Dharmacharya Shantum Seth

Shantum Seth is a Buddhist scholar and practitioner and an ordained teacher (Dharmacharya) in the Zen (Dhyana) lineage of the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. He teaches in India and abroad and has been leading pilgrimages 'In the Footsteps of the Buddha' since 1988.

He has contributed to a number of books including 'Walking with the Buddha', 'I have arrived, I am home' and 'Volunteers against Conflict'. He has also been a consultant on films including 'Life of the Buddha' made by the BBC and Discovery, ‘The Story of India’ made by BBC and PBS and is presently working on a Hollywood production entitled 'Buddha'.

He has a weekly TV programme on Zee TV in India , called Buddham Saranam Gachami (I take Refuge in Buddha).
He has been a guest lecturer at many forums including to the World President’s organization, the Young President’s organization, the UNDP executive board and a number of universities and conferences.
Shantum graduated in Development Studies, with his thesis in Gandhian Economics, while also getting a diploma in Footwear Technology and Management.
After working in the corporate sector, Shantum worked in the Social Development sector and for fifteen years was with the United Nations Development Programme and UNESCO, managing programmes on volunteer promotion, peace education, world heritage sites and sustainable livelihood programmes. He is also actively involved in the non-profit trust Ahimsa, which is working on peace, cultural and environmental programmes. www.ahimsatrust.org

He lives with his wife, two daughters and parents in Noida, near Delhi

Journeys led by him: Peepal Pilgrimage, Bodhi Pilgrimage, Wisdom Traditions of South India, Living Faiths of India, The Taj Mahal at Agra and Explore the multifaceted city of Delhi with Shantum Seth

 

Lama Surya Das

Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars. He has spent nearly forty years studying Zen, vipassana, yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism with many of the great old masters of Asia. He is an authorized lama in the Tibetan Buddhist order, a leading spokesperson for Buddhism and contemporary spirituality, a translator, poet, meditation master, chant master, and spiritual activist.  Lama Surya Das is the author of the international bestseller Awakening The Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World, the recently released The Mind Is Mightier Than The Sword: Enlightening the Mind, Opening the Heart, and eleven other books. In 1991 he established the Dzogchen Centers and Dzogchen Retreats and in 1993, with the Dalai Lama, he founded the Western Buddhist Teachers Network and regularly organizes its International Buddhist Teachers’ Conferences. Today, Lama Surya Das teaches and lectures around the world, conducting dozens of meditation retreats and workshops each year.  He is also a regular contributor at Beliefnet.com, Tricycle magazine, and The Huffington Post. His blog, Ask The Lama can be found at http://askthelama.com and his lecture and retreat schedule are listed at www.surya.org. Lama Surya Das resides in Concord, Massachusetts.

 

Bernie Glassman

Bernie Glassman is the founder of the Zen Peacemakers, Zen Master Bernie Glassman, evolved from a traditional Zen Buddhist monastery-model practice to become a leading proponent of social engagement as spiritual practice. He is internationally recognized as a pioneer of Buddhism in the West and as a founder of Socially Engaged Buddhism and spiritually based Social Entrepreneurship. He has proven to be one of the most creative forces in Western Buddhism, creating new paths, practices, liturgy and organizations to serve the people who fall between the cracks of society.

 

 

Robert A.F. Thurman

Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University; President of the Tibet House U.S., and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies.

Professor Thurman also translates important Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical writings and lectures and writes on Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism; on Asian history, particularly the history of the monastic institution in the Asian civilization; and on critical philosophy, with a focus on the dialogue between the material and inner sciences of the world’s religious traditions.

Popularizing the Buddha’s teachings is just one of Thurman’s creative talents. He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics, and culture, including Circling the Sacred Mountain, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, Worlds of Transformation, and, most recently, Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well. He is credited with being at the forefront of making Tibetan art accessible and understandable in the West, and with distinguished art historians, he collaborated in curating several important traveling exhibitions, including “Wisdom and Compassion,” “Mandala,” and “Worlds of Transformation,” which set a standard in the art world.

 

 

Stephen Batchelor

Stephen Batchelor is is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world. He has co-led journeys with Shantum Seth and Buddhapath for Tricycle, the Buddhist magazine.

Stephen was born in Dundee, Scotland, on April 7, 1953.  He grew up in a humanist environment with his mother Phyllis (b. 1913) and brother David (b. 1955) in Watford, north west of London. After completing his education at Watford Grammar School, he travelled overland to India in February 1972, at the age of eighteen.
He settled in Dharamsala, the capital-in-exile of the Dalai Lama, and studied at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives with Ven. Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. He was ordained as a novice Buddhist monk in 1974. He left India in 1975 in order to study Buddhist philosophy and doctrine under the guidance of Ven. Geshe Rabten, at the Tibetan Monastic Institute in Rikon, Switzerland and at Le Mont Pelerin, Switzerland. He lived in Germany and South Korea and traveled extensively in Japan, China and Tibet.

