Venerable Thubten Chodron is an author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey, the only Tibetan Buddhist training monastery for Western nuns and monks in the US. She graduated from UCLA, and did graduate work in education at USC. Ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1977, she has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkong Rinpoche, and Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche. She received full ordination as a bhikshuni in 1986.
Ven. Chodron teaches worldwide and is known for her practical explanations of how to apply Buddhist teachings in daily life. She is also involved in prison outreach and interfaith dialogue. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and is currently co-authoring with His Holiness the Dalai Lama a multi-volume series of teachings on the Buddhist path, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion.
Anthony King is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health and Psychology and the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research (IBMR) at The Ohio State University, and Director of the OSU Program for Resilience, and is an adjunct faculty of University of Michigan Medical School and Institute for Social Research. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, and certified teacher of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and led the MBCT program for Anxiety and Depression at UM for several years. He currently directs the OSU Program for Resilience and the OSU Laboratory for Mindfulness and Compassion in Psychotherapy at IBMR, and conducts NIH-funded clinical neuroscience research on Mindfulness and Compassion-based psychotherapy for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and their effects on neural networks using functional MRI neuroimaging. He is leading the “mindfulness meditation” arm of a large clinical trial at UM comparing the effects of mindfulness (MBSR) to the medication duloxetine (Cymbalta) for chronic lower back pain.
Tony has been a student of Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche for over 30 years, and an instructor of Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist Centers since the mid-1990s.
Cyndi Lee is the first female Western yoga teacher to integrate yoga asana and Tibetan Buddhism in her practice and teaching. In 1998, she founded the OM yoga Center in NYC, a mecca for yogis worldwide. One of the most influential teachers in the U.S., Cyndi’s teaching work is focused on engaged yoga, meditation and sustainability. Cyndi is the author of five books including the classic yoga text: Yoga Body Buddha Mind and the New York Times critically acclaimed May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga, and Changing My Mind. She is a regular contributor to numerous publications including Yoga Journal, Real Simple and Lion’s Roar.
In 2018, she was ordained as a Lay Buddhist Chaplain by Roshi Joan Halifax at Upaya Zen Center. Cyndi’s root guru is the Tibetan master, Gelek Rimpoche. She has been teaching yoga for 40 years and meditation for 30 years.
David Mellins is a scholar of Buddhism, Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit Poetics. He received his PhD from Columbia University and has taught at Columbia, Rutgers and Yale Universities. He currently works as a translator of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist scriptures for 84,000 where he specializes in Dhāranī literature. He has lectured at conferences and seminars throughout Europe and Asia and was the co-director of the Buddhist Translators Workbench, a digital humanities project based in Berkeley, California.
Guy Newland is Professor of Religion at Central Michigan University, where he has taught since 1988. He has authored, edited, and translated several books on Tibetan Buddhism, including the three-volume translation of The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment and Introduction to Emptiness. He lives in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Professor Robert A.F. Thurman is a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings, the first Western Tibetan Buddhist monk ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and was a longtime close friend of Gelek Rimpoche.
A charismatic speaker and author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, Bob was named by The New York Times as the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism. Time Magazine chose him as one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.”
Bob served as the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University for 30 years, until 2020. A very popular professor, students always felt his classes were “life-changing”.
Bob is the founder and active president of Tibet House US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture, and of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific Tibetan treatises.