Co-Founder & Managing Editor
Dana Gornall is the co-founder of The Tattooed Buddha.
She started writing as soon as she could form sentences and has always known there was more to life than meets the eye. Becoming a mother was the first step on the winding, sometimes rocky, path of transformation and she has never looked back.
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.
John Lee Pendall
TTB Board Member/Columnist
John Lee Pendall is a featured columnist, editor, podcast host, and co-owner of the Tattooed Buddha. He’s also a poet, composer, multi-instrumentalist (He’s recorded five albums so far), an amateur photographer/graphic designer and pen & ink artist, and he has a B.S. in psychology. He currently lives between two cornfields in rural Illinois. His errant knowledge base covers astronomy, theology, philosophy, music theory, and quoting lines from movies.
John Lee practices Chan Buddhism as a Novice Chan Priest. He’s also a lay Buddhologist (Buddhist scholar), and frequently translates and writes commentaries on Buddhist texts.
Sensei Alex Kakuyo
Sensei Alex Kakuyo is a former Marine, author, and Buddhist teacher in the Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism. He teaches a nonsectarian approach to the Dharma, which encourages students to seek enlightenment in everyday life.
Louis De Lauro
Louis De Lauro has taught elementary and middle school students for 27 years in NJ and PA. He is also a loving husband, dad, son, and friend. In April of 2017, his short story about his wife and daughter “Right from the Start” was published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul, Best Mom Ever.” Back in 2007, Louis was featured in the award-winning documentary “Juggling Life” about the charity he founded, Juggling Life Inc. The charity recruits and trains volunteers to teach juggling and chess at camps for children with cancer. In 2008, he was featured in a Star Ledger Series called “I Am New Jersey.” In 2011, Louis had four submissions published in the Pearson textbook, “Child and Adolescent Development” by Woolfolk and Perry. Louis enjoys writing about teaching, family, friendship, and Buddhism.
Holly has bonded her spirituality to her activism. She began her relationship with Buddhism through Fo Guang Shan, an international Chinese Mahāyāna Buddhist organization and monastic order based in Taiwan that practices Humanistic Buddhism. However, she finds herself more aligned with Stephen Batchelor’s more secular Buddhism currently. Holly works in homeless services and is very passionate about promoting the inherent worth and dignity of all people as well as eliminating stigma about homelessness and behavioral health.
David Jones: A Mindful Berean
Michelleanne Bradley is a practicing Pagan and Buddhist in the San Diego area. She was ordained into the Order of Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh in 2013. She completed two years of facilitator training with Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, and has completed a Year to Live practice. She founded the Luminous Garden Sangha, and is a facilitator with Los Palomitas de Paz Sangha. Michelleanne’s focus in practice has been on the role of women in Buddhism (and really, everywhere).Michelleanne is a feminist, and writer, and consultant who says fuck a lot.
Kellie Schorr works as a commissioned novelist who writes mystery genre novels for traditional publishers. Her published credentials also include: journal articles, short stories, and a two-year stint writing for a web-comic. Kellie’s fiction is represented by the Kathryn Green Literary Agency. Kellie has been practicing meditation for nearly 20 years. Her practice is housed in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. She is currently studying Vajrayana and Dzogchen as a member of the Buddhist Yogis Sangha from Ngapka International. She lives and works in rural Virginia with her partner, Cathy, and three beagles. Her favorite word is chiaroscuro. You can contact or find more about her at The Bottom Line.
Workshop Facilitator, Podcast Team
Daniel Scharpenburg lives in Kansas City. He’s a Zen Priest and Teacher in the Dharma Winds Zen Tradition. He regularly teaches at the Open Heart Project and he leads public meditations.
He believes the path is really about opening ourselves up and becoming more genuine and real. 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.
Daniel has taken Bodhisattva Vows in both the Nagarjuna and Asanga lineages and is a lineage holder in the Caodong Ch’an Lineage of Master Hsu Yun.
Brent Purple Oliver
Book Reviewer & Podcast Team
Brent Purple Oliver is an award-eligible writer, mindfulness coach, and speaker. After 20 years of study and practice within conventional Buddhist approaches, he’s become a politely radical advocate for the emerging secular meditation movement. Above all else, he’s come to value the eminently pragmatic, universal, non-religious path to happiness and self-transformation. Brent coaches in Shinzen Young’s s Unified Mindfulness system, which is engineered for maximum efficiency and comprehensiveness. He works with individuals and groups, and also offers presentations to companies, schools, or any organization interested in learning about the benefits of mindfulness.
A rabid enthusiast of all things grim, ghoulish, and ghastly, Brent started out as a horror journalist. He wrote about his favorite gruesome films and novels and even had a few grisly short stories published. No one noticed and he was sad. After having several essays appear in Buddhist publications, a few people began to pay attention. Some of them even paid money. He made the decision to leave horror a hobby and focus on entertaining and educating with tales from his contemplative path and growing expertise in modern mindfulness. He lives in Lexington, KY with a wonderful wife he adores but doesn’t deserve. They have two cats he alternates between loving and tolerating. And my goodness, does he enjoy cursing.
Please visit brentpurpleoliver.com for more information.