Who We Are

/Who We Are
Who We Are 2016-10-14T07:47:29+00:00


Ty H Phillips
Ty H PhillipsCo-founder
Ty Phillips, is the Co-founder of The Tattooed Buddha,  as well as a freelance writer for LionsRoar, Patheos, BuddhistDoor International and The Tattooed Buddha. The former big city bouncer now turned Buddhist has a passion for writing, strongman, his children and spreading the dharma. He maintains a personal blog where his photography and daily ramblings can be seen at his blog. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

As part of his experience, Ty studied behavioral psychology and comparative religions and in June of 2012 he became an ordained Buddhist priest and in the following year, a lineage holder. Ty spends the majority of his time as a full time dad and freelance writer. He is a powerlifter, author, song writer, and occasional artist (at least he thinks so).

Dana Gornall
Dana GornallCo-founder
Dana Gornall is the co-founder of The Tattooed Buddha and mom of three crazy kids and a dog. Becoming a mother was the first step on the winding, sometimes rocky, path of transformation and she has never looked back. She has been writing stories since she could put words into sentences, writing books and poems from early on and is still completely in love with language of all kinds. The desire to connect with people on a deeper level has always been the catalyst for writing and still is every single time she sits down at the computer to bleed her heart onto the page.

A writer, editor, sign language interpreter and lover of language, she finds bits of enlightenment in all of those connections. When not working or writing, you can find her lying outside in the dark night gazing up at the millions of stars or dancing in the kitchen with her children. You can also see her writing on The Tattooed Buddha, Elephant Journal, Be You Media and Yoga International

The Tattooed Buddha started out as a personal blog by Buddhist author Ty Phillips.

What started out as a showcase for his writing, quickly turned into collaboration with creative writer, Dana Gornall and the home for sharing the voices of friends and colleagues in the writing community, and The Tattooed Buddha was born. Although the original mission was to remove the commercialization seen in modern American Buddhism, it has turned into an open dialogue for evolved approaches for dealing with day to day living, community building, relationships, interfaith, and even arts and entertainment.

The focus of our community has become a platform for authors to express their voices without the confines of specific labeling while remaining in touch with the root foundation of non-commercialized wellness and living.

The writing shared is thought provoking, moving, funny, and even at times sad as we tackle the true issues that every human being will encounter.

We invite you to join us on this journey; to set down the fixed notion of labels, and join hand in hand with us as we share and experience life together.

Meet Our Editing Team

Alicia Wozniak
Alicia WozniakEditor
Alicia “Woz” Wozniak is a Clevelander living in Florida, with the rest of Ohio. Tired of snow and cold, she and her daughter, Weez, moved to the Sunshine State from the Buckeye State in 2009. Since then, she’s been pretty happy; perpetual summer suits her well. A lover of words, particularly the funny ones, she’s a writer and editor who is very hesitant to have any tattooed on her body out of fear of permanent typos, but she’s very ready for another one; number six.

Friends told Woz many years ago to start a blog. This platform has enabled her to develop her writing skills; making people laugh through her stories makes for a good day. She’s further developed her writing and, ultimately, her editing skills with elephant journal, The Well Written Woman, The Salvaged Boutique, and, of course, The Tattooed Buddha. She gives thanks for opportunities to hone her crafts and wade waist deep in words.

Woz can be found on Twitter (though she still doesn’t really get it), Instagram and on her blog. She can also be found teaching Zumba a few times per week and as often as possible going to yoga, giving up complete control to her teachers.

Sherrin Fitzer
Sherrin FitzerEditor
Sherrin Fitzer works at a large women’s prison in the Midwest—a place she never expected to be, yet exactly where she belongs. She has been involved in teaching incarcerated prisoners since 1991. In addition to helping incarcerated women with their children, she facilitates a theatre troupe and meditation classes in prison. A feminist and vegetarian-attempting-to-go-vegan she loves film, music and theatre. She wrote for and helped edited The Post Amerikan Newspaper—the country’s oldest alternative newspaper. She has met The Ramones, has sock monkey sheets, and has been known to write something on her “to do” list that she has already done for the satisfaction of crossing it off of the list.
Peter Schaller
Peter SchallerEditor
Peter Schaller is an artist and activist who lives and works in Nicaragua. He spends most of his time trying to figure out how to reduce his karmic and carbon footprints. He is the author of After the Silence, a collection of poems, essays and photographs, and he can be reached by email or on Facebook.

Support Team

Edith Lazenby
Edith LazenbySupport Team & Contributor
Edith Lazenby teaches yoga full time, though writing is her first love. She lives in Baltimore and loves a good movie and strong coffee.
Paul Semo
Paul SemoSupport Team
Paul Semo has gone from a college trained Historian and Journalist to neither. He now studies Yoga and Buddhism. He has used both successfully in fighting his Demons instead of using chemicals. Married to Jenn for 12 long but worth it years they have 5 furry feline children because they prefer the company of animals to people. Both snarky and sweet, he tries to not take himself too seriously and has reserves the right to criticize those that do. Newest passion is working at and organizing music festivals,drum circles and the use of sound therapy in treating Autism, PTSD and Addictions. Slowly getting back into writing, his wandering thoughts can be found here and at Elephant Journal and on Facebook.
Daniel Scharpenburg
Daniel ScharpenburgManager
Daniel Scharpenburg is a dreamer, an idealist and a mystic. He grew up in Kansas City, where he still resides. Having lost his parents during his youth, he began a long period of introspection that led to the Buddhist path. Along the way, he got a degree in English, which everyone told him would be useless. Facing crippling anxiety problems, he started exploring meditation and eastern spirituality. It was like he had found a part of himself that had always been missing. He’s been practicing Buddhism for over 10 years now. He has studied with many different Buddhist teachers from diverse lineages. He received personal instruction from Shi Da Dao, in the lineage of Master Xu Yun, and he has served as personal attendant to Karen Maezen Miller on a Zen retreat. He believes in taking Buddhist teachings out into the world, teaching in places where other teachers might not go, such as campgrounds and hippie drum circles. He considers himself a Zen Iconoclast and Radical, in the vein of his personal hero Ikkyu Sojun. He leads meditation workshops every year at the Heartland Pagan Festival and teaches classes in Buddhism at the Rime Buddhist Center. Daniel writes for a few websites including The Tattooed Buddha and Elephant Journal .
Debbie Lynn
Debbie LynnSupport Team & Columnist
Debbie Lynn realized at a very young age that the outer reality was a far cry from her inner truth and meeting her inner wisdom head on always turned into a challenge. The wonderment, curiosity and hypocrisy of life led to exploration and a cumulative documentation (art and journaling) of what she lovingly calls “the purge.” It is her way of ridding any negative energy from the daily grind. She says, “In essence, it is a way to start fresh and cleanse the soul.” Debbie has had numerous articles published with elephant journal, The Edge Magazine and Simple Steps Real Life Magazine. Her daily posts can be found on Facebook.

More about The Tattooed Buddha

The Tattooed Buddha strives to be a noncompetitive, open space for the author’s authentic voice. So while not necessarily Buddhist, we are offering a dialogue that is aware and awake to the reality of our present day to day, tackling issues of community, environment, and compassionate living.
Our hopes are that we can offer a space for both the new and experienced writer to provide a piece of their heart in a safe and loving space. Our goal is to be a central hub for all authors of enlightenment and mindful material. We hope to collect and share writing from all walks and nations.
The Tattooed Buddha not only wants to be a platform for authentic and mindful writing, we would like to expand into other aspects of media—print, video and audio. Always striving, always extending an open heart and hand, we urge to foster a more compassionate way of life. We hope to change the world with words that stir the heart and mind.