The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
Rick Woudenberg, in memoriam


Eric (Rick) Woudenberg, a mainstay of our Dharma Seed board, died suddenly of natural causes in his home in Goffstown, New Hampshire on January 4, 2024.

His enormous contributions to the work of Dharma Seed are almost as hard for us to convey as our feelings of loss for our friend and colleague. As a world-class software engineer and web developer, he has been integral to the growth and flourishing of Dharma Seed.

Many people, starting with the teachers themselves, have helped create, record, and distribute these valuable teachings over the past four decades. Among them, Rick’s skills and careful labor were vital to ensuring that the constantly growing trove of Dharma talks made the transition from cassettes and audio CDs to its current form, direct-to-digital on the internet, freely available to all.

Rick grew up in Wayne, New Jersey. After attending Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, he went on to a successful career in software engineering, including work at Bell Labs in New Jersey under his mentor, Ken Thompson, a pioneer of computer science who designed and implemented the original Unix operating system.

Rick first volunteered for Dharma Seed in 2000, and had been a key member of our board of directors since 2001.

Together, his technical skills, love of the Dharma, and seemingly endless generosity made him a key contributor to our work at Dharma Seed over the last 20 years. He is a perfect example of the impact a single person can have on the world, even if only a small number of those he’s helped are aware of what he’s done.

Each day, about 40,000 people come to the Dharma Seed website in search of help for the one condition we all share—the human one. They have some 70,000 Dharma talks to choose from, to listen to a teacher they know or to find one who resonates with the particular circumstances that make each of us who we are.

As we of the Dharma Seed board mourn our loss and work to try to fill the void he has left, we contemplate how our fractious world stays together through countless largely unsung efforts like Rick’s. We will always be inspired by his enthusiasm, his vast and quiet accomplishments, and the memories of what he so freely offered to us and the wider world.

– The Board of Directors of Dharma Seed

Rick Woudenberg Obituary on


Rick with Bhikkhu Anālayo, the scholar-monk in residence at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Creative Commons License