The Tattooed Buddha is a team of writers and readers, looking to make a small ding in the universe.
What originally started out as a personal blog by Buddhist author Ty Phillips, eventually turned into collaboration with writer, Dana Gornall.
Beginning in January of 2015 as just a small, independent, online publication, The Tattooed Buddha has grown to be inclusive of many different views and voices. The goal is to foster an open dialogue for evolved approaches for dealing with life on a day to day basis, building community, encouraging mindful relationships and parenting, and always thinking outside the box.
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 The Team
Founder & Managing Editor
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.
Alicia "Woz" Wozniak
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.
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.
Brent Purple Oliver
Book Reviewer & Podcast Team
Brent Purple Oliver is an award-eligible writer, mindfulness coach, and speaker. He’s spent more than 20 years studying and practicing fairly conventional forms of Buddhism. These days, he’s a politely radical proponent of the modern mindfulness movement, advocating for a universal, practical, non-religious path to happiness and self-transformation. Brent is a coach in Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness system because it’s just such an approach. He works with individuals interested in everything from alleviating stress to pursuing classical enlightenment. He also coaches groups, and offers presentations to companies, schools, and organizations curious about the benefits of mindfulness.
In addition to being a columnist at The Tattooed Buddha, Brent’s writing has also appeared in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and Morpheus. He lives in Lexington, KY with his wife, two cats, and a crippling addiction to horror. Swing by his website brentpurpleoliver.com for more information.
Columnist & Workshop Faciiltator
Daniel Scharpenburg lives in Kansas City. He regularly teaches at the Open Heart Project and leads public meditations.
He believes the path is really about opening ourselves up and becoming more genuine and real. His main focus is on the Mindfulness practices rooted in the earliest Zen teachings. He believes these teachings can be shared with a little more simplicity and humility than we often see. He has been called “a great everyman teacher” and “really down to earth”. He believes in meeting people where they are and sharing teachings as widely as he can.
He was declared a teacher in the Dharma Winds Zen Tradition. Prior to that he spent time as a Bodhisattva Monk in the Korean Zen tradition and as a Dharma Facilitator in the Tibetan Rime tradition.
John Lee Pendall
Editor & Sound Editor
John Pendall is a featured columnist & editor for the Tattooed Buddha, podcast host, musician, poet, 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. John practices the “Outer Way” which he describes as, “I guess it’s fundamentally DIY Buddhism and Taoism with a huge focus on autonomy, introspection, experiential learning and real world applicability. It isn’t traditional or secular. I only call it the Outer Way for convenience, it doesn’t actually have a name since it’s just about doing what comes naturally.” Feel free to check out his blog, Outer Way Zen.
Social Media Marketing
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.
Featured Writer & Social Media Promotion
Deb Avery lives in the Southern United States with her animals, surrounded by mighty oaks and woodlands. All of Nature is her friend and teacher. She is an avid gardener, reader of books, lover of all beings and also has been referred to as a “bit of a weird one,” which she takes as a compliment. Having lived in many diverse places, including several years abroad, she has learned first hand that deep inside we are all one and the same. She enjoys long walks with her dog Sam, yoga and meditation.