David N. Snyder

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David N. Snyder
David N. Snyder, Ph.D.
Born 1962
Kaiserslautern, Germany, US Army Base
Nationality USA
Education B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Alma mater Universtiy of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington
Occupation landlord
Known for Buddhist author, Dhamma Wiki, chess champion, Vipassana Foundation
Home town Las Vegas, Nevada

Dhamma / Dharma

(Original Buddhism)
Spouse(s) Woinishet Snyder
Children 1 son, 1 daughter
Parents Lt. Col. (US Army) T. Snyder, J. Snyder

David N. Snyder, Ph.D. (1962- ) is a bestselling Buddhist writer[1] [2] primarily writing from the teachings found in the Early Buddhist Texts (Nikayas, Agamas) of Buddhism. He is also founder of Vipassana Foundation and Dhamma Wiki.


David N. Snyder was born in an apartment in Kaiserslautern, Germany while his mother slept and his father was away on military maneuvers. His mother literally slept through the labor process as there was no pain to her.[3] The Buddha was born in a similar way and the Suttas report that all samma-sam-buddhas (enlightened Buddhas who teach the masses, the next one being Metteyya who currently resides in the Tusita heaven waiting for when the Dhamma dies out in some distant future time) are born with no pain to the mother.[4] The birth year was the (Chinese) year of the Tiger (famous in Buddhist lands as the tiger is known for independence and is on some Buddhist flags). The birth date of David N. Snyder was also an important religious day, known as Uposatha, being the New Moon Day of the month in which he was born[5] (on Uposatha days many Buddhists go to the temple for meditation and for renewing the Precepts). Tibetan lamas (high ranking monks/teachers) have often looked for people with such birth events for locating the rebirth of famous Rinpoches (gurus, teachers) of the past. See: Tenzin Osel Rinpoche. Dr. Snyder makes no claim to being fully enlightened or to being any famous guru, reborn. The birth-event may simply shed some light on his future role and possible kammic fate as a Buddhist author in this life.


David Snyder was born on a U.S. Army base in Germany to Jewish American parents, stationed there with the U.S. Army. He is part of a large segment of non-Asian convert Buddhists commonly known as JuBu (pronounced Jew-boos), meaning Buddhists of Jewish heritage.

After earning a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Arlington in 1989, he taught sociology at Tarrant County College. Later he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons. Before working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he had to attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (police academy for federal law enforcement positions). He graduated with honors in marksmanship and martial arts. He left government service to pursue real estate investments and management which he also used to open Buddhist centers in Colorado and Nevada. A former correspondence chess champion[6] he has invented a chess variant known as D-Chess.

The Ven. Madawela Punnaji, M.D., wrote the Foreword to his bestselling book, The Complete Book of Buddha's Lists -- Explained.

Ph.D. program and dissertation

The Ph.D. program consisted of a multi-disciplinary program with the major areas of study being philosophy and sociology. It was a joint program through the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas at Dallas. His doctoral committee included several eminent professors including the very popular professor and philanthropist Allan Saxe [7].

The dissertation was titled Hominid Philosophical Orientations and Attitudinal Relationships with Other Species and discussed the history of the human species and its relationship with other animals.[8]

Maha Bodhi Las Vegas

Main article: Maha Bodhi Las Vegas

Dr. Snyder and his wife had a 37 foot high (11.3m) Maha Bodhi Temple replica built on the grounds of their home where they run Dhamma programs. Several Buddhist monks and nuns have led programs at Maha Bodhi Las Vegas, including Ajahn Brahm in 2012.

Buddhist publications

  • Right Understanding in Plain English; The Science of the Buddha’s Middle Path, Vipassana Foundation (2000), ISBN 0-9679-2850-8.
  • The Complete Book of Buddha’s Lists -- Explained, Vipassana Foundation (2006), ISBN 0-9679-2851-6.
  • Buddhism and Vegetarianism, Fifteen Questions and Answers, Shabkar.org (2006) [9]
  • Closer to truth, December 2015, Feb. 2020, second ed. (An article / short 38 page book about the search for truth through deductive analysis)
  • Co-founder and Administrator of Dhamma Wheel (Theravada) Buddhist forum, currently the largest and most visited Buddhist forum on the internet
  • Co-founder and Administrator of Dharma Wheel Buddhist forum, currently the largest and most visited Mahayana Buddhist forum on the internet
  • Video on the commemoration of Dhamma Wheel's tenth anniversary: youtube video
  • See also: David N. Snyder quotes


  1. Amazon.com Bestseller's list April 2006
  2. Amazon.com ranking by average review, in Top 5 (Theravada Buddhism) for over three consecutive years, 2006-2009.
  3. Military Wives and Widows Tell Their Stories, Rita Berman, ed., Janet Snyder p.110 (2018) Chapel Hill, North Carolina WBP ISBN 978-1985201927
  4. Majjhima Nikaya 123
  5. Moon Phases year 1962
  6. TC club news, 1991-1992
  7. Allan Saxe, Ph.D. biography
  8. Dissertations Abstracts International, 1989
  9. http://www.shabkar.org/download/pdf/Buddhism_and_Vegetarianism_Fiveteen_Questions_and_Answers.pdf

Websites and domains

Buddhist websites and domain names owned and run by Dr. David N. Snyder (currently a total of 32):