Author, entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed “Buddhist psychonaut,” Doug Osto teaches Asian Philosophy at Massey University, New Zealand. He also offers private instruction as a spiritual consultant, mindfulness coach, and hypnotherapist. He has a wide range of academic and personal interests such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Asian philosophies and religions, meditation, mindfulness, hypnosis, psychotherapy, altered states of consciousness, and martial arts. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing with his partner Krystal and his five children, training in Kung Fu, hiking and running. In addition to his academic writing, he self-publishes books on meditation, self-help and his translations of Buddhist and Hindu texts.
2004 PhD in the Study of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
1999 MA in Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington
1995 Master of Theological Studies (MTS), Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
1991 BA (Honors) in Religious Studies, Grinnell College
Area of Specialization:
Comparative religion, contemporary Buddhist practice, Mahayana Buddhism, South Asian religions, Asian philosophies, Hinduism, religion and altered states of consciousness.
Currently Doug is writing a book on the contemporary revival of Nondual Kashmir Shaivism.
Selected Academic Publications:
Power, Wealth and Women in Indian Mahayana Buddhism: The Gandavyuha-sutra, London: Routledge, 2008.
Articles & Book Chapters
- “Altered States and the Origins of the Mahāyāna,” in Setting Out on the Great Way: Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism, edited by Paul Harrison (Sheffield: Equinox, 2018), pp. 177-205.
- “No-Self in Sāṃkhya: A Comparative Look at Classical Sāṃkhya and Theravāda Buddhism,” Philosophy East and West 68.1 (January 2018): 201-222.
- “Merit” in The Buddhist World, edited by John Powers (London: Routledge, 2016), pp. 351-366.
- “Orality, Authority and Conservatism in the Prajñāpāramitā Sūtras,” in Dialogue in Early South Asian Religions, edited by Laurie Patton and Brian Black (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 115-135.
- “A New Translation of the Bhadracarī with Introduction and Notes,” New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 12.2 (December 2010): 1–23.
- “The Supreme Array Scripture: A new interpretation of the title ‘Gandavyūha-sūtra’,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 37.3 (June 2009): 273–290.
- “‘Proto-Tantric’ Elements in the Gandavyūha-sūtra Sūtra,”Journal of Religious History 33.2 (June 2009): 165–177.
- “Soteriology, Asceticism and the Female Body in Two Indian Buddhist Narratives,” Buddhist Studies Review 23.2 (2006): 203–220.