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Mission Statement

To empower people with profound contemplative practices that support their aspirations to become better people and to make a better world.

To do this by providing powerfully transformative practices of innate compassion and wisdom from Tibetan Buddhism, adapted into forms that are accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths.

To thereby help people find an unconditional power of care from within that is deeply healing and sustaining, and that helps them become more fully present to themselves and to others within their relationships, service and social action.

To enliven and inform the spiritual lives of people of diverse traditions by teaching these practices in contexts of deep inter-religious exchange and interdisciplinary learning.

To maintain an enriching connection with the depth of wisdom and experience held by teachers and institutions of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.


Guiding Teachers

Lama John Makransky

John Makransky

John Makransky is chief guiding teacher of the Foundation for Active Compassion, which provides meditation workshops and retreats in Buddhist and inter-religious contemplative settings and in secular settings for people in caring roles and professions and in activism. He is also the co-founder of the Courage of Care Coalition, the Buddhist Critical-Constructive Group of the American Academy of Religion, and former President of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies.

John Makransky combines an academic career as professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College with his role as a meditation teacher. Since 1978 John has practiced meditations of compassion and wisdom under the guidance of lamas in the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Gelug traditions of Tibet.  In 2000 he was installed as a lama in the lineage of his first root teacher, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, by Lama Surya Das. In the following years, he met and practiced with his other root teachers, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche.  Since 2000, John has made practices of replenishing, inclusive compassion and awareness newly accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths to empower care, service and action, while also empowering Western Buddhists to deepen their contemplative experience of love and wisdom.

John wrote a widely read manual of practices adapted from Tibetan Buddhism entitled Awakening Through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness. He has also authored Buddhahood Embodied: Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet, coedited Buddhist Theology: Critical Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars, and authored many articles and essays.

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Julie Forsythe

Julie Forsythe is a co-founder and guiding teacher of the Foundation for Active Compassion with her teaching mentor, Lama John Makransky and Bob Morrison. Julie is also on the Board of Directors of Courage of Care Coalition.

Bob Morrison

Bob Morrison is a guiding teacher with Foundation for Active Compassion, dedicated to sharing these life-transforming wisdom practices with Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Since meeting the late Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche in 1994, he has studied and practiced Dzogchen and other teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Bob is also the director of the Margha Program for the Natural Dharma Foundation.

Ilona OʼConnor

Ilona OʼConnor is a guiding teacher with the Foundation for Active Compassion. She has studied with Lama John Makransky since 2007 and has been inspired by his transmission to teach practices of Innate Wisdom and Compassion in both Budddhist and non-Buddhist contexts.

Board of Directors

Bob Morrison

Guiding Teacher

Julie Forsythe

Founding & Guiding Teacher
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