Anand was born and raised in Rishikesh, India – the birth place of yoga --where he was trained by Yogis in the deepest and most direct lines of yoga and wisdom. He is the founder of Sattva Yoga - a complete practice that combines asana, pranayama, meditation, kriya, and wisdom. Sattva Yoga inspires students to experience freedom, radical aliveness, and their most authentic selves on every level. Join Anand Mehrotra, Founder and Master Teacher of Sattva Yoga, as he leads a meditation and explores living with fierce clarity as a warrior of wisdom.
Anand currently teaches Sattva Yoga all over the world and is also a master Vedic astrologer who is regularly consulted by lay people and fellow Yogis for his readings. He possesses a brilliant youthful freedom that relates to modern audiences, while being deeply grounded in a simple, authentic wisdom. He inspires, rattles and brings a sense of pure joy to his teachings.
Anand is also the creator of the Sattva Centre in Rishikesh, where he leads Sattva Yoga teacher trainings and wisdom immersions. He is the founder of a Rishikesh-based charity called The Khushi Foundation that benefits children, and the Sattva Foundation that benefits the elderly. The first book in his series on freedom, The Free Life, is due out in 2013. He can be found at www.mysattva.com.
Warriors of Wisdom: Awakening to Authentic Power
The times we are living in require a warrior consciousness. A warrior is not one who is violent, or ready to take up weapons. The only warrior worth calling a warrior is a being who has come to a deep state of nonviolence in his or her psyche; a warrior of wisdom. To even arrive to that space requires a fierce presence, a deep commitment, because the temptations of inner violence and external violence are aplenty: defenses and escape mechanisms, misjudgments and stories, seeking and striving. To be a warrior is to cultivate a deep sense of detachment, and to know oneself without identifications or external definitions. It is through this detachment that we realize we are not individuals separate from the whole, but that the whole cosmos is working through us. By tuning into this universal flow of energy we arrive to authentic power. This deep connection yields limitless energy, immense passion, and the gateway to radical aliveness. Then life is not coming at us; we, with the whole cosmos, are coming to life.
Anand will be available for private Vedic readings during his time in DC. Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trust yourself...learn how to interact well with other people. Value yourself and respect the role of others."
Khen Rinpoche Geshe Kachen Lobzang Tsetan is a Tibetan Buddhist monk from Ladakh, India, who has been traveling and teaching in the United States for over 30 years.
He teachers in the US for part of the year, and returns to Ladakh, India during the summer months to oversee activities at the Siddhartha School, which he founded in 1995 in his home village of Stok. The school seeks to preserve Tibetan Buddhist culture and language, while giving the children of this remote Himalayan area a well-rounded education, allowing them to represent themselves and their culture in our rapidly evolving global community.
In 1996, shortly after he founded the school, H.H. the Dalai Lama appointed Rinpoche to be head abbot of the newly reestablished Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in India. (This is in the absence of the 11th Panchen Lama, one of Tibet's most revered reincarnating masters and traditionally Tashi Lhunpo's abbot -- who has been missing since the Chinese Government took him and his family into custody when he was 4 years old.)
Khen Rinpoche humbly set aside this great honor, with the Dalai Lama's blessings and support, so that he could devote himself completely to the Siddhartha School. However, in 2005, the Dalai Lama
again asked Rinpoche to accept the abbot position, and this time he could not refuse. Rinpoche was installed as Kachen, or head abbot, of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in southern India. His title at that time became Khen Rinpoche Geshe Kachen Lobzang Tsetan. To learn more about the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in exile and the Panchen Lama, please visit: www.tashilhunpo.org.
Khen Rinpoche's life experiences serve as a living example for Ladakhi youth in the art of transforming the problems of rapid change into fruitful opportunities. Indeed, Rinpoche is an inspiration to all who meet him, whatever one's cultural or spiritual background.
"At the heart of every useful thing I've ever done was a change, and a story. And these days that's what captures my imagination most of all: how to model, lead & nurture conscious change; and how to gather, craft, tell, spread and amplify stories that help us all see ourselves, each other and the future in a new and beautiful light."
Marianne Elliott lives in New Zealand and is a remarkable writer, a yoga teacher, and a human rights activist. She served as a United Nations peacekeeper in Afghanistan with a focus on human rights and gender issues. Her work has included developing human rights strategies for the governments of New Zealand and Timor-Leste, and serving as a Policy Advisor for Oxfam. Marianne is the author of Zen Under Fire, a memoir about her work in Afghanistan.
In 2006, she was a New Zealand human rights lawyer stationed with the UN in Herat. Several months into her new role, a tribal leader was assassinated while she is in charge of the local UN office. She was responsible for defusing the situation before it led to widespread bloodshed.
Zen Under Fire is a vivid account of Marianne's experience living and working in the world's most notorious battlefield. As well as sharing the incredible details of her UN role, Marianne tells the very personal story of the effect that the high-stress environment had on her and her relationships, and she asks what it really means to do good in a country that is under siege from within.
"We are not separate from what happens to and around us–we are a part of its creation through our thoughts and actions. Disturbances within our own hearts, in our relationships, our communities, our work, our land, the environment, and throughout the world are the gross result of our collective thoughts and actions. Our responsibility as global citizens is to become emotionally wise, and in so doing, we contribute to balancing global disorder and peace."
Ruth King is an Insight Meditation Teacher and Emotional Wisdom author and consultant. Mentored by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, King teaches at Insight Meditation communities nationwide. King has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and is the author of The Emotions Wisdom Cards, Soothing the Inner Flames of Rage-Meditations that Educate the Heart & Transform the Mind, and Healing Rage-Women Making Inner Peace Possible.
King is the creator of Mindful Relationships-Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom, Mindful of Race-A Stimulus for Social Healing & Leadership, and Mindfulness Practices for Living Well - an 8-week course for beginning and advanced meditators desiring practice instructions and support in living more mindfully. King, a recent transplant from Berkeley, CA, now lives in Charlotte, NC, and is the founder of the Mindful Members Practice Community.
“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn't depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn't depend on how long you've held on to the old view. When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn't matter whether its been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades."
Sharon Salzberg is one of the leading meditation and spiritual teachers in the world. She co-founded the Insight Meditation Society with Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein, and is the author of eight books, including 2011's RealHappiness, which made it to #15 on the New York Times extended bestseller list.
Sharon is a frequent writer on The Huffington Post, and has been a contributing editor at O, The Oprah Magazine. She divides her time between Barre, Massachusetts, home of the Insight Meditation Society, and New York City. Sharon is a teacher of Asian meditation practices, focusing on vipassana and brahmavihara meditations. Along with Joseph Goldstein, she also co-founded the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and The Forest Refuge as a long-term meditation retreat center.
“It is not enough to sit on our zafus. These times call for compassionate action to be an integral part of our practice.”
A former Christian pastor, Ven. Pannavati Bhikkhuni is co-founder and co-Abbot of Embracing-Simplicity Hermitage in Hendersonville, NC. She is a Buddhist monk ordained in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions, a receiver of Vajrayana empowerments, and she is a transmission holder from Roshi Bernie Glassman of Zen Peacemakers. Ven. Pannavati is known for her ordination of Thai and Cambodian nuns, her service work with homeless youth, and