Professor of Management in the College of Business at San Francisco State University. His essays and cultural criticism have appeared in the Huffington Post, Salon, Alternet, Tikkun, and Tricycle magazine. His viral article, "Beyond McMindfulness", opened the floodgates for the mindfulness backlash. Author of eight books, his recent books include the Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement and the Handbook of Ethical Foundations of Mindfulness. Prof. Purser’s writings have been exploring the challenges and issues of introducing mindfulness into secular contexts, particularly with regards to its encounter with modernity, Western consumer capitalism, and individualism. Dr. Purser is an ordained Zen Dharma Teacher in the Korean Zen Taego order of Buddhism.
His book, McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality (Repeater Books) was published on July 9, 2019 and is now available on Kindle and Audible (audiobook).
Dr. Purser is an ordained Zen Dharma teacher in the Korean Zen Taego Order. He received ordination in April 2013 from the Venerable Jongmae Park, Partriarch of the Taego Korean Zen order for the overseas sangha. His Dharma name is Hae Seong, which means “The Nature of Wisdom.”
Dr. Purser’s began studying Buddhism in 1981 as a student at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, and formal Zen training at the Cleveland Zen Center in 1985, receiving precepts from Koshin Ogui Sensei. In the Tibetan Nyingma and Kagyu traditions, Dr. Purser has studied, practiced and taken retreats under the direction of Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche of Nyingma Centers, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde, Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, and Wangdor Rinpoche from Rewalsar, India. His former Zen teachers include Albert Low, Abbot of the Montreal Zen Center, and Sensei Al Fusho Rapaport of Open Mind Zen. He also completed a two year teacher training program for Time, Space and Knowledge (TSK) vision, and a nine month intensive training program, Nondual Psychotherapy, with Dr. Peter Fenner from Australia. Dr. Purser has traveled extensively in Northern India, making pilgrimages to the Holy sites of the Buddha.
Ron Purser is co-host of The Mindful Cranks Podcast, which broadly explores the cultural translation of Buddhism in the West, various facets of Buddhist modernism, and the mainstreaming of mindfulness in secular contexts. The podcast serves as a forum for voices that go beyond the dominant narratives which have been thus far uncritical of consumerism, medicalization, psychologization, corporatization and self-help approaches.