervises DDM Dharmapala Groups in North America, gives public lectures and leads meditation programs. Venerable Chang-Hwa holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Venerable is fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese, and English.