Louis Komjathy

University of San Diego

A leading scholar-practitioner of Daoism (Taoism) with more than twenty-five years of experience with holistic and integrated Daoist training, Louis Komjathy, Xiujing, Wanrui, Ph.D. C.S.O., is an ordained Daoist priest of the Huashan lineage of Quanzhen Daoism, as well as founding co-director and senior teacher of the Daoist Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering authentic Daoist study and practice and to preserving and transmitting traditional Daoist culture. He earned his Ph.D. in religious studies (Boston University; 2005) with an emphasis on Daoism and the academic study of religion. He currently works as associate professor of Chinese religions and comparative religious studies at the University of San Diego. He has particular interests in contemplative practice, embodiment, and mystical experience. He received ordination in the Huashan lineage in 2006, after which he lived as a visiting Daoist monk in the monasteries of Laoshan and Huashan.

As a Daoist priest, Komjathy endeavors to help individuals develop a root in self-cultivation and a personal connection with the Dao and to facilitate a tradition-based Daoist sense of community. He has published nine books to date, including more recently The Daoist Tradition: An Introduction (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), the edited volume Contemplative Literature: A Comparative Sourcebook on Meditation and Contemplative Prayer (State University of New York Press, 2015), Taming the Wild Horse: An Annotated Translation and Study of the Daoist Horse Taming Pictures (Columbia University Press, 2017), and Introducing Contemplative Studies (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017). His life and work has been featured in Dream Trippers: Global Daoism and the Predicament of Modern Spirituality (University of Chicago Press, 2017). His primary residence is a quasi-hermitage in Ravinia, Illinois, where he lives with his wife, Kate Townsend, and Siberian Husky companion, Takota.