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.
John Lee Pendall
Editor & Podcast Sound Editor/Team
John Lee Pendall is a featured columnist, editor, and podcast host for the Tattooed Buddha. He’s also a composer, musician, poet, self-published author and lay Buddhist. He has a B.S. in psychology and lives between two cornfields in rural Illinois. His errant knowledge base covers Buddhism, philosophy, psychology, astronomy, theology, music theory, and quoting lines from movies.
Gerald "Strib" Stribling
Gerald “Strib” Stribling is the author of Buddhism for Dudes: A Jarhead’s Field Guide to Mindfulness (Wisdom Publications, 2015). His past incarnations have included farm hand, steelworker, U.S. Marine, elementary school teacher, and social services professional. Strib volunteered to teach English to children in Sri Lanka as a personal response to 9-11. There he studied with some of the most highly revered monks in Theravada Buddhism. During three of his seven months in the island nation, he actually resided in a Buddhist monastery.
He wrote Buddhism for Dudes as a not-so-subtle, basic examination of the essence of Buddhist philosophy. It’s short and funny and to the point. “Way too much Buddhist information is too complicated to wade through, and some of it is fairyland voodoo, full of metaphysical improbabilities. Buddhism isn’t a religion, it’s a way to live a happy life. This is not hard stuff to understand.” Stribling writes a blog called Buddhism for Tough Guys.
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.
Andrew "Dru" Peers
Andrew “Dru” Peers is Anglo-Irish and spent over 20 years in Trappist monasteries in England, Ireland and the Netherlands. In 2011, he left the Order, traveling to the home of Celtic Buddhism in America and returned to Europe qualified to work as a meditation teacher. He has since become a lineage holder in Celtic Buddhism and now offers online help and live workshops in his own unique branch thereof. Check out his website for more information.
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.
Columnist & Social Media Team
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.
Columnist & Social Media Team
Sherrin Fitzer works at a large women’s prison in the Midwest (a place she never would have expected to be, yet it is exactly where she is supposed to be). 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. She believes in the importance of the arts in prisons and tries to implement this as much as possible. Sophia—her cat—is often her editor and generally a quite harsh one.
Workshop Facilitator, Podcast Team
Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher and Ch’an Adept living in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project. He also runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. Daniel has a BA in English from KU and handles paperwork for a living.
His teaching style has been compared to that of the earliest Mahayana teachers and Ch’an Masters.
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.
Peter Schaller is an artist and community development specialist who lives and works in Nicaragua with his three amazing children, two crazy dogs and a cat with canine instincts. Most of his free time is spent 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.
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.
Jennifer Mazzoni M.S. CCC-SLP, is a full-time mom, part-time Speech Language Pathologist, and she works part-time in a rehabilitation setting. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the Chicago area. Follow her blog, Help Mama Meditate, and catch her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!
Alex Chong Do Thompson
Alex Chong Do Thompson is a former Marine who now earns his living as a Business Analyst. He splits his free time between social justice work, cycling, and deepening his meditation practice. Alex has been a Zen practitioner since 2013, and he is training to become a lay minister in the Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism. You can read more of his writing by visiting his blog.
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. “Woz” 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.
Carmelene Melanie Siani
Carmelene Melanie Siani is a 74 year old woman who began writing for publication on her 73rd birthday in 2015. She writes stories and vignettes about life and how life itself gives us the lessons, hopes and direction we need to put our feet on higher ground. You can find her writing at elephant journal, the Kindness Blog, and on her writer’s Facebook page.