John Makransky combines an academic career as a professor of Buddhism and comparative theology at Boston College with his role as a meditation teacher within the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. John has practiced meditations of compassion and wisdom from Tibetan traditions for over thirty years and has introduced new ways of bringing these powerful contemplative methods into the secular world of social service and social justice by making them newly accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths. He has also helped Western Buddhists deepen their contemplative experience of presence and loving compassion in the context of socially engaged practice ([www.johnmakransky.org]).
John has studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 1978 under the guidance of respected Nyingma, Kagyu, and Gelug teachers. In 2000 he was installed as a lama in the Tibetan lineage of his first root teacher, Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche, by Lama Surya Das. John met his second root teacher, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche in 2002, and now serves as a senior faculty advisor and lecturer for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche's Centre for Buddhist Studies in Bodhanath, Nepal (affiliated with Kathmandu University and Rangjung Yeshe Institute).
John is presently the guiding meditation teacher of the Foundation for Active Compassion, which provides meditation workshops and retreats not only in Buddhist contemplative settings but also in secular settings for social justice activists, social workers, counselors, teachers, therapists, and health care and other helping professionals. These workshops are sponsored by diverse organizations, such as Boston College's Graduate Schools of Social Work and of Theology and Ministry, the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Contemplative Mind in Society, the Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy, and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. John recently published a book of contemplative practices and teachings to empower people in relationships, work, service and social action entitled "Awakening Through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness" (Wisdom Publications, 2007).
John is also author of Buddhahood Embodied: Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet, coeditor of Buddhist Theology: Critical Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars, and the author of many articles and essays. Within the American Academy of Religion (AAR), John is co-chair of the Buddhist Theological Reflection Group and a faculty instructor for the AAR’s Summer Seminars on Religious Pluralism and Comparative Theology. In addition, John is senior faculty advisor and lecturer for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche's Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal, affiliated with Kathmandu University and Rangjung Yeshe Institute. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and two sons.
Academic Institutions & Groups
• Boston College Department of Theology
• Boston College Comparative Theology Program
• Center for Buddhist Studies in Nepal
• Society for Comparative Theology
• European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies
• American Academy of Religion / Buddhist Constructive Reflection Group
• Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies
• International Association of Buddhist Studies
- John Makransky: (2007) Awakening Through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness (Wisdom Publications)
- John J. Makransky: (August 1997) Buddhahood Embodied: Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet, Publisher: State University of New York Press)
Articles and Essays
- Love Is All Around: Recognizing the Unconditional Love in our Lives Tricycle: The Buddhist Review (Fall 2007)
- A Contemporary Buddhist Teaching of Spiritual Practice presented to the Association of Practical Theology, American Academy of Religion (2007)
- Buddha and Christ as Mediations of Ultimate Reality: A Mahayana Buddhist Perspective Buddhism and Christianity in Dialogue (2005)
- Historical Consciousness as an Offering to the Trans-historical Buddha Buddhist Theology: Critical Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars
- Contemporary Academic Buddhist Theology: Its Emergence and Rationale Buddhist Theology: Critical Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars (2000)
- Buddhist Analogues of Sin and Grace: A Dialogue with Augustine Studies in Interreligious Dialogue (2005)
- Mahayana Buddhist Ritual and Ethical Activity in the World Society of Buddhist Christian Studies Meeting, Orlando, FL (Nov. 20, 1998)