He disrobed in February 1985 and married Martine Fages in Hong Kong before returning to England and joining the Sharpham North Community in Totnes, Devon. From 1990 he has been a Guiding Teacher at Gaia House meditation centre in Devon and since 1992 a contributing editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

In August 2000, he and Martine moved to Aquitaine, France, where they live in a small village near Bordeaux with their cat Alex.  While at home he pursues his work as a scholar, writer and artist.  He is the translator and author of various books and articles on Buddhism including the bestselling Buddhism Without Beliefs (Riverhead 1997). His most recent publication is Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil (Riverhead, 2004).  He is currently writing a novel on the Buddha's life based on canonical and commentarial materials in Pali.

Stephen has been co-leading journeys in India with Shantum Seth and Buddhapath for Tricycle, the Buddhist magazine for the last several years. He will again be leading a journey to his beloved caves of Ajanta and Ellora..

Journey led by him: The Exquisite Caves of Ajanta and Ellora

 

Ajeer Vidya

Ajeer Vidya has been a senior member of the elite Indian Administrative Services and holds an M Phil degree in International Economic Relations. He is from the Buddhist region of Himachal Pradesh, though a large part of his career was spent in the eastern state of Tripura. He took early retirement from the Indian Government to dedicate himself to studying and sharing the Dharma in India, and now also runs an Information Technology business. Ajeer is an ordained member of the Order of Inter-being and facilitates one of the Thich Nhat Hanh’s sanghas in Gurgaon/ Delhi. He is also on the Executive Board of Dzongsar Kyenste Rinpoche’s Siddhartha’s Intent Institute. Ajeer, a seasoned meditator and teacher, blends the Zen and Tibetan traditions of Buddhism effortlessly.

 

Chandana Dey

Chandana Dey is the project manager for Srihaswani, or Creative Manual Skills for Self Reliant Development, set in West Bengal. Based in Santiniketan, she is also leading an effort to revitalize Santiniketan. She has worked for UNRISD (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development) in Geneva, Switzerland. She served as Project Coordinator with Ahimsa Trust in West Bengal for the past decade. Chandana has a background in History and International Affairs. Committed to facilitating grassroots development change, she is the co-founder of The Bhab Initiative.

Journey led by her: Journey to the East: Touching the Earth

 

 

Jagdish Chamola

Jagdish Chamola lives in the hill state Uttarakhand where he runs a restaurant and hotel on the pilgrimage route to Badrinath along with his brother. He has been leading trekking tours in the Himalayas for the past 15 years both for Indians and non Indians. After finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Science, he completed a Post-graduate diploma course in Tourism and Hoteliering at the Garhwal university. He is well versed in Indian customs and traditions and is also an excellent cook. He has been assisting Shantum Seth on the Buddhapath pilgrimages for a number of years. He lives with his wife, son and parents.

 

 

Kurian Mathews

Kurian Mathews is a practicing Buddhist. He has trained under Dharamcharya Shantum Seth in Mindfulness and also leading pilgrimages and other journeys in India and elsewhere. He has extensively studied Tibetan Buddhism and also attended retreats by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. In addition Mathews is a trained hiking and adventure guide as well as a Yoga instructor.

 

Gitanjali Varma Seth

Gitanjali Varma Seth after finishing her schooling at The Welham Girls school, graduated from the Lady Sriram College in Delhi with honours in Psychology. Thereafter she passed her Law exams at the Delhi Law School, practised in a law firm and then went on to complete her Masters in Law at the University of Virginia in the US. On her return to India, due to her interest in social justice she joined the United Nations to assist in managing a Programme for Artisan Development in South Asia. During that period she worked closely with Anna Hazare (a modern-day Gandhi) on his 300 village programme. Thereafter she helped set up an international network of marginalized groups in 16 countries again under the auspicies of the UN in the Inter-regional Volunteer Programme for Artisan Support. She won the Atsuhito Nakata award for volunteering, now known as the United Nations Volunteers Ambassador award. She married Shantum Seth in 1996 and they have two children and live in Noida, a suburb of Delhi in India. She is the managing trustee of Ahimsa Trust, which works in the field of education, culture and social development. www.ahimsatrust.org

 

Bina Aranha

Bina Aranha graduated with Commerce honours from Delhi University. She is deeply involved with community work and the Catholic Church. She is an editor of the local residents' newsletter Samvada, and now helps edit over 30 such newsletters in Delhi/Noida. She is the Vice President of Buddhapath and has been with the organization since 1998. She enjoys interacting with people from different countries and backgrounds, sharing with them the unique character of Delhi and India. Her husband is President of an IT company in India and they have three grown up children.