Wisdom Publications

Welcome! Wisdom Publications is the leading publisher of books, podcasts, and online courses on contemporary and classic Buddhism, mindfulness, and meditation. Wisdom is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to cultivating writers and teachers the world over, advancing critical scholarship, preserving and sharing the literary culture of various contemplative traditions, and helping people find and engage with the teachers, teachings, and practices for a wise and compassionate life.

OUR STORY

Wisdom traces its beginnings to the influential Tibetan teachers Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche who in the 1970s established the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international network of Buddhist service organizations. Lama Yeshe’s vision of “publications for wisdom culture” led to the founding of Wisdom Publications.

Over 30 years, Wisdom has developed a peerless list of over three hundred finely edited and beautifully produced titles that are distributed worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty languages. Wisdom’s success in fulfilling its mission is due to the combined efforts and generosity of countless authors, translators, editors, donors, and staff, all inspired by the profound richness of Buddhism and similar contemplative traditions.

HOW THIS WEBSITE CAN HELP YOU

This website will help you find and engage with the teachers, teachings, and practices for developing a deeper, wiser relationship with your mind, your life, and the world. Are you looking for more patience, concentration, and connection with life? Do you seek the finest scholarship on all traditions of Buddhism? You’ve come to the right place.

 

WISDOM TEAM

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    Daniel T. Aitken CEO/Publisher

    Daniel is an experienced business executive with over a decade of insights gathered from corporate and consumer marketing executive roles working for multinationals such as Canon, and large financial firms such as Westpac. While pursuing his marketing career, Daniel continued to foster his life long interest in Tibetan Buddhism, the Tibetan language, and its literature. This has taken him across Australia, America, India, Nepal, and Tibet to pursue a deeper understanding of Buddhist theory and practice with masters from the living tradition. Daniel also reads Sanskrit and Tibetan and has a PhD in Buddhist Philosophy.

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    David Kittelstrom Senior Editor

    A twenty-year veteran of Wisdom Publications, David is staff editor for the various translation and academic series, including Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, The Library of Tibetan Classics, Classics of Indian Buddhism, and Teachings of the Buddha. He has served as well as editor of dozens of other books on topics ranging from Japanese Pure Land, to Chinese Zen, to Theravada, and he celebrates the Dharma’s diverse and ever-changing forms.

    A native of Maine who grew up very active in the United Church of Christ, David got his B.A. in Religion in 1990 from Carleton College in Minnesota, where he studied Buddhism with Roger Jackson, Bardwell Smith, and Eshin Nishimura, wrote his undergraduate thesis comparing the Madhyamaka thought of Nagarjuna with the desconstruction philosophy of Jacques Derrida, and was profoundly affected by Christian Feminist Theology. In 1988 he spent a semester in Nepal on a School for International Training program directed by Ian Baker, living with a Newari family and attending his first Tibetan Buddhism course with Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche. After college, he spent two years in Seattle working in community mental health with chronically mentally ill adults and meditated for a while at Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji and participated in a Catholic ministry training program. On the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he began working at Wisdom in 1993 following a year in South Asia when he stayed at Father Bede Griffith’s Shantivanam ashram in Tamil Nadu, attended a course with Venerable Robina Courtin and refuge ceremony with Lama Lhundup at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, and undertook the monsoon retreat at Tushita Meditation Center in Dharamsala.

    While in Boston, he was fortunate to live between 1994 and 1996 with Sera Je Geshe Tsulga, the resident teacher of Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, and he served as the director of Kurukulla Center from 1999 to 2001 during the purchase of their building. He was a regular participant in the Buddhist Coalition of New England, an interfaith community active in the 1990s that fostered personal connections and shared practice among the many Buddhist traditions in the Boston area.

    At Wisdom, he began as an editorial assistant and customer-service representative when Wisdom still ran a bookstore and a mail-order company on Newbury Street in Boston. From 1995 to 1997, he was director of sales and distribution for the company, and in 1997 switched full time to the editorial department, first as production editor, then as editor alongside E. Gene Smith, and since 2003 as a senior editor. David has two children and currently works for Wisdom from his office in Santa Rosa, California.

