Dana is Technical Director of the Secular Buddhist Association. She learned Buddhism through a DVD course on Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, followed by a two-year course in person. She then studied Theravada Buddhism through the Insight Meditation South Bay with teacher Shaila Catherine. She has been a practitioner now for over a decade.
Dana has been working in the internet industry since 1992, has held the positions of web developer, technical writer, and online community manager. She is a geek girl with a passion for science and computing.
Doug has practiced meditation on and off for many years. He chose to do a PhD in Philosophy rather than Buddhist Studies, pursuing a minor in South Asian Studies alongside. He is also a long-time scientific skeptic. Reading Steven Batchelor's Confession of a Buddhist Atheist turned him around to the possibility of a secularized Buddhist practice, one that would not require belief in the supernatural. He's now getting back into a more thorough study of what interested him most about Buddhism back in school: the Pali Canon.
Justin Whitaker is an almost-life-long Montanan; a baptized Catholic; an ardent Atheist; a practicing Buddhist; a lover of Wisdom. Justin has a BA and almost an MA in (Western) Philosophy from the University of Montana-Missoula, where he first began practicing meditation in 2001. He went on to earn an MA in Buddhist Studies from Bristol University in England. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in Buddhist Ethics at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has practiced in all major traditions and currently finds a home in practices derived from Theravadin Buddhism.
After 20-odd years of trying to figure out what Buddhism was about, Linda Blanchard founded the Skeptical Buddhists’ Sangha in Second Life in 2007 to get her questions answered, and there discovered friends and community, along with a better understanding of the dharma. She is -- very slowly -- learning Pali, the language of the oldest Buddhist literature. Linda is currently a bit of an iconoclast when it comes to Buddhism, and doesn't actually consider herself to be a Secular Buddhist (but almost).
"Buddhism Without Beliefs" and "The End of Faith" led me to seek out a dharma practice without the religious trappings of Buddhism. I found it at a local health clinic, where I learned mindfulness in the manner of Jon Kabat-Zinn. I've continued to study texts from the Pali, Chan and Zen traditions, and I practice with a secular mindfulness group in Madison, Wisconsin. I'm a writer, editor, and political activist, and I have a masters in English, which qualifies me to pontificate on nearly any topic.
After growing up in a household in which questions about religion and god(s) were answered with "Well, what do you think?," Miyo went on a lifelong search for her own answers. During the search she kept going to back to Buddhism, a philosophy which also colored her upbringing at home where she had a father who is a retired professor of Japanese classical literature and a Japanese mother. In the last few years she discovered and came in contact with SBA members through the virtual 3-D world called Second Life, where she also ran a Buddhism-based book club. She continues to participate in SBA discussions and meetups when possible and enjoys all the positive support and feedback she received from this community.
I am the co-founder of the Humanist Mindfulness Group, which meets jointly with the Cambridge Secular Buddhists Meetup Group, at the Humanist Center in Harvard Square, Cambridge. We mostly practice breath, sound, and metta meditation.
I created Seeing The Roses to present online videos of secular meditations. I also occasionally update a blog and Twitter.
I am also a freelance journalist who sometimes writes about the neuroscientific basis of contemplative practice.
I first learned about Buddhism when I heard the audio of Goenka's "Doing Time, Doing Vipassana" on a local radio station in 1999. Shortly thereafter, I participated in a 10-day Goenka retreat and attended a Theravada sangha in California until 2002 whereupon I moved to New Mexico. A few years ago, I decided to follow a secular Buddhist path.
Ted Meissner is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA's official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. His background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture.
Stephen Schettini is The Naked Monk — writer, blogger and teacher of Mindful Reflection. After eight years as a monk in the Tibetan tradition he decided that ritual, tradition and belief were an unnecessary burden, and returned to secular life. He remains an admirer and student of the historical Buddha without any Buddhist affiliations.