Twenty years after serving as an infantry platoon leader in Viet Nam Carl Hultman chanced upon the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh. That began his study and practice of the Buddha's teachings. His wife is a priest at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, and in 2010, after he retired from the Post Office, they moved to the Hokyoji Zen Practice Community in southeast Minnesota to live as resident practitioners. In 2013 he became it's Executive Director.
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 a PhD in Philosophy, with a minor in Buddhist philosophy and Sanskrit. In 2013 he completed the year-long Integrated Study and Practice Program with the BCBS and NYIMC. A long time scientific skeptic, he pursues a naturalized approach to practice. He is also interested in scholarship about the Tipiṭaka, and the theoretical and historical origins of the dhamma.
"Reading my articles will tell you more than a summary here."
Jennifer is the Community Director for the Secular Buddhist Association and a mentor for the Coursera: Buddhism and Modern Psychology online course from Princeton University. She also sells artwork in her local area and aspires to manage a secular meditation center / lending library in her local area.
J. Richard Marra lives in Connecticut and is the current Managing Editor of The Socialist Webzine. He received his Doctoral degree from Cornell University in 1977, majoring in Musical Composition and the History of Music Theory. While on the Faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, he completed graduate work at Johns Hopkins University, majoring in the Philosophy of Science. He is a member of the Socialist Party USA, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Philosophy of Science Association. He is a 2014 recipient of the Eugene V. Debs Award. To read other essays by J. Richard Marra, please visit https://sites.google.com/site/thoughtsandthingsjrichardmarra/.
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).
Mark J. Knickelbine, MA, C-MI, is a writer, editor, political activist, and certified meditation instructor. "Buddhism Without Beliefs" and "The End of Faith" led him to seek out a dharma practice without the religious trappings of Buddhism. He found it at a local health clinic, where he learned mindfulness in the manner of Jon Kabat-Zinn. He has continued to study texts from the Pali, Chan and Zen traditions, and he is an active member of the mindfulness community at the UWHealth Department of Integrative Medicine. Mark is a member of the SBA board and serves as Practice Director.
I have been a political and labor activist for 40 years. Five years ago, I became interested in Buddhism and began a regular vipassana meditation practice. As an agnostic and activist, I am particularly interested in exploring how to connect secular Buddhism with a radical political theory and practice.
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.