Leo Babauta, an author and former journalist, is the blogger behind “Zen Habits,” which has more than a million monthly readers. In this issue (“Dropping Distraction“), he tells us how to successfully drop distractions in order to focus on what really matters to us instead.
Gail Gutradt is a writer and photographer whose work detailing life at Wat Opot, a Cambodian community for children with AIDS, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A volunteer and fundraiser for Wat Opot since 2005, she writes of her experiences there in this issue (“Among the Children of Wat Opot“).
Scott Carney is an investigative journalist and author based in Colorado. In “Madness and Obsession on the Path to Enlightenment,” he recounts the story of Buddhist retreatant Ian Thorson’s enigmatic death—and how he got swept up in the mystery himself.
Daehyun Kim, whose work appears on this issue’s cover, is a South Korean artist who began his “Moonassi series,” a collection of black-and-white illustrations, as a student of Oriental Painting at South Korea’s celebrated College of Fine Arts, Hongik University. Moona can be translated as “there is no such thing as me” or “emptiness/void in me”; ssi is a common suffix attached to Korean names, much like “Mr.” or “Ms./ Mrs.” Thus “when people call me ‘Moonassi,’” he says, “it’s like they are calling someone who has no identity.”
Jolyon Baraka Thomas
Jolyon Baraka Thomas, who describes in this issue (“Welcome to Ryohoji!“) a Japanese Buddhist temple’s manga-style attempt to keep Buddhism up with the times, will be an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania starting in July 2015.
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