Andrew Olendzki

Buddhist Scholar, Teacher and Writer

Integrated Dharma Institute

Senior Scholar (2015-present)

Untangling Self: A Buddhist investigation of who we really are.

Wisdom Publications (2016)

Unlimiting Mind: The radically experiential psychology of Buddhism.

Wisdom Publications (2010)

Older and Wiser: Classical Buddhist teachings on aging, sickness, and death. co-authors: Mu Soeng, Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia. Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (2017)

Montserrat College of Art

Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Liberal Arts (1987-1990)

Visiting Faculty

Amherst College (S 2017; S 2013)

Smith College (S 2014; F 2010)

Hampshire College (F 2013)

Harvard Divinity School (F 2012; F 2011; F 1998; F 1997)

Lesley University (S 2012)

Brandeis University (S 2006; F 2006)

Harvard University (F 1996)

Connecticut College (S 1989; S 1990)

Bryant University (F 1988)

Special Student. University of Sri Lanka (Peredeniya)  1980

Pali, Buddhist Studies (Mentor: Lilly de Silva)

Special Student. Harvard University  1980-85

Sanskrit, Pali, and Buddhist Studies (Mentor: Masatoshi Nagatomi)

Ph.D. Lancaster University (UK)  1987

Religious Studies (Mentor: Ninian Smart)

Thesis: ​Interdependent Origination and Cessation: the paticcasamuppadaas a model of early Buddhist liberation

Short Bio

Wesleyan University

Visiting Assistant Professor (2017-2018)

Hampshire College

Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies (2018-2019)


My studies began in philosophy because it promised to ask the largest questions. Exposure to Chinese philosophy widened the scope considerably, and the study of Sanskrit and Pali gave me access to the rich Indian  traditions where philosophy plays a supporting role in a much larger investigation of meaning. I gravitated, quite naturally it seems, to the teachings of the historical Buddha because of their remarkably clarity, profundity, accessibility, and universality.

I started meditating very early in this exploration, as practice seemed to be such an obvious and necessary tool for engaging with Buddhist studies. The Buddha's teaching is all about examining and understanding the field of lived experience, and it became central to my approach that the study of Buddhist texts and the practice of insight meditation be thoroughly integrated--as I think they were always meant to be.

After beginning a conventional academic career as an assistant professor at an art college, I was recruited to become the first executive director of the Insight Meditation Society, and helped to establish and develop the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. These are institutions that are trying to live these experiential teachings in a contemporary context, and I am proud of the contributions I have made there to the larger project of rolling the wheel of Dhamma a bit further down the road. Over two and a half decades in Barre, I saw the once fringe phenomenon of meditation become mainstream, the once obscure teachings of the Buddha become popular, and helped to connect the classical teachings of the Buddha to many modern movements, including health (via MBSR), psychology (via the Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy), and the scientific understanding of consciousness (via the Mind & Life Institute).

Currently I am pursuing these interests as an independent scholar, teacher, and writer, and have started the Integrated Dharma Institute as a vehicle for continuing work in the this field. The Institute provides quality materials and ongoing support to student who want to investigate as directly as possible the original teachings of the Buddha, both as they are found in the earliest Pali texts and as they are encountered in one's own lived experience.

On the Ganges, 2007

Mind & Life Institute

Senior Scholar (2013-14)

Insight Meditation Society

Executive Director (1990-1996)

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

Core Faculty (1990-2015)

Senior Scholar (2006-2014)

Executive Director (1994-2012)

M.A. Lancaster University (UK)  1979

Buddhism, Hinduism and Sanskrit

Thesis: The Doctrine of No-Mind and the Problem of Insentience in Zen Buddhism and Taoism

B.A. University of Colorado  1977

Philosophy and Religious Studies (double major)