Barbara O'Brien is an author who writes the blog, Mahablog. O'Brien's book Blogging America Political Discourse in a Digital Nation discusses the changes blogging has made in America's political culture, and the left-right debate . O'Brien is a strong advocate of blogging as a means of giving the public power in the media, as well as opposing the Iraq War. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. O'Brien also writes and edits the Buddhism topic at About.com.
Barbara Hoetsu O'Brien is a journalist and student of Zen Buddhism currently living in the greater New York City area.
Barbara began formal study of Buddhism in 1988, when she was accepted as a lay student of Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, NY. In the years since she has since been actively engaged in meeting Buddhists from other traditions and learning about the many forms of Buddhism. Although most of her work as a writer focuses on American politics, she has written extensively about religion in America and how it impacts politics and culture on her personal blog, The Mahablog. She also writes in the political sphere about mesothelioma and asbestos tort reform. She is currently a member of the Empty Hand Zen Center in New Rochelle, New York, NY.
Barbara has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri.
From Barbara O\'Brien:
My own spiritual path began with mainstream Christian Protestantism, then diverged into an exploration of many traditions and philosophies until I became a student of Zen Buddhism in the late 1980s. Since then I have combined my Zen practice with investigation of all Buddhist history and traditions.
Through study, but even more through many encounters and discussions with other Buddhists, I have come to a deep appreciation and respect for the dizzying complexity of practices and doctrines that are called Buddhist. Gaudy and austere, rational and mystical, Gentleness and intense, simple yet impossibly difficult, after all these years Buddhism still fascinates and surprises me. I welcome this opportunity to help others ease into what might seem a dauntingly complex subject.