Matteo Pistono is a writer and meditation teacher. His books include Roar: Sulak Sivaraksa and the Path of Socially Engaged Buddhism (North Atlantic Books, March 2019) Meditation: Coming to Know Your Mind (Hay House 2017), Fearless in Tibet: The Life of the Mystic Tertön Sogyal (Hay House 2014) and In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man's Journey of Discovery in Tibet (Dutton 2011).
Matteo's photos and writings about meditation, Buddhism, yoga, and Himalayan and Southeast Asian cultural, political, and spiritual landscapes have appeared in The Washington Post, The Global Post, Buddhadharma, Tricycle, BBC's In-Pictures, Men's Journal, Kyoto Journal, and HIMAL South Asia.
Matteo was born and raised in Wyoming where he completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming, and in 1997 he obtained his Masters of Arts degree in Indian Philosophy from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. After working with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. on Tibetan cultural programs, Pistono lived and traveled throughout the Himalayas for a decade, bringing to the West graphic accounts and photos of China’s human rights abuses in Tibet, which was documented in In the Shadow of the Buddha. Matteo sits on the Executive Council of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. Matteo and his wife, Monica, live in southern California with their dog.
Roar: Sulak Sivaraksa and the Path of Socially Engaged Buddhism (North Atlantic Books, March 2019)
The captivating life story of a renowned Siamese Buddhist activist, critic,
and indomitable defender of the disenfranchised
Matteo Pistono's deft prose weaves together the story of Sulak Sivaraksa's years of social-justice work and his tireless campaigns to effect change. As a seminal figure in the world of socially engaged spirituality, Sulak has given us a blueprint for peaceful, nonviolent activism in the twenty-first century. Sulak is the founder of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and dozens of other organizations promoting civil justice and human rights. More than forty vintage and historical black-and-white photos illustrate both hislife and a turbulent period in Thailand's history.
"Although material advances have contributed enormously to human welfare, they cannot create lasting happiness by themselves. I believe [Sulak]and I share a conviction that if we are to solve human problems, economic and technological development must be accompanied by an inner spiritual growth. And if we succeed in fulfilling both these goals, we will surely create a happier and more peaceful world."
—His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama
"[Sulak]offers a clear picture of what is going on, and he does so as a participant, not just as an observer. He is a teacher and an organizer, a bodhisattva who devotes all his energies to helping others."
—Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Living Buddha,Living Christ
"This rare and powerful book conveys the powerful spirit of a true humanitarian and courageous human being, Sulak Sivaraksa. Roar is the roar of a lion of a man, whose vision of human liberation is an example for us all. Written with rugged honesty and utter clarity, this book is a great treasure that teaches us all that compassion in action is the very heart of ethics. Bravo! All who know [Sulak]have been waiting for the full story of his life and work."
—Roshi Joan Halifax, Upaya Zen Center, author of Standing at the Edge
Meditation: Coming to Know Your Mind2017
Fearless in Tibet: The Life of the Mystic Terton Sogyal2014
In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man's Journey of Discovery in Tibet2011