Donna Quesada
Dept. of Philosophy and Social Sciences



Academic Background:

I have graduate degrees in both Philosophy and Geography, and a B.A. in Spanish Literature. My early work in Philosophy focused on eastern studies, Buddhist thought, in particular. My first teacher in this area was Eichii Shimomisse, a Japanese professor at CSU Dominguez Hills who taught Soto-style Zen meditation. Since that time, Zen Buddhism has been an integral part of my life.

Later, as a graduate student in philosophy, I  focused on postmodern theory, and philosophy in art. My graduate thesis was on the topic of postmodern architecture.

I have been teaching philosophy at SMC since I graduated with my first Master's degree in 1996. Here, I have been able to develop courses that reflect my strengths and interests. For several years, I taught Ethics, with an emphasis on animal welfare, but for the last five years, I have taught Asian philosophy almost exclusively, covering the religious philosophies from India, China, and Japan. Occasionally, I offer a special-topic course called Philosophy in Film, that I developed.

Personal Interests:

Primary in my life are my spiritual practices in Zen and Kundalini Yoga. But I also love languages, and besides my native English, I speak French and Spanish fluently. Other enjoyments include walking my dogs and water painting. But most of my free time is spent in the coffee shop writing - I have had articles published on topics ranging from music to meditation and contribute regularly to Spirit Voyage, Elephant Journal and Shambhala Sun. My first book, Buddha in the Classroom; Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers (Skyhorse, 2011), is available everywhere books are sold, as well as on Kindle, through Amazon.

Besides my academic teaching here at SMC, I am a yoga instructor, certified to teach both Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

More info at

Where to find me:

You Tube Videos:
Yoga Website:
Articles for Spirit Voyage:
Articles for Elephant Journal:

And of course...facebook





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Last Update:  08/31/11