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About Us

Advisory Board


Most Venerable Dr. Walpola Piyananda Maha Thero - Bhante Piyananda is the Chief Sangha Nayake (head monk) of the U.S.; President, Sri Lankan Sangha Council of America & Canada; Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka; and Abbot and President of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara, Los Angeles. 


Lewis R. Lancaster, Ph.D. - Lew Lancaster is Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley; a distinguished Buddhist scholar; founder and director of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI), and former president, The University of the West.


Robert E. Buswell, Ph.D - Robert Buswell is Distinguished Professor of Korean and Chinese Buddhist Studies and director of the Center for Buddhist Studies at UCLA.  He is also founding director of the Academy of Buddhist Studies (Pulgyo Haksurwŏn) at Dongguk University, South Korea. 


Sharon Salzberg - New York Times best selling author and influential teacher of Buddhist meditation practices in the West, Sharon Salzberg co-founded the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts.  Her books include Lovingkindness and Real Happiness - The Power of Meditation


Stephen A. Markel, Ph.D. - Stephen Markel is The Harry and Yvonne Lenart Curator and Department Head of South and Southeast Asian Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Dr. Markel also serves as President of the American Council for Southern Asian Art. 


Gaetano Kasuo Maida - Tano Maida is Executive director of the Buddhist Film Foundation and a founding director of Tricycle magazine. Also a documentary filmmaker, he directed Peace is Every Step, a film about the Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh.



Project Researchers 


David Blundell, Ph.D - Anthropologist, photographer, filmmaker, and Associate Professor at National Chengchi University in Taiwan, David Blundell has carried out research in Sri Lanka for over 30 years.  He is the director of Arising Light: Dr B. R. Ambedkar and the Birth of a New Era in India


Don Farber - Fulbright Scholar and photographer of Buddhist life since 1977, Don Farber is now filming Buddhist life as well.  He is the author of five books, has had numerous museum exhibitions, and his images have appeared in magazines and on book covers internationally. 

Rebecca McClen Novick - Author of Fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, cowriter of Tibetan Buddhist Life, and writer for Portraits of Tibetan Buddhist Masters,  Rebecca McClen Novick has edited a number of books on Tibetan Buddhism and is a radio producer and filmmaker. 



Board of Directors


Don Farber, President - see above.   


Judge Yosh Yamanaka, Vice President and Secretary - Retired administrative law judge Yosh Yamanaka has served as director on many boards including Pacifica Foundation and L.A. Friends of Tibet.  He has taught English in Laos and is helping alleviate the problem of unexploded ordnance in that country.

Adrienne Moberly Vilaubi, Treasurer, is a retired educator.  She is the past Chair and Executive Director of the Panchen Lama Tashi Lhunpo Project, founded by the late Ruth Hayward Ph.D. . She oversaw the non-profit’s efforts to support the expansion of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in exile, Southern India.


Honorary Board Member

Paula Fouce, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose films include Naked in Ashes, The Dark HobbyNo Asylum: The Untold Chapter of Anne Frank's Story, and Not in God's Name: In search of Tolerance with the Dalai Lama.  She has served as a Director of the Panchen Lama Tashi Lhunpo Project.


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