John Pickens

John Pickens hails from the small town of Bristol, Vermont. At the age of 15, he travelled with his family on a four-month journey to Asia. The formative trip started in Nepal, and then continued overland through Thailand, Malaysia, and the Indonesian archipelago. After completing his bachelor’s degree at McGill University, John moved to Nepal to study Himalayan languages and teach in a village school. After returning home, he audited a methodology and religions course at Middlebury College. This course inspired him to return to Nepal to enroll in graduate school at the Centre for Buddhist Studies, an affiliate of Kathmandu University. In 2012, he completed his master’s thesis: “I Remember Seeing Blue: Reflexive Awareness and Memory in Dignāga’s Pramanasamuccaya.” John continued his study of Sanskrit and Tibetan Buddhism in the Ph.D program in the South and Southeast Asian Studies department at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently resides in Vermont, where he is writing his dissertation, “The Rise of the Guru in Eleventh- to Thirteenth-century Indian and Tibetan Buddhism.”