Nov 2014 Bhante Gunaratana has written a new book Meditation on Perception, based on the Girimananda Sutta. His other books, including Mindfulness in Plain English and Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness are among the books I recommend most when people ask for meditation or Buddhist book recs. Bhante G has been ordained since he was 12 and has lived in the US since the late 60s (I knew him when I was a child and he was head monk of the Washington DC Buddhist Vihara). He also runs a meditation monastery Bhavana Society in WV that holds retreats as well as training monastics. Bhante G has been supportive of female monastics, and though in his 80s, embraces new technology and modern life. Thanks for all your teaching and service!
May 2013 I have been fortunate to teach this year with some of the foremost Western scholars of Buddhism, including Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ayya Tathaaloka, and most recently Ven Analayo Bhikkhu, through Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program. Ven Analayo is a German Buddhist monk who spent most of his training in Sri Lanka and is currently a professor at University of Hamburg. His most well known book is Satipatthana, about the sutta that is the basis of most insight meditation/Vipassana practices. He has also written a lot of articles on Early Buddhism, many of which can be found here, related to his comparative study of Chinese versions of early Buddhist suttas compared to the Pali versions. It was great to get to learn with him.
Dec 2012 I had the honor this past month to teach a study retreat with some fine scholars/monastics, including Bhikkhu Bodhi, translator of many of the most commonly used English version Suttas, and Ayya Tathaaloka, senior American Theravada Bhikkhuni and founder of Aranya Bodhi hermitage and Dhammadharini women’s monastic community in northern California. I learned of a great online resource put out by the Alliance for Bhikkhunis, a magazine called Present (great title!) Check it out!