Geshe Michael Roach was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated with honors from Princeton University, and is a recipient of the Presidential Scholar medallion from the President of the United States at the White House. He has also received the McConnell Scholarship Prize from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, as well as an honorary doctorate in the Congress of Mexico from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Michael is the first foreigner in the 600-year history of Tibet’s Sera Mey Monastery to receive the title of Geshe (Master of Buddhism), after 25 years of study. After graduation, he founded the Asian Classics Institute (ACI), translating over 20,000 pages of the geshe course and designing 36 courses of studies in English, for modern people of all walks of life. At his teacher’s directive, Michael—in order to confirm that the principles of the ancient texts could be used in modern life—helped in 1981 to found the Andin International Corporation, which became one of the largest diamond jewelry companies in the world, and was purchased by super-investor Warren Buffett in 2009. Michael used the majority of his income from the business to found and run the Asian Classics Input Project (now called ALL, or Asian Legacy Library), starting in 1987. This is the largest free, online searchable database of ancient Asian literature in the world.
Michael also helped found the Three Jewels Outreach Center of New York; DCI Global; the Sedona College of International Management; the Yoga Studies Institute; Green Stretch Pen; Diamond Mountain Retreat Center; The Knowledge Base; Diamond Cutter Press; and the Diamond Cutter Classics translation center. Each of these institutions helps preserve and make available the precious wisdom of ancient Asia, in the modern world.
Michael is the author of some 100 books and major translations. His most popular works include The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business & Your Life; and How Yoga Works. He lives in the small town of Rimrock, Arizona, with his wife Veronica, whom he first met some 50 years ago. Together they enjoy gardening, charitable work, yoga & gym trips, and running their small Peach Tree Café, for local cowboys & cowgirls.
Co-Director & Translator
As a kid, Nick Lashaw had an ear for music. As a young adult he traveled extensively in Latin America and picked up Spanish and Portuguese pretty easily and so realized that he also had an ear for languages. After completing his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering, Nick got very interested in spirituality and undertook extensive studies in Buddhist philosophy and yoga. At some point he was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to marry his passions for language and Buddhist philosophy and started to learn to translate Tibetan.
As his studies blossomed he helped his teacher to found the Diamond Cutter Classics non-profit organization which he still helps to run today. Somewhere in the stream of his life he also started and helped run a garden design company, a yoga studio, built retreat cabins, played in rock bands, and helped to create a beautiful baby daughter. He currently resides somewhere near the ocean with his wife and daughter where he is happily translating the Buddhist books, surfing, meditating, and recording music in his free time.
Translator & Editor
Bets Greer has over twenty years professional experience writing and editing public policy documents, technical documents, legislation, and fiction and non-fiction books—including philosophical works. She has worked in government, business, and volunteer-based organizations.
Bets was the registrar at Diamond Mountain University, as well as a board member and committee chair, where she worked to support students’ participation during the terms of study, as well as developed schedules, and wrote and produced catalogs. Bets also taught Buddhist philosophy and meditation, led group retreats, and did many personal retreats, including a three-year solitary meditation retreat.
Bets was the personal assistant to Ven. Thubten Chodron, a popular Buddhist nun and teacher, including managing retreats, scheduling volunteers, and editing books. She has also edited for many private clients, including Geshe Michael Roach, James Connor, David Stumpf, and BuildingGreen.
Bets has studied and practiced Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan language, and meditation since 1995, and completed a three-year meditation retreat in 2014. She joined the Diamond Cutter Classics translation team, led by popular author and teacher Geshe Michael Roach, at its inception in 2017. Her first translation with Geshe Michael—Emptiness Meditations, a book on how to meditate on the lack of a self-nature to things, written by Tibetan author Choney Lama Drakpa Shedrup—was published in 2022. She’s now working her second translation—Interlude on Emptiness (working title), by Kedrup Je—which will be a multi-volume book. The first volume is scheduled for publication in 2025. Bets is the Managing Editor and Chief Archivist for DCC, and she helps support other translators, including the Pure Gold translation team in Shenzhen, China.
