Barbara Hoetsu O'Brien is a former writer for ThoughtCo. She is a student of Zen Buddhism and a journalist writing about the impact religion has on American politics and culture.
O'Brien began her formal study of Buddhism in 1988, upon her acceptance as a laity student at the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Temper, New York. In the intervening years, O'Brien has actively engaged in meeting Buddhists from other traditions and cultures to learn about the many forms of Buddhism. O'Brien also practiced at the Empty Hand Zen Center in New Rochelle, New York, as well as the Zen Center of New York City.
O'Brien spent more than eight years writing about Buddhism and other religious-themed topics for ThoughtCo. Through her blog, Rethinking Religion, she wrote primarily about Buddhism and religion in general. She also wrote extensively about religion in America, looking at how religion helped to shape the nation's politics and culture. Her work includes several books such as Rethinking Religion (TenDirections, 2014). Her articles appear on TheGuardian.com, Tricycle.org, and other religion-centric websites.
Barbara Hoetsu O'Brien has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri.
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