Jack Kornfield was trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India and has taught around the world since 1974. He also holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. He is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society and of the Spirit Rock Center. He lives in northern California.
Chogyam Trungpa was one of the most visibly active of the Tibetan Buddhist refugees to come to the West and to lay the foundation in Europe and North America for the study of the Tibetan traditions. Born the son of a farmer and considered the eleventh incarnation of Trungpa Tulku, he was given a traditional training in religious philosophy but in his teens had to be hidden from the invading Chinese. Fleeing in 1959 when the Communists invaded Tibet, he ultimately moved to Great Britain, where he studied comparative religion at Oxford University and established a Tibetan meditation center in Scotland. He moved to the United States in 1970 and established the Buddhist university, Naropa, in Colorado. Naropa became the center for seminars, many of which he cotaught with prominent American artists, scholars, and scientists. His philosophical goal was to present traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachings in a new manner that would help them take root in Western soil. In that way, he would both preserve the insights of his culture and bring Buddhist philosophy to the benefit of humanity at large.
Now in the process of recovering from a stroke he suffered several years ago, Ram Dass today speaks to packed houses and maintains a regular schedule of appearances. He lives in Tiburon, California.