The following is a brief chronological listing of the teachers who have helped shape me as a person an as a scholar. It is not meant to be exhaustive and will grow (and perhaps shrink) as time goes by.
My sentimental side would like to go back to grade school to give thanks to the wonderful teachers who shaped my childhood and young adult life, but we’ll skip those for now and jump to university days.
Alan Sponberg (aka Saramati): Buddhism, academic and practical.
Dr. Sponberg left the academic “rat race” of Princeton and Stanford to come to Montana around 1990. He combined a no-nonsense approach and his own experience to make studying Buddhism exciting and interesting. I’m happy to see him cited to this day in journals and discussions of Buddhist and Ecology (e.g. see here), Buddhism and Women, and early Chinese Yogacara, amongst other topics. As with many great teachers, my appreciation of Dr. Sponberg has only grown over the years, leaving me wishing that I had been a better student in my younger days.
Bodhipaksa: Buddhist Meditation.
I remember Bodhipaksa mostly for his Scottish accent and a story he told about making vegetarian haggis with way too much nutmeg, which is apparently hallucinogenic in high doses. I took an intro to meditation course with him through my university and sat with him and other FWBO (now TBO) members during my undergraduate career. I also worked for a while for/with him on wildmind.org doing some sort of web design/programming/promoting/SEO-type stuff. I was (and am if/when I manage to contribute) a guest-author on the wildmind blog. These days I enjoy his blogs, Bodhi Tree Swaying and Fake Buddha Quotes, and we keep in touch via the www.
David Clarke: Philosophy/Ethics
Robert Balch: Sociology of Religion
Albert Borgmann: Philosophy
David Sherman: Philosophy, Continental
Deni Elliott: Philosophy/Applied Ethics
Michael Roach: Buddhism, Tibetan
I studied his Asian Classics Institute “mini-Geshe” course on Tibetan Buddhist thought. I met him briefly when he was teaching in Ireland in 2005. I like his teachings and style and still think that they were very valuable. His activities post 2003 led me to be wary of him and I eventually found a better ‘fit’ for myself in academia with Theravadin study and practice. After the events of 2012, I am glad I did.
Paul Williams: Buddhism, Mahayana and Tibetan
Rupert Gethin: Buddhism, Theravada
John Peacock: Buddhism, Theravada
Rita Langer: Sanskrit
Damien Keown: Buddhist Ethics
Venerable Yifa: Woodenfish 2009, China, and 2010, Taiwan.