We at the Chenrezig Project believe that true happiness comes from within, the natural result of clear vision leading to wise, compassionate intentions and actions. We draw inspiration from many sources, including our dharma “teachers” who appear below. Buddhist and non-Buddhist, living and passed on, these people exemplify the skillful means for living lives of wisdom and compassion. Gandhi famously wrote a note which he passed from a train window to a reporter who asked for a message to take back to his village: “My life is my message.” So it is with our teachers. Please visit our “teacher pages” — they are here for all to share. After doing so, at a quiet time take a few moments to ponder what you’ve read . . . if you’re open, some of it will take seed in your heart. Once there, as sure as the sun rises in the morning, it will sprout.
Thankfully, compassionate inspiration is not in short supply . . . our teacher pages are growing with many persons identified and “in production” . . . please feel free to suggest your “compassion” teachers. . .
Also lovingly called Mataji, was born in the (now in Bangladesh) village of Kheora. Anandamayi Ma was a counselor, educator in the spiritual realm, healer and loving mother, all at the same time.
A writer, scientist and ecologist, grew up simply in the rural river town of Springdale, Pennsylvania. A biologist and writer on nature and science, her 1962 book Silent Spring
touched off a major controversy on the effects of pesticides.
He first went to India in 1967. He was still Dr. Richard Alpert, an already eminent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer in collaboration with Dr. Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley and Allen Ginsberg among others.
Albert Einstein is one of the most recognized and well-known scientists of the 20th century. His theories solved age-old problems in physics and rocked even non-physicists’ view of the world.
Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni di Bernardone), the patron saint of Italy, animals and ecology, was a Roman Catholic who founded the Franciscan religious order.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a major political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer and worldwide icon of “Satyagraha” — the movement of resistance through mass civil disobedience that is strongly founded upon ahimsa (non-violence).
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He was born to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in (Amdo) northeastern Tibet.
Thich Nhat Hanh
(pronounced Tick-Naught-Han) is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. During the war in Vietnam, he worked tirelessly for reconciliation between North and South Vietnam.
Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus, also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. He is commonly referred to as Jesus Christ, where “Christ” is a Greek-derived title meaning “Anointed One” which corresponds to the Hebrew-derived “Messiah”.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Poet, scholar philosopher, author and Tibetan Buddhist master, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche led a profound life dedicated to spiritual enlightenment and teaching. To followers of Tibetan Buddhism he is regarded as having been a great teacher of teachers, a realized being who was also remarked upon as being a genuinely good human being.
was born Merwan Shehariarji Irani in India into a Zoroastrian family. In his life he was a philosopher to some, a spiritual guide to many and a messiah to yet others (he claimed to be an Avatar — an incarnation of God).
grew up the daughter of a fishmonger in London. Hers was an ordinary adolescence. She had a boyfriend, a job, a crush on Elvis Presley. At age 20, she traded in her life of convention for one of contemplation.
was born in one of the eastern territories of ancient Persia, which is today part of Afghanistan. He began his career as a preacher and theologian, but after meeting a dervish, he became a mystic, or Sufi.
was a spiritual teacher in the ancient Indian subcontinent and the historical founder of Buddhism. He is universally recognized by Buddhists as the Supreme Buddha of our age (i.e., “The Buddha”). The time of his birth and death are unclear; most modern texts date his lifetime between 563 BCE and 483 BCE.
“Tank Man” of Tiananmen Square
Whoever he was, the man who stood before the line of tanks reminded us that the conviction of the young can generate a courage that elders sometimes lack. And, regardless of the odds, one must do what he knows to be right.
Jedi Master Yoda is one of the most iconic characters in George Lucas’ Star Wars
universe. Like many names in Star Wars
, the name “Yoda” is supposed to have been etymologically derived from some ancient language — in this case possibly from the Sanskrit yoddha
(“warrior”), or possibly from the Hebrew yodea
(“one who knows”).
“In fighting for the dignity of the destitute in a foreign land, she gave the world a moral example that bridged divides of culture, class and religion.” — Time Magazine in honoring Mother Teresa as one of the most important people of the 20th Century.
He is generally credited with coining the term “Rainbow Nation” as a metaphor to describe post-apartheid South Africa after 1994 under African National Congress (ANC) rule. The expression has since entered mainstream consciousness to describe South Africa’s ethnic diversity.
(Laozi, Lao Tzu) is the author of the Tao Te Ching
, or “Book of The Way and its Power,” containing a scant eighty-one “chapters,” most of them smaller than a typical short paragraph. He is also the reported author of the Hua Hu Ching. (There remains some scholarly debate as to whether he ever lived.)
has been called the “greatest Californian,” “the father of our national parks,” and “protector of the wilds.” But he saw himself as an ordinary citizen of the universe, and in fact wrote his address as “John Muir, Earth-Planet, Universe.”