JOSEPH KAPPEL lived as a Buddhist monk for 20 years as Bhikkhu Pabhakaro, with Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Sumedho in Thailand and Great Britain. His initial interest in Buddhism was inspired by visits to Thailand from Vietnam where he served as a combat helicopter pilot in 1969-70. During his sojourns to Thailand, Joseph was deeply moved by a country and people that were steeped in Buddhist teachings. In short, combat in Vietnam paved the way for him to embrace a way of life that leads us on a path that demonstrates how suffering is created and how to avoid it. In this way, we open our eyes to witness ourselves in others with compassion and understanding.
Since leaving monastic life in 1991, Joseph has taught MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) in Massachusetts’s prisons, received a Masters Degree in Education from Harvard University, and worked with college athletes to facilitate “mental fitness” and the inner game. He has also led meditation courses and retreats in numerous settings in the US, and has co-led retreats with Ajahn Amaro at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in England. Joseph and his wife Catherine live in Leominster, Massachusetts.
Joseph’s passion remains to encourage everyone to awaken in daily life and use this journey to cultivate deep understanding, virtuous conduct, and wise effort and reflection. This enables us to uncover those obstacles that prevent us from realizing freedom from birth and death.