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Our dear brothers and sisters in the Dharma,

While the International Western Dharma Teachers Gathering is still one year away, we felt that some conversations could not wait. So, we invite you to join us for a very important 2.5-hour discussion given the critical time we are in as a community with the following leaders:

Dr. Valerie Mason-John, Moderator
Lama Tsultrim Allione
David Brazier
Myokei Caine-Barrett, Shonin
Jozen Tamori Gibson
Roshi Joan Halifax
Pema Khandro
Ven. Dr. Pannavati Bhikkhuni
Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips
Ayya Yeshe

 

Saturday, November 7, 2020
12:30 – 3:00 PM PST
via Zoom

Buddhist communities all over the world have been impacted by the pandemic and continuing global unrest. As teachers, we find ourselves now in a place where it becomes crucial to discuss where we are as a community and how we can come together to find solutions to the issues our sanghas face: scandals, sexual misconduct, abuse of power, and mistrust in the relationship between students and teachers.

We are at a critical juncture as we wake up every day in a world filled with serious social justices issues–cultural appropriation, racism, white privilege, supremacy, patriarchy. As we experience this period of reckoning with the impact of our collective past on our collective present, this is our moment to come together and have a conversation about where we hope to go.

We are very excited about the conversation and discussions that will be had as we reflect on the challenges and opportunities that confront us right now as a global community. Please join us for this very important conversation that impacts us all so that we can be better teachers and reach a new level of healthy dharma for the future.

With a deep bow,
The 2021 International Dharma Teacher Gathering Steering Committee
*This event is restricted to those teaching the dharma for at least four years.

Dr. Valerie Mason-John, Moderator
Dr. Valerie (Vimalasara) Mason-John, (hon.doc) M.A. is a public speaker and master trainer in the field of conflict transformation, leadership and mindfulness. She was featured at TEDxRenfrewCollingwood where she gave a talk titled, We are what we think, which outlined a course of action we can take to work on the global epidemic of bullying. She is the award-winning author of 9 books, and the co-author and co-founder of Eight Step Recovery: Using The Buddha’s Teaching to Overcome Addiction. Since its publication, it has won the Best USA Book Award 2014 and Best International Book Award 2015 in the self motivational and self help category. Eight Step Recovery offers an alternative to the 12 step program for addiction. Eight Step meetings are now taking place in the UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, India and Finland.  She is a senior teacher in the Triratna Buddhist Community More info here

Lama Tsultrim Allione
Lama Tsultrim Allione, bestselling author and Buddhist teacher, is the founder and spiritual director of Tara Mandala, an international Buddhist community based at Tara Mandala Retreat Center in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. In 2009, Lama Tsultrim was selected by an esteemed committee of Buddhist scholars and practitioners to receive the International Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award given in Bangkok, Thailand. She is mother of three children and grandmother of six. More info here

David Brazier 
Dharmavidya David Brazier, Pureland Buddhist priest, head of the Order of Amida Buddha, author of a dozen books on Buddhism and psychology, including “Zen Therapy”, and most recently “The Dark Side of the Mirror: forgetting the self in Dogen’s Genjo Koan” and an editor of the “Oxford Handbook of Meditation”. As lead trainer in the Institute for Buddhist Analysis and Psychotherapy (ITZI) he is an authority on Buddhist psychology and a psychotherapy supervisor. He has founded aid and welfare projects in Europe and India, been a social worker, led communities, participated in non-violent protests, and is currently teaching by (much translated) podcasts and on-line. More info here

Myokei Caine-Barrett, Shonin
Myokei Caine-Barrett is the first woman of African-Japanese descent, and the only Western woman, to be ordained as a priest in the Nichiren Order. She is the resident priest and guiding teacher for the Myoken-ji Temple, home of the Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas. Committed to issues of social justice and healing, Myokei has worked with incarcerated individuals in the Texas Prison System for the past 15 years, and has been an active member of The Center for Healing Racism, examining the realities of racism and how it affects people of color as well as the dominant group in society. More info here

Jozen Tamori Gibson
Jozen Tamori Gibson (they, them) began formal meditation practice and study in 2004. Jozen is a student of Sotō Zen and Theravada practices, wisdom traditions, and serves on the New York Insight teacher council. A participant in the 2017-2021 Insight Meditation Society Teacher Training Program, Jozen shares their path of interdependent liberation by honoring the wisdom and compassion of all teachers, highlighting their mother, Akimi, and their dharma root teacher, Pamela Weiss.

Roshi Joan Halifax
Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying and Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. For the past forty years, she has been active in environmental work. She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman.  More info here

Pema Khandro
Pema Khandro is a scholar and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the founder of the non-profit organization Ngakpa International and oversees its projects, the Dakini Mountain Retreat Center,  the Buddhist Studies Institute and the Yogic Medicine Institute as well as Ngakpa House, a charity which supports the education of children and elders in the Himalayas. She is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages and one of few westerners recognized and enthroned as a tulku, a Buddhist leader who carries on the lineage of a predecessor. More info here.

Ven. Dr. Pannavati Bhikkhuni
Ven. Dr. Pannavati, a former Christian pastor, is co-founder and co-Abbot of Embracing-Simplicity Hermitage and Co-Director of Heartwood Refuge, a monastic, lay and retreat center for learning how to live together as sons and daughters of the Buddha (not just “practice”). A black, female Buddhist monk ordained in the Theravada and Chan traditions, she remains a disciple of Great Master Kuang Seng, continues Vajrayana empowerments and teachings with beloved Rinpoche Zhaxi Zhouma and received transmission from Roshi Bernie Glassman of Zen Peacemaker.

She is a recipient of the Outstanding Buddhist Women’s Award; received a special commendation from the Princess of Thailand for Humanitarian Acts. Pannavati remains committed to advocacy for social justice, the homeless, sick and disenfranchised, those who are marginalized, abused, neglected and unloved. She lives the Dhamma. More info here

Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips
Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips is an American Vajrayana teacher, spiritual leader, researcher, author, social entrepreneur and educator. He is the founder/CEO of Empowerment Holdings, an international mindful leadership and coaching company, co-founder of the Mindful Leadership Online Training Conference, and founder of The Mindful Leadership Tribe, an online community of mindful leaders. He completed two 3-year meditation retreats and is an experienced Dharma and meditation teacher, who leads retreats in the U.S. and Europe.

He is President of the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA.org), a global independent professional organization for secular mindfulness teachers from over 30 countries who teach in 13 languages. Dawa is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and the Association of Transformational Leaders, and a leading voice in the global mindfulness movement. He lives with his family in Santa Barbara, California. More info here

Ayya Yeshe, Bodhicitta
Ayya Yeshe is an Australian Buddhist nun and Director of Bodhicitta Foundation and Bodhicitta Vihara. She is a social worker, Dharma Teacher, contemplative, human and women’s rights activist. She travels internationally for teaching and is a social worker, Dharma Teacher, contemplative, human and women’s rights activist. More info here

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