Ken McLeod is a senior Western translator, author, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. He received traditional training mainly in the Shangpa Kagyu lineage through a long association with his principal teacher, Kalu Rinpoche, whom he met in 1970. McLeod resides in Los Angeles, where he founded Unfettered Mind. He has currently withdrawn from teaching, and no longer conducts classes, workshops, meditation retreats, individual practice consultations, or teacher training. 
Under Kalu Rinpoche's guidance, McLeod learned the Tibetan language and completed two traditional three-year retreats . In the years that followed, he traveled and worked with Kalu Rinpoche on various projects, and became a prominent translator of Buddhist texts, including a landmark translation of The Great Path of Awakening by the first Jamgon Kongtrul, a key text in the teaching of lojong .
In 1985, he settled in Los Angeles to run Kalu Rinpoche's dharma center. He did so until 1990, when he founded his own organization, Unfettered Mind. He taught strictly traditional material, but is recognized for having pioneered a new teacher–student model based upon ongoing, one-on-one consultations and upon small teaching groups that have a high degree of teacher–student interaction, and for his "pragmatic" approach to teaching, translation, and practice.The intent of Pragmatic Buddhism is to preserve the essence of the teachings unchanged, but to make them more directly accessible to the Westerner. It does so by bypassing the Eastern, cultural overlay, and using simple, clear language and methods that elicit direct experience in the practitioner. It also emphasizes an individualized practice path, with a key element being ongoing practice consults that allow the teacher to shape a path that's tailored to each practitioner's specific needs and makeup. McLeod has made this model available for others to use via the Unfettered Mind website, his teacher development program, and his publications, especially Wake Up To Your Life, which lays out the Buddhist path and practices. His non-traditional commentary on the Heart Sutra, An Arrow to the Heart, presents a way into the material that is poetic and experiential.