Sometimes called the "happiest man in the world," Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author and photographer. He is author of the new book, Altruism.
Originally trained in biochemistry, Matthieu Ricard left science behind to move to the Himalayas and study happiness through Buddhist practice. Achieving happiness, he has come to believe, requires the same kind of effort and mind training that any other serious pursuit involves.
His deep and scientifically tinged reflections on happiness and Buddhism have turned into several books, including The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet. Photographs of his beloved Tibet and the spiritual hermitage where he lives and works on humanitarian projects can be found in his book Tibet: An Inner Journey.
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is a Theravada Buddhist monk originally from New York City. He was ordained in Sri Lanka in 1972 and lived in Asia for almost twenty-five years. Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, including translations of several major collections from the Pali Canon. In May 2000 he gave the keynote address at the United Nations on its first official celebration of Vesak (the day of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing away).
In 2008, he founded Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit that sponsors projects dedicated to hunger relief and sustainable agriculture for poor communities around the world. In 2013 he was elected president of the Buddhist Association of the United States(BAUS). He currently resides and teaches at the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY.
Tara Brach, Ph.D., is a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She has practiced and taught meditation for over 35 years, with an emphasis on Vipassana, also called mindfulness or insight meditation. Tara is the senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington.
Tara is a peace activist and an engaged Buddhist. She is co-founder of the Washington, DC Buddhist Peace Fellowship. A clinical psychologist, she is the author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha. Her upcoming book, True Refuge - Three Gateways to a Fearless Heart will be published by Bantam in 2012.
Tara is nationally known for her skill in weaving western psychological wisdom with a range of meditative practices. Her approach emphasizes compassion for oneself and others, mindful presence and the direct realization and embodiment of natural awareness.
Sharon Salzberg is one of America’s leading spiritual teachers and authors. She is co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, MA and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work.
She is the author of numerous books including Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love and Compassion, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, and Real Happiness at Work. Her latest book is Love Your Enemies, written with Robert Thurman.
Rev. angel Kyodo williams
Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei is an author, maverick spiritual teacher, master trainer and founder of Center for Transformative Change. She has been bridging the worlds of personal transformation and justice since the publication of her critically-acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace. Her book was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker and “a classic” by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield.
Both fierce and grounded, Rev. angel is known for her unflinching willingness to sit with and speak uncomfortable truths with love. Her work has been widely covered by such publications as New York Times, Boston Globe, Ms., Essence, Buddhadharma, Village Voice, and on the Oxygen Channel. Ordained as a Zen priest, Rev. angel recently became the second black woman recognized as a teacher in her lineage.
David Gelles is a reporter for the New York Times, covering mergers & acquisitions, corporate governance, and Wall Street. Before joining the Times in September 2013, he spent five years with the Financial Times where he covered tech, media and M&A in San Francisco and New York.
David has just published the book Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out. This book brings together David's career as a business reporter with his 15 years of meditation experience, and reveals what business leaders around the country are already discovering: meditation may be the key to fostering a happier, more productive workplace.
George Mumford is a meditation teacher, consultant, and sports psychologist, and he's the Mindfulness Trainer for the New York Knicks. He worked with coach Phil Jackson at the NBA Champion Chicago Bulls for five years during Michael Jordan’s tenure with the team., and also worked for several years with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Michael Jordan credits George with transforming his on-court leadership of the Bulls, helping Jordan lead the team to six NBA championships. Mumford also helped Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Lamar Odom and many other NBA players turn around their games. A widely respected public speaker and coach, George is sharing his own story and the strategies that have made these athletes into stars in a new book, The Mindful Athlete: The Secret to Pure Performance.
Mark Tercek is president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, the global conservation organization known for its intense focus on collaboration and getting things done for the benefit of people and nature. He is the author of the Washington Post and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling book Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.
A former managing director and Partner for Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years, Mark brings deep business experience to his role leading the Conservancy, which he joined in 2008. He is a champion of the idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate.
Michaela Haas, PhD, is an international reporter and lecturer, and author of Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.
Dakini Power is the first and only book to feature the life stories of some of the most influential women of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in the West. As Michaela explains, a dakini is a “female messenger of wisdom” who teach less through words and more through “their being and their way of life."
She is the owner of HAAS live!, an international coaching company which combines her experience in media with mindfulness training.
With a PhD in Asian Studies, she has taught at the University of California Santa Barbara and the University of the West as a visiting scholar in Religious Studies. She has been studying and practicing Buddhism for almost 20 years.
Mitchell Ratner, Ph.D. has been a lay member of the Tiep Hien Buddhist order since 1993, and in 2001 received the Dharmacharya (Meditation Teacher) transmission from Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
He is an applied anthropologist and a founder of the Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center in the Washington, DC area. Since 1994 he has taught classes and workshops focused on practicable methods of integrating mindfulness meditation with work, meaningful relationships, and the challenges of everyday life.
Allan Badiner is a contributing editor at Tricycle magazine, and the editor of the New Edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Synergetic Press). He also edited the books Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism, and Ecology and Mindfulness in the Marketplace (Parallax Press). He has been a student of Thich Nhat Hanh for almost 30 years.
His written work appears in several books including Dharma Family Treasures, Meeting the Buddha, Ecological Responsibility: A Dialogue with Buddhism, and The Buddha and the Terrorist. Allan holds a masters degree from the College of Buddhist Studies in LA and serves on the boards of Rainforest Action Network, Threshold Foundation, and Project CBD.
Gaura Vani is a multi-disciplinary artist – fluent in music, film and visual arts. He is most known for his Mantra Music performances (an emerging genre based on ancient Indian mantras or chants). Gaura Vani’s events are unifying and transporting – a mix of participatory rhythm and song, story and dance. He travels often to Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia performing both as a solo artist and with his sacred music ensembles Sita & the Hanumen and As Kindred Spirits. Gaura Vani performs regularly at eclectic venues like private homes, theatres, temples, yoga studios as well as festivals like Lollapalooza, Bhakti Fest and Wanderlust.
Gaura Vani was born in Los Angeles to parents living as monks in a Hare Krishna temple. At age six he went to Vrindavan, India to study at a gurukula (traditional temple school). There he learned sacred music – how to play Indian instruments and chant mantras. He has been sharing this music ever since.
Gaura Vani has become a defining force in the current explosion of Mantra Music in the Western world, spearheaded by artists like Jai Uttal, Wah! and Krishna Das. Based on kirtan (the ancient call-and-response practice from India’s devotional traditions) Mantra Music revolves around large gatherings of people and the rhythmic singing of mantras or poetic names of God. Mantras are accompanied by instruments such as the harmonium, the two-headed mrdanga drum, tablas, and kartal hand-cymbals.