Born Tony McMahon in London in 1950, and interested in Buddhism and meditation since his teens, Vessantara now has 40 years of Buddhism under his belt. In 1974 he became a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, founded by Sangharakshita. At that time he was given his Buddhist name, which means 'universe within' and is associated with generosity. He has been mining for jewels in his inner world through meditation and then sharing them with others ever since. The results include several highly-rated books on Buddhism and meditation.
In 1993 he published the very successful 'Meeting the Buddhas', which is still going strong after 20 years, but is now in its latest edition chopped into three 'Guides' - to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Tantric Deities. Other works include 'Tales of Freedom' a book of Buddhist teaching stories, and two books in Windhorse Publications' series on 'The Art of Meditation'
He lives in Cambridge UK, and spends his time teaching, leading courses and workshops on Buddhism and meditation. You can find a lot more information, articles, and details of his teaching schedule on his website at www.vessantara.net.