About Us

Dr. Peggy Rowe-Ward and Dr. Larry Ward, senior dharma teachers ordained by Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, are the leading proponents of Engaged Buddhism in the United States. Deeply inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, they have committed their lives to non-violent social change, healing, and transformation at all levels, from individuals & communities to the global scale. Peggy and Larry are co-authors of the book, Love's Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships.

The calling of the Lotus Institute is to offer mindfulness teachings, principles and practices that encourage individual healing and transformation, professional growth, and development in ways that enhance planetary, social evolution.

The Lotus Institute is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

About Larry Ward
The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed Larry’s life. He was searching for direction when this event called him into community service, spiritual growth and planetary peacemaking. 

He joined the staff of the Ecumenical Institute / Institute of Cultural Affairs in 1969. Over the next twenty-five years, he lived and worked in over twenty countries. He became an ordained minister in 1972. Larry has taught clergy and laity theological wisdom, organizational change and community development. Larry has lived in inner-cities and villages of the world serving efforts toward local community renewal. He served in India for two years training village leaders in human development skills. 

For five years he lived in Hong Kong where he consulted with leaders throughout Southeast Asia on human development and strategic planning. During the last ten years drawing upon his life experience and degree in psychology and organizational behavior he began a management consulting firm that provided Fortune firms services in diversity education, organizational change and executive coaching. 

Larry’s introduction to Buddhist practice began in Calcutta, India in 1977 but it was not until 1991 when Larry met Thich That Hanh, that this practice became the center of his life and service. He was ordained as a lay minister in 1994 and a Dharma teacher in 2000. He has lived in spiritual community and has assisted Thich Nhat Hanh throughout the world. He has accompanied Thich Nhat Hanh on peace-making missions in China, Korea and Vietnam, as well as staffing many retreats through the USA. 

Larry sings gospel music that touches your soul. Larry’s favorite possession is his passport. He enjoys study, being close to nature and animals, playing golf, writing poetry and reading mystery novels.

Larry is a charismatic and inspirational teacher, expressing his insights with personal stories and resounding clarity. Expressing his dharma name, “True Great Sound.”

About Peggy
Peggy’s joyful spirit enables her students to discover and embody their most creative and authentic selves. She offers a path of deep insight through methods such as movement, writing, art and ritual.

Peggy grew up in the lake country of Wisconsin and has a strong connection with woods, lakes and the natural world. She experienced the world through the eyes of a mystic and had active friendships with rocks, trees and animals. At five, she wrote an autobiography that expressed her desire to be a teacher, following the vocation of her maternal ancestors.

Peggy has her Doctorate in Adult Education and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She has also studied and practiced with many wise Native American elders. As a teacher, she blends the four-fold path with her Buddhist practice.

She has worked in corporate training with international Fortune 500 firms; was a Director of Education at a medical center; and has taught courses in psychology, counseling psychology, and education at universities in the United States and Canada. In 2000, she co-authored Making Friends with Time, a book that offers mindfulness practices for busy professionals. She is a certified gentle yoga instructor, a practicing artist and currently works in oils and gourd crafting.

Peggy was experiencing tremendous suffering when she fell in love with the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and his community. After practicing for five days, she experienced a deep transformation and has been a diligent student ever since. Peggy became a lay minister in 1994 and an ordained Dharma teacher in 2000. She has joined Thich Nhat Hanh in international exchanges through the world and served as staff for retreats in USA.

Peggy emphasizes joyful and creative practices of movement, art and ritual in her eclectic Buddhist teaching in a beautiful dance that is her Dharma name True original Vow.