The writing and ideas of the following Buddhist teachers have been inspirational to me:
The Dalai Lama
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of inter-religious harmony and the preservation of Tibet’s Buddhist culture, a culture of peace and non-violence.
Thich Nhat Hahn
One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, and peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh (called Thây by his students) is perhaps most known for his prolific writings on meditation, mindfulness, and peace. He has published over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, as well as poems, children’s stories, and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts.
Jack Kornfield is one of the leading Buddhist teachers in America. A practitioner for over 40 years, he is one of the key teachers to introduce mindfulness and vipassana meditation to the West. His approach emphasises compassion, lovingkindness and the profound path of mindful presence, all offered in simple, accessible ways in his books, CD’s, classes and retreats.
Gil Fronsdal is the co-teacher at the Insight Meditation Centre in Redwood City, California and the Insight Retreat Centre in Santa Cruz, California. He has been teaching since 1990. Gil has practiced Zen and Vipassana since 1975 and has a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Stanford. He has trained in both the Japanese Soto Zen tradition and the Insight Meditation lineage of Theravada Buddhism of Southeast Asia. Gil was trained as a Vipassana teacher by Jack Kornfield and is part of the Vipassana teachers’ collective at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre. He was ordained as a Soto Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Centre in 1982, and in 1995 he received Dharma Transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Centre. He has been the primary teacher for the Insight Meditation Centre in Redwood City, California since 1990. He is a husband and father of two boys.
Jan Chozen Bays
Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi, M.D., is a paediatrician specialising in work with abused children. She is the author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food and How to Train a Wild Elephant and other Adventures in Mindfulness, both published by Shambhala. She has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism since 1973, serving as the teacher for the Zen Community of Oregon since 1985. In 2002 she helped to found Great Vow Zen Monastery near Portland, Oregon, where she serves as co-abbot. She has published articles about Zen in Tricycle and Buddhadharma magazines. Jan is a wife, mother, contented cook and avid gardener.
The following publications and centres have been found helpful:
Plum Village, a monastery for monks and nuns and a Buddhist practice centre for lay people, was founded in 1982 by the Vietnamese Zen-Master Thích Nhất Hạnh (Thầy). Every year, Plum Village welcomes thousands of friends from all around the world.
Insight Meditation Centre
The Insight Meditation Center (IMC) is a community-based urban meditation centre for the practice of Vipassana or Insight meditation guided by Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella. They are a non-residential centre in Redwood City, California, dedicated to the study and practice of Buddhist teachings.
Established in 1990 as a not-for-profit educational organisation, The Tricycle Foundation is dedicated to making Buddhist teachings and practices broadly available. In 1991 the Foundation launched Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, the first magazine intended to present Buddhist perspectives to a Western readership. Tricycle soon became the leading independent journal of Buddhism in the West, where it continues to be a widely read vehicle for the dissemination of Buddhist views and values. Readership includes longtime practitioners, those who are curious about Buddhism or meditation, and those who do not identify as Buddhist but value the teachings of wisdom and compassion that Buddhism has to offer.
The Mindfulness Bell
The Mindfulness Bell is a journal of the art of mindful living, an inspiration and teaching resource for those practicing mindfulness in daily life. Each issue features a recent teaching by Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Also included are stories and teachings by teachers and students in this lineage, based on the author’s direct experience of transformation through the practice of mindfulness. Instead of giving academic or intellectual views, the teachings emphasise simple and successful ways to transform the difficulties and limitations in our lives so that each day becomes an experience of peace, happiness, and freedom.
5 Minute Dharma
This wonderful podcast giving you practical Buddhist wisdom for everyday life from Dr. Jay N . Forrest has been re-commenced – great to see it back by popular demand – and Jay is also providing his concise Buddhist advice at a new site for his 5 Minute Dharma
For more than four decades, shambhala have been publishing books for enlightened living. Their catalogue, always full of surprises, is well worth a look.