Ronald Purser, Ph.D. is a professor of management at San Francisco State University where he has taught the last sixteen years in both the MBA and undergraduate business programs. He received his doctorate in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University. He started studying and practicing the Dhamma in 1981 at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, and began formal Zen training at the Cleveland Zen Center in 1985 under Koshin Ogui Sensei, who had been Shunryu Suzuki’s personal assistant in the early 1960’s. After returning to San Francisco in 1997, he continued to study and practice with Zen teachers and Tibetan lamas, and recently was ordained as a Zen teacher in the Korean Buddhist Taego order. More recently, Dr. Purser has directed his studies to the Nikayas and Pali suttas literature under the direction of Shaila Catherine. His recent blog, 'Beyond McMindfulness' in the Huffington Post has spurred debate and discussions in the Buddhist community. He has been interviewed by The Buddhist Geeks, The Secular Buddhist, and The Naked Monk podcasts; has spoken at the First International Conference on Mindfulness in Rome, as well as City University of New York (CUNY) annual fall Mindfulness Lecture series. His writings focus on the value of Buddhist practice and Buddhist psychology for transforming organizations, institutions and society.
Sandi Peters has been working with older adults since 1986 and practicing vipassana style meditation since 1988. As a gerontologist she has worked with elders at all levels of capacity. As a meditator, she has been exploring the ways that elderhood and Buddhism mutually support each other. Sandi currently is the activity director of a nursing home in Berkeley and a graduate student in Depth Psychology at Sonoma State University.
Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses (bodhicourses.org) an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation center in Mountain View, California (imsb.org). She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience, and has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, (Wisdom Publications, 2008). She has extensive experience practicing and teaching mindfulness, loving kindness, concentration, and a broad range of approaches to liberating insight. Since 2006, Shaila has continued her study of jhana and insight under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw, and authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011).
John Kelly has been a practicing Buddhist for over 30 years and has extensively studied the Pali language and the suttas of the Pali Canon. Since retiring from a career as a computer database specialist in the USA, John moved back to his home country, Australia, in 2004, where he currently resides in Brisbane. He was principal assistant to Bhikkhu Bodhi in his recently published landmark translation of the Anguttara Nikaya, in addition to his earlier sutta anthology, "In the Buddha's Words". In 2005 John was a founding member and designer on the team that created SuttaCentral.net, a continuously growing trove of information on early Buddhist texts, translations, and parallels. In 2011 John completed an MA in Buddhist Studies from the University of Sunderland and subsequently his dissertation for this course, "The Buddha's Teachings to Lay People", was published in the academic journal Buddhist Studies Review.
Sharon Allen is a long time practitioner and teacher of mindfulness meditation and different forms of movement. She taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for many years. Sharon leads several on-going meditation groups that explore spiritual development through meditation, study, and reflection. Sharon encourages the integration of mindfulness in dealing with life’s ever-changing events. When it is suitable, Sharon offers the movement practices of Tai Chi and Qi Gong to enhance mindfulness. These movement practices can be adapted and are beneficial for people with varied physical capabilities.
Dr. Stephen Fulder was born in the UK and received an M.A. from Oxford University and a Ph.D. He has devoted his life to exploring inner and outer healing and spirituality. He is an author and lecturer in herbal and natural medicine with 14 published books. He lives in an environmental village in the Galilee in Israel, which he helped to found and where he grows his own food. Stephen has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1975, is the founder and senior teacher of the Israel Insight Society, the main Vipassana/Mindfulness organization in Israel, and has been teaching retreats and courses in Buddhist practice for 15 years. He has established programs and organizations, such as ‘Middleway’, which apply these teachings to aid peace and healing in the communities in the Middle East.