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    Josh Bartok Executive Editor

    Since 2000, Josh has served as in-house editor for almost 200 books in all traditions of Buddhism. He is the co-author, with Ezra Bayda, of Saying Yes To Life (Even the Hard Parts), and the authoring editor of Daily Doses of Wisdom, Daily Wisdom, More Daily Wisdom; as well as Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s How to Be Happy, and Lama Yeshe’s When the Chocolate Runs Out.

    He is also head teacher and spiritual director at the Greater Boston Zen Center, and one of the guiding teachers of Boundless Way Zen—and currently works part-time as Buddhist pastoral counselor in private practice. He is a full member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and the American Zen Teachers Association, and is a friend of the Lay Zen Teachers Association.

    Josh graduated from Vassar College in 1993 with a degree in Cognitive Science, and from UMass Boston in 2014 with a master’s degree in mental health counseling. Recreationally, Josh is an amateur photographer who shows locally and regionally. His photos can be seen online at www.joshbartok.com.

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    Laura Cunningham Senior Editor

    Laura started meditating when she was in high school, when she began attending a weekly mindfulness class led by students of Thich Nhat Hanh at her local Unitarian Universalist congregation. At Bard College she studied literature and comparative religions. She's been working for Wisdom since 2007 and in her free time is an avid reader and traveler.

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    Ben Gleason Production Editor

    Ben grew up near Dallas, Texas, where he attended university and graduate school. After earning a master’s degree in American literature, Ben spent two years teaching English in Korea, where he began practicing in the Kwan Um School of Zen. After moving to the Boston area, he and his wife lived at the Cambridge Zen Center for fourteen years, where Ben served in several staff positions. Ben also worked at Tuttle Publishing for two years and at Shambhala Publications for thirteen years. In addition, he has worked as a freelance editor since 2001. When he’s not working on books, Ben likes to swim, ride his bike, and dabble in computer programming. He started working at Wisdom in 2016.

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    Kestrel Slocombe Brand and Marketing Manager

    Kestrel has been interested in Buddhism since 2008, when she began sitting retreats at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. She practices Theravadin and Zen meditation. She has a BA in Liberal Arts from Bennington College, where she studied literature and psychology, and has worked internships at the Insight Meditation Society and the Kneerim, Williams, & Bloom Literary Agency. Kestrel joined Wisdom in August 2012 as social media and fundraising coordinator, and now leads the marketing team with the philosophy of inbound, customer-centric marketing.

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    Brianna Quick Content Editor

    Brianna grew up in Asheville, NC and has been practicing in the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism since her early 20s. After receiving a BA in Global Studies from Warren Wilson College, also in Asheville, she continued to work for the college while helping her Dharma teacher form a new temple, Urban Dharma NC. She then moved to the Boston area with her husband to attend Harvard Divinity School and received a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in Buddhism in 2015.

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    Pema Tsewang, Shastri Customer Service Manager

    Pema has worked at Wisdom since 1998. A former Fulbright scholar at Harvard University, Pema has served as the chairman of the board of directors for the Tibetan Association of Boston, and has served in various capacities—as principal, headmaster, and teacher of Tibetan language, literature, and history—at schools in the Tibetan Children’s Village, and as principal and administrator at the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics Dolmaling, both in Dharamsala, India. He has published many books in Tibetan, including poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and translations of works by Dr. Gene Sharp and Charles Dickens. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his family.

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    Alexandra Makkonen Backlist Marketing Coordinator

    Alexandra joined Wisdom in 2017 and holds an MA (Hons) in History from the University of Edinburgh and an MA in Transnational Studies from University College London. Her dissertations involved research in the social import of Chinese garden construction and the restructuring of identity among post-war Balkan emigrants. She has practiced largely Zen meditation for several years. Before working at Wisdom, she volunteered with Endometriosis UK, National Trust Scotland, and Health in Mind UK. She enjoys aikido, painting, languages, and cooking and is the proud owner of a yellow kayak.

THE WISDOM BOARD

  • DANIEL T. AITKEN, President
  • TIMOTHY J. MCNEILL, Chairman
  • BRENT FARMER, Treasurer
  • AXEL LEBLOIS, Clerk