While Bets has worn (and wears!) many hats, her work is primarily singular: serving people who are working to realize their highest dreams.
Co-Director & Translator
Ben Kramer nearly failed high school, graduating by the skin of his teeth only by testing out with a General Equivalency Diploma. Fascinated by many topics, he was fully engaged in none. That is until twenty years ago, in his 27th year, when he came into contact with Geshe Michael Roach and the Asian Classics Institute (ASI), an authentic course of study into the meaning of life, love, and truth. Now he was suddenly inspired to throw himself into a fulltime course of study from which he has not deviated to this day.
For nearly a decade, Ben lived at Diamond Mountain, Arizona.
University, where he was eventually honored to run the spiritual debate program. During this time he made regular trips to study with the monks at the great Sera Mey monastic college in southern India. His studies at Diamond Mountain culminated in a three-year silent meditation retreat alone with his wife, Kendra Rickert, a great practitioner and scholar of yoga in her own right.
Ben is now the Assistant Director of Diamond Cutter Classics (DCC) where—in addition to his efforts to develop in the art of translation—he works on maintenance, organization, and expansion of the free online ancient-text database of Asian Legacy Library (ALL). He and Kendra own and operate Nirguna Yoga in Albuquerque New Mexico, a center for traditional practice & study, where they teach regular yoga, meditation, philosophy, language, and teacher-training classes. They also havea son named Ezra, who is the greatest joy they have ever known.
Zhou Xiaoping (Alison) embarked on her path as a distinguished scholar and practitioner of Diamond Cutter wisdom in 2011. Over the past decade, she has disseminated her knowledge and teachings across various countries, including China, Canada, and Singapore. Her work strongly emphasizes the translation, preservation, and modern application of ancient classics.
In her role as a personal assistant and translator for Geshe Michael, Alison plays a critical role in bridging language barriers and is actively involved in the publication of Geshe Michael’s books. Her commitment to education led her to become a Sedona College of International Management professor.
In partnership with Stanley Chen, Alison co-founded the Future Diamond Cutter Institute, marking a significant milestone in their shared goal to empower individuals through ancient wisdom. Together, they initiated transformative programs such as the China Soft Power Global President Program (CSP) and the Pure Gold projects. These programs aim to equip business leaders with ancient wisdom and foster a business civilization focused on the central value of “helping others succeed.”
Pure Gold Translation is a non-profit that translates ancient classics and related courses into modern Chinese. This endeavor aims to serve Chinese individuals worldwide, enabling the translation of classics and the practical application of wisdom in business and personal life.
Beyond her scholarly endeavors, Alison is a dynamic young entrepreneur from Shenzhen, China. She has a track record of success in commercial startups, charities, and cultural preservation organizations. Apart from her role as a professor and translator specializing in ancient Asian classical literature and ethics, she also holds a senior teaching position at the Diamond Cutter International Global business education company.
Adam Derick Andrade spent his childhood in Mississippi and Alabama, excelling in his schooling and enjoying sports and playing music. Adam found a love for computers at a young age and was introduced to the concept of computer hacking. He quickly developed a keen interest in artificial intelligence, robotics, computer systems & networking, and electronics.
He graduated high school early and began attending Auburn University shortly thereafter, where he majored in Computer Engineering. After University he pursued a life as an alpinist & mountain guide, studying at the American Alpine Institute. Adam moved to Colorado, where he started serving on the San Juan County Search & Rescue team and working for the Silverton Avalanche School as a program director and field coordinator.
Adam experienced a near fatal encounter with an avalanche while attempting a ski mountaineering objective in a remote area of the San Juan mountains. This event had an enormous impact on his commitment to dangerous mountaineering endeavors. A week after this incident, he met Geshe Michael Roach and began studying Pabongka Rinpoche’s great exposition on the steps of the path to enlightenment: A Gift of Liberation, Thrust into Our Hands. Adam has also studied at Sera Mey Monastery in India, where he focused on Buddhist philosophy and the Tibetan language.
