Calling All Meditation Experts

MonkeeGuruOK, folks. Let’s see what the power of the Internet can do.

I’ve come up with what I think is a pretty good idea for my next book. I’m not ready to reveal this to the world just yet because I haven’t quite worked out exactly how I want to present the idea publicly. It’s pretty solid in my own mind. But, like Low Reed said, “Between thought and expression lies a lifetime.” And I want to get this just right because I think it’s a good idea that nobody’s done yet.

In order to make the book as good and as useful as I think it can be, I’ll need to talk to people who are experts in styles of meditation other than Soto Zen. I want to present good solid information about a variety of types of meditation in a number of traditions including Christian-based, Islamic-based, Hindu-based and other styles and traditions.

To do so I need to talk directly to people who are experts in these kinds of meditation practices. Ideally, I would like to include firsthand original interviews with people who are known in their particular field. So if you’ve just taken a few classes in, say, Kundalini meditation at your local McYoga studio, god bless you, but you’re probably not the kind of person I need to talk to.

Whenever I pick up a book that references Zen or some other subject I know a lot about like Godzilla movies or The Beatles and the author cites somebody who I know really doesn’t know very much about that subject, it makes me doubt much of whatever else that author says. I don’t want that to happen with this book. I want readers who know a lot about, let’s say Kundalini again, to see the name of whoever I’ve talked to about Kundalini and go, “OK. That guy knows what he’s talking about even if Brad doesn’t really understand it completely.”

So, dear readers, I’m asking you for leads. Perhaps some of you out there know someone who is a recognized expert. It would be especially helpful if you have a personal connection to that expert and can help me get in touch. But even suggestions are helpful. You can put them in the comments section or you can send them to


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If you’re in or near Ojai, California this coming Friday, December 6th, go see the documentary about me. You have to get your tickets in advance though! Here’s the link where you can buy them.

Dec. 12 we’ll show the documentary about me in Seattle, Washington. You gotta get your tickets in advance, though. Here’s the link!

Dec. 13 we’ll show the documentary about me in Portland, Oregon. Again, you gotta get your tickets in advance. Here’s the link!

I will be at all three screenings to do a Q&A afterwards and sign books and generally hang out with people.

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As usual, this blog and my being able to go to these film screenings are supported by your donations! Thank you!

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22 Responses

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  1. Shodo
    Shodo December 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm |

    Shenanigans! :}

  2. Fred
    Fred December 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  3. mb
    mb December 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm |

    Was going to suggest Shinzen, but Fred just beat me to it! Shinzen has a Zen background (with Joshu Sasaki – ouch) but teaches his own brand Vipassana, and since he is an American, his teachings are more Western-oriented than the traditional Theravada Vipassana approach of Gunaratana. His website:

  4. Curt
    Curt December 3, 2013 at 7:10 pm |

    I would recommend George Draffan over at:

    thank you,


  5. Steve
    Steve December 4, 2013 at 6:12 am |

    I thought this was too obvious to mention, but then people started mentioning Shinzen so I figured what the hell. Jon Kabat Zinn.

  6. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote December 4, 2013 at 8:53 am |

    Everyday meditation tradtion amongst the Huichol:

  7. Wedged
    Wedged December 4, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    Cool, sounds like an awesome idea so far!

    Use your Tricycle connections to get Ram Dass’s contact info! They just interviewed him so someone must know how to reach him 🙂

  8. sri_barence
    sri_barence December 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm |

    How about Robert (Jinsen) Kennedy? He is a Jesuit priest as well as a Zen teacher, so I imagine he would have some valuable insight into Christian contemplative practices. You might be able to contact him via the Zen Peacemakers organization.

  9. dc
    dc December 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm |

    Hi Brad,

    From the Christian angle the obvious choice would be Laurence Freeman OSB,, and also Paul F. Knitter (author of Without Buddha I Could Not Be A Christian)…

    I’ve read a few times that this guy Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi, Patriarch of the Sufi Order of Azeemiais, is one of the main Islamic Meditation people right now & but that might be more hype than anything else. Not really an area I know much about.

