“…and if you’re wondering whether or not you’re a Buddhist Geek (”Geek” here does not refer to computer geeks. We use geek to describe someone who is passionate about and dedicated to some particular activity), we would say that the safest way to find out would be to look at your bookshelf and/or your friends. Oddly, they tend to reveal a lot! For us, a Buddhist Geek is someone who is intimately involved with Buddhist theory and practice, and who has a certain connection to the Buddhist tradition.Stepping back for a moment, we’re also hoping to stimulate and be stimulated by the emerging Buddhoblogosphere, and in the spirit of Freedom of which the Buddha so clearly taught, our greatest desire is that this material be of direct benefit to the continued awakening of all seekers of the way.”
About the BuddhistGeeks
Ryan OelkeRyan Oelke is a MA student at Naropa University studying Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan and Sanskrit Languages . This program sequence is based on formal Tibetan monastic college training and study, focusing on Abhidharma, Buddhist epistemology, philosophical systems, Madhyamaka, buddhanature, and the study of major Indian texts and Tibetan commentaries, in addition to contemplative meditation. In his Tibetan classes he has translated sections of the Jewel Ornament of Liberation by Gampopa and portions of a text on the twelve links of interdependent origination. After completion of his graduate degree he hopes to pursue a PhD in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, with particular emphasis on translation. In addition to his studies at Naropa Ryan has completed a graduate MSEd degree in Counseling Pyschology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In undergrad he studied percussion performance, sound engineering, and Spanish.
Ryan practices following the Dzogchen and Buddhist teachings of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and recently completed a solitary retreat at Tsegyalgar focusing on the teachings and practices of the Santi Maha Sangha training.
Gwen BellGwen Bell is a certified yoga instructor, award-winning author and Zen practitioner. She began studying Buddhism in her freshman year of college and stayed on the path, taking courses on the subject while at school, until it led her to Japan. She lived in Japan for three years and opened her yoga studio, Yoga Garden with partner Patrick (Zen teacher). She took her Mindfulness Training vows with Thich Nhat Hanh in 2000. At that time she became vegetarian and was given the name “Lovely Teacher of the Heart.”
She merges her understanding of the often stoic Soto Zen tradition with the open-hearted (compassionate) approach of Pure Land.
In Japan she studied with Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen and Sit Down & Shut Up. She likes his no bull-shit approach to the practice and takes Zen seriously while maintaining a healthy attitude of playfulness towards herself.
She’s a designer, a photographer, an interviewer and a world traveler. She’s continually exploring the boundaries between herself and others, between her own mind and body, untangling the knot that is Self.
She considers herself the worst horse when it comes to seated meditation practice. She also knows that the worst horse is sometimes the best, and is developing compassion for herself and others through tonglen.
Just because she wears contacts sometimes, don’t be fooled. This girl is one hardcore geek.
Vince HornVince Horn is a graduate of Naropa University’s Religious Studies program, where his studies centered around comparative mysticism and the Buddhist tradition. Vince is also a committed vipassana practitioner, especially as it is taught in the Insight Meditation tradition.
In terms of teachers, Vince has been deeply affected by the unorthodox perspectives of Kenneth Folk and Daniel Ingram. He has also benefited from several of the teachers in the insight meditation tradition, including Jack Kornfield, John Travis, Guy Armstrong, and Howie Cohn (to name a few).
His current obsessions interests include living a yogic lifestyle in the modern world, studying and using meditative cartographies, the intersection between contemplative awareness and business, integral theories of spirituality, the role of technology in spiritual development, and helping Buddhism transition to the West while maintaining its essential strengths.