Adam moved to Arizona, to be closer to his teacher, and began working with the Asian Classics Input Project (now the Asian Legacy Library), overseeing operations at the Varanasi input center and helping to restart the cataloging and scanning efforts at the National Library of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar. In 2017, he began working with the Mixed Nuts translation group of the Diamond Cutter Classics organization.
Adam married the love of his life, Katheryn Fetchenhier, and soon welcomed the birth of their daughter, Ava Grace Andrade, who inspires him daily.
In his free time, Adam enjoys climbing mountains with Ava and his border collie, Gracie; as well as listening to music, reading, skiing, and mountaineering. He has climbed some of the highest mountains in North America, and is currently working on a project to climb the 100 highest peaks in Colorado with his daughter.
Since 2011, Stanley Chen has immersed himself in the study and teaching of ancient Diamond Cutter Wisdom. Utilizing his expertise in Mandarin translation, he has played a vital role in translating and publishing the works of Geshe Michael Roach while actively serving as his translator. Stanley’s teaching engagements have predominantly focused on Chinese-speaking regions. Notably, in 2015, he made history as the first Chinese youth to deliver a speech on Chinese culture at the Mexican Congress.
Stanley and Zhou Xiaoping (Alison) embarked on a co-founding journey, establishing the Future Diamond Academy and launching the China Soft Power Global Executive Training program. This transformative initiative empowers business leaders through the timeless wisdom of ancient classics, with a core value centered on “helping others succeed.” In their commitment to spreading wisdom, PureGold Translation Project trains and supports translators for the Diamond Cutter Classics Series.
Stanley’s dedication extends to his role as the university vice-president, contributing his expertise to the Future Diamond Institute and Pure Gold technical translation company. His comprehensive studies in human resources during his university years in China equipped him with the skills to build strong international teams for his successful business endeavors, reaching across various countries in Asia, America, and Europe.
Additionally, Stanley is recognized as a distinguished translator specializing in epistemological literature from the 4th Century up to the Tang Dynasty of the late 8th Century. Complementing his academic pursuits, he is a professor at SCIM in the United States. He holds a senior teaching position at DCIG, embodying his passion for education and disseminating ancient Asian classics.
Sugeng Shi was born in Sumatera and grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering, Diploma in Japanese Language, and a Master in Business Administration. He is a Distinguished Toastmaster since 2000. He worked in Japanese and American’s multinational companies dealing with electronics design, cost accounting, product planning and had communication technology consulting experiences. He speaks fluent English, Chinese Mandarin, Chinese Hokkien, Indonesian, Malay, and Japanese. And he is now learning Tibetan translation from Geshe Michael focusing on ancient classics. He is a certified Hatha Yoga Teacher since 2018 and Yin Yoga Teacher since 2019. Sugeng has been an active volunteer in the community service in Singapore since 1991.
Together with his wife Xintian, they founded DMO Wisdom, DMO Yoga and DMO Dharma to help English speaking community learn the DC principle, the authentic yoga and have access to Asian classics. He is leading Diamond Wisdom Indonesia. Together with Xintian, they also founded JJewels dealing with custom-made bespoke diamond jewelries design, production and sales. Sugeng is also the Professor with Sedona College of International Management since September 2020.
Since learning about the DC principles in 2014, Sugeng has gone through many success milestones in life, all thanks to the amazing care and guidance from his great teacher, Geshe Michael Roach. Along the way, he has also been receiving constant support from the lovely couple and teachers, John Brady and Connie O’Brien, on many aspects of life to become a good warrior and a role model for his family and community.
