Known to many as the 'Matisse of Japan', artist Mayumi Oda has done extensive work with female goddess imagery. Born to a Buddhist family in Japan in 1941, Mayumi studied fine art and traditional Japanese fabric dyeing. Mayumi has exhibited over 50 one-woman shows throughout the world. Her artwork is also part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT), Library of Congress (Washington, DC) and many others. She has authored books about her own creative life, including Goddesses and I Opened the The Gate Laughing , and Merciful Sea: 45 Years of Serigraphs . She has also illustrated several books for notable authors, including Thich Nhat Hanh's popular Touching Peace and Present Moment Wonderful Moment .In addition to her work as an artist, Mayumi Oda has spent many years of her life as a global activist#157; participating in anti-nuclear campaigns worldwide. She founded Plutonium Free Future in 1992. On behalf of her organization, Mayumi lectured and held workshops on Nuclear Patriarchy to Solar Communities at the United Nations NGO Forum and the Women of Vision Conference in Washington, DC. In 1999, she launched the WASH (World Atomic Safety Holiday) Campaign and is currently working to raise awareness among the citizens of Hawaii about the use of Depleted Uranium at the Pohakuloa military base. Her current activist work and the royalties beneficiary of this edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty will be community recovery work in Fukushima, Japan.Feeling a deep connection with the mother earth, Mayumi has always enjoyed growing her own medicinal herbs and vegetables. In 2000, she started Ginger Hill, a farm and a retreat center on the Big Island of Hawaii. The artistically landscaped five-acre property is home to a number of workshops and retreats ranging from traditional Hawaiian Hula to medicinal cooking. Mayumi currently lives in Fukushima Japan and spends summers at Ginger Hill Farm. She travels worldwide, teaching workshops in creativity and self-realization.Mayumi Oda's website is mayumioda.net. Mayumi's activities and workshops can be found at her farm website gingerhillfarm.com; her blog is mayumioda.blogspot.com.
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.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 for his efforts to reconcile North and South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Hanh was part of a movement called "engaged Buddhism", which combines traditional practices with nonviolent civil disobedience, and he was exiled by both the Communist and non-Communist governments. He is a respected writer and scholar, and founded a retreat in France called Plum Village. Hanh has written several books, including The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: An Introduction to Buddhism, Peace Is Every Step, and Living Buddha, Living Christ.