Barbara O Brien

Barbara O’Brien

Barbara Hoetsu O’Brien is a longtime student of Soto Zen and author of The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World and Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and Science-Affirming World. She is also a volunteer editor for Treasure the Road, a new online magazine devoted to formal Zen practice and Buddhist study.

Recent Articles

Sculpture of Shakyamuni Buddha sitting and touching the earth.

Who Was the Buddha?

The Buddha who lived 2,600 years ago was not a god. He was an ordinary person, named Siddhartha Gautama, whose teachings on enlightenment and the end of suffering became the basis of the world religion of Buddhism.

Progress & Pitfalls: An Historic 20 Years

For Buddhadharma’s 20th-anniversary issue, Barbara O’Brien takes a look back at the last two decades of losses, challenges, and opportunities in Western Buddhism.

¿Quién fue el Buda?

“Buda” significa “el que está despierto”. El Buda que vivió hace 2,600 años no era un dios. Él era una persona ordinaria, llamado Siddhartha Gautama, cuya profunda visión inspiró al mundo.