    Some wicca practitioners use meditation, I know Starhawk has written some about it… an eg

    Cheers, dan

  10. Dan
    Dan December 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm |

    The go-to expert on the Quaker tradition is Ben Pink Dandelion:

    Not many people are up on the Quakers, so briefly: They’re “Christian-based”, practice a vaguely Soto-ish kind of meditation, and (from what I’ve seen) are more interested in how meditation affects their relationships with people/society, rather than what mystical experiences it might give them.

  11. Rocky
    Rocky December 4, 2013 at 8:16 pm |


    You could try seeing if Charles Tart is available. He was a student of Shinzen Young’s but primarily specializes in G. I. Gurdjieff’s mindfulness method. I’m not sure how busy he is these days but he’s been teaching different forms of meditation for quite a while now and takes a very studious approach. If you’re looking for someone with educational credentials, he’s definitely one of the guys I’d recommend. He even has a personal blog you can check out for yourself and see if he’s someone you’d be interested in speaking with.

    Hope the new project goes well!


  12. jas
    jas December 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

    With permission, I could send you a book written by VM Hsuan Hua of the DBRA, on his first Sesshin in the USA, which was a Kuan Yin recitation. Kinda interesting.

    I’ve always been partial to Shikantaza style, which HuiNeng apparently appropriated (and apparently appropriated quite a lot which also shows up in Dogen’s teachings) a lot from the Tao Te Ching. But apparently Shikantaza style is all encompassing of the entire Thervadian traditions of meditation. Shikantaza is all styles of the Thervadian meditations, rolled into one because they…one type naturally leads to the next type. Its in the Platform Sutra.

  13. buddy
    buddy December 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm |

    Also on the Christian side: I slept on this guy’s floor in Albuquerque in the 80s. He teaches there at the Center for Action and Contemplation.

  14. Curt
    Curt December 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm |

    I have another recommendation: Paul Rezendes. He has been studying Krishnamurti’s work for years and wrote his own book titled “The Wild Within” about his own unique spiritual journey. I have been in contact with Paul for close to a decade now. If need be I could contact him for you.

    thank you,


  15. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi December 6, 2013 at 12:48 am |

    For Advaitic self-enquiry in the Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadtta, and Poonja Swami style, you should write to David Godman, who is pretty much an expert on this stuff, having written many books on these folks. I’ve had personal correspondence with him before, and he’s very open to discussion. You can mention me as a reference. Here’s his email:

    He also has a website here:

  16. Dan
    Dan December 6, 2013 at 5:14 am |

    This might be too obscure for your purposes, but: “Chaos magic” is a stripped-down punk take on the Western occult tradition, from 1970s England. Your best bet for a recognized expert who’d do an interview is Grant Morrison of DC Comics fame.

  17. JSMaxwell
    JSMaxwell December 6, 2013 at 5:32 am |

    I suggest reaching out to Sam Harris. Noted atheist, skeptic, and neuroscientist for a secular view. He has extensive personal experience (travelled around the world to study and practice) as well as a scientific understanding.

  18. Dan
    Dan December 12, 2013 at 4:15 am |

    My earlier (and more relevant) comment seems to have been flagged as spam or something; trying again with fewer links?:

    The go-to expert on the Quaker tradition is Ben Pink Dandelion:

    Not many people are up on the Quakers, so briefly: They’re “Christian-based”, practice a vaguely Soto-ish kind of meditation, and (from what I’ve seen) are more interested in how meditation affects their relationships with people/society, rather than what mystical experiences it might give them.

  19. Oleksa
    Oleksa December 26, 2013 at 3:32 am |

    Concerning Islamic meditation practices you may ask someone from here:

    This is the Iranian Sufi order, with headquarters now based in Britain. They are open and very sane from my point of view. Also their practice includes some really weird music)

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