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Japanese Buddhist monk; founder of the Jodo Hinshu sect in Japan


monk who lived during the 5th/6h century; credited as the leading patriarch and transmitter of Zen


Zen monk; used physical discipline on his students


Zen monk; founder of the Soto school


Japanese monk who taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra

Tsong Khapa

Tibetan Buddhist whose teachings led to the formation of the Geluk school


one of Tibet's most famous yogis and poets


author of Guide to a Bodhisattva's Way of Life; Dalai Lama's favorite philosopher

Sylvia Boorstein

founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation center

Jack Kerouac

American novelist and poet who was part of the Beat Generation, wrote about Buddhism

Allen Ginsberg

American poet who was part of the Beat Generation; strongly opposed militarism, materialism, and sexual oppression

Gary Snyder

American poet who was part of the Beat Generation; his works reflected his immersions in Buddhism

Chogyam Trungpa

Tibetan Buddhist and meditation master; had controversial practices, including having sex with many of his students

Thich Nhat Hanh

Vietnamese Buddhist monk; firm pacifist

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

prominent Bhutanese tulku; is also a filmmaker and writer

Sharon Salzberg

best selling author and teacher of meditation practices; her emphasis is on loving-kindness and insight, which originate from the Theravada tradition

Jack Kornfield

teacher in the vipassana movement of American Theravada Buddhism

D.T. Suzuki

professor at Columbia who was into beat Zen; was not formally trained therefore he could not teach meditation; talked about Buddhism as a philosophy

Shunryu Suzuki/Suzuki Roshi

Zen master who popularized Zen Buddhism in the U.S.

Philip Kapleau

established a stable Zen community in Rochester, NY that was notable for its attempt to develop an American style Zen practice

John Daido Loori

founder and abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, NY

Maurine Stuart

one of the first female Zen masters; was a Rinzai Zen roshi

Thomas Merton

a Catholic who supported interfaith understanding; has had dialogue with the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, and D.T. Suzuki

Joan Halifax

Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author; founder, abbot, and head teacher of the Upaya Zen Center

Jon Kabat-Zinn

founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society; founding member of the Cambridge Zen Center

Fleet Maull

while imprisoned on drug charges, he started a Buddhist meditation group in the prison chapel which he led for 14 years


bodhisattva; patron of children, mothers, aborted babies, etc.


bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas


a principle buddha in the Pure Land sect; often called the "Buddha of Infinite Light"

Hsi Lai Temple

Chinese Buddhist Mountain Monastery located in Hacienda Heights, California (suburbs of LA); one of the first overseas branch temples

Plum village

main center of Thich Nhat Hanh

San Francisco Zen Center

affiliated with the Soto Zen practice; received media coverage after the resignation of Reverend Richard Baker, after it was found out he was having an affair with another Zen member's wife

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

teaches the in the vipassana tradition; has classes, daylong programs, and retreats

Naropa Institute

founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche; later became a university that combined traditional Western studies as well as Buddhist practice

Zen Mountain Monastery

located in NY; combines Rinzai and Soto traditions


oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism; unified by Padmasambhava as their founder


one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism; considered to be a "new transmission" school since it follows Tantra teachings


one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism; main point is that nirvana and samsara are inseparable


one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism; also known as the Yellow Hat sect

five precepts

1) no killing
2) no sexual misconduct
3) no lying
4) no stealing
5) no intoxicants

skillful means

practitioners may use their own specific methods or techniques to spread the Dharma

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