Sugeng lives in the beautiful Singapore with his lovely wife Xintian, and three children Aaron, Alison and Alston, together with his wise and benevolent mother Liani. They love travelling to various cities and countries meeting people from all walks of life sharing their experience and knowledge of the seed system. They enjoy being around old and new friends talking about making life more meaningful and successful.
Word Smith was born and raised in New York. He is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Near the end of school, Word had an existential crisis where he deeply questioned his mainstream education and the use of life at all. After this experience and months’ long reflection, Word went on to discover deeper truths about life beyond what he had considered in the past.
He traveled for the next three years, studying on his own to whatever he felt drawn. During this time, Word studied: permaculture, Chinese medicine, Tai chi, Capoeira, and whole foods nutrition, and received his black belt in Tae kwon do. Later he attended Heartwood Institute for four years, specializing in holistic healing, where he also taught.
Word continued his studies for another 3 years to become Doctor of Medical Qi Gong and opened a clinic with one of his teachers in Santa Cruz, California.
Currently, Word teaches and translates as part of the Diamond Cutter Classics (Mixed Nuts) with Geshe Michael Roach. He leads the Electronic Dictionary Project and recently published “The Golden Key”, a book about the Mind only school of Buddhism.
Seiji Arao is one of the Diamond Cutter Classics primary translators. He was born in Guadalajara Mexico, from Japanese descent. He holds a bachelor in entrepreneurship and business management, and a master’s degree in environmental economics. He founded and directed two corporate social responsibility companies has worked as a project manager/business consultant since 2010. He has lived in several countries like Mexico, Sweden, Australia, and currently in the USA. He speaks three languages fluently and is currently learning Tibetan. He has had a fascination with cultural heritage since he was a kid, which translated into his professional career.
After meeting Geshe Michael Roach in 2011 he started studying the Asian Classics Institute courses, later on he started working as the Executive Vice-President for DCI/SCIM, and as a primary tibetan translator for DCC, starting with a commentary to The Crown of Knives that teaches us how to develop a good heart, he is also one of the co-founders and keynote speakers of the Peacock Parenting Program alongside Geshe Michael Roach and Nour Ibrahim.
Seiji is married to Nour Ibrahim, and they have a son named Maitri. The family currently resides in Sedona, enriching Seiji’s life with a blend of professional achievements and a fulfilling family life.
Gibson first received teachings on the Tibetan language in 2014 when Geshe Michael Roach taught the Steps on the Path. During the lecture, Gibson was inspired by Geshe Michael mentioning that less than 1% of the Tibetan classics had been translated into modern languages. He emphasized the significance of these translations, stating that these teachings in Tibetan hold greater importance than even the cure for cancer, as they have the potential to conquer death itself. This profound statement ignited Gibson’s interest in learning the Tibetan language greatly.
When DCC program began in 2017, Gibson knew that he must attend. He immersed himself in the process of learning these teachings and in how to translate Tibetan texts in a way that makes them accessible and applicable in everyday life. Till now, Gibson’s love for Ancient teachings and Tibetan never stops, he is very grateful to be part of the Mixed Nuts, to help to bring Ancient Teachings to Modern Life.
Along with being a translator for the Diamond Cutter Classics, Tim is the executive director of the Asian Classics Institute, and has studied and practiced the ancient wisdom for over 15 years. He teaches extensively around the world.
Also, he is the managing director of Red Capital Education & Travel, a portfolio of hospitality companies in Sedona, AZ, whose philanthropic arm generously supports the Diamond Cutter Classics and the Asian Legacy Library. In 2023, one of those companies, Adobe Grand Villas, was awarded the Trip Advisor #1 Small Hotel in the United States.
Previously, he was director of product management, developing patient/physician video communication technology and a portfolio manager in pharmaceutical marketing and translation of worldwide clinical trials of new, promising health treatments.
Tim works to seamlessly integrate ancient wisdom into the workplace and daily life, advocating for best business and lifestyle practices that include daily meditation, yoga and healthy nutrition. He is an avid hiker, regularly exploring the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. He also likes gardening and popcorn.