John Author: The Renegade Buddhist
John Author is a featured columnist & editor for the Tattooed Buddha, podcast host, and self-published author. He has a B.S. in psychology and lives between two cornfields in rural Illinois. His errant knowledge base covers, astronomy, theology, music theory, and quoting lines from movies.
Technically a lay Buddhist, Author considers himself an Upayanist: “Using whatever’s available to serve someone. Whether it stems from Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, science, or Western philosophy.” He originally wanted to become a social worker, focusing on preventative mental health care, but writing is his passion. “Above all else, I’m just a writer. Words come, I write them, I drink coffee.”
Oppression and marginalization are key issues for John. “I was forced out of mainstream society at a young age by my peers. So I will always stand up for the underdog and criticize bullying, coercion, and any institution that relies on those tactics.” Asked about what the most pressing issue of our time is, he replied, “The environment. We’ve bullied the earth so much that it could almost be called marginalized.”
John hopes to one day create an alternative Sangha that rests somewhere between the secular and the esoteric. “It’s all about balance. That’s the key message of the Middle Way.” Author’s favorite Buddhist quote is, “Be a lamp unto yourselves, let the Dharma be your lamp.”
I don't know why we have these issues with Right Speech, or with Buddhist Ethics in general. It seems like most of us would rather skip that part of Buddhism to get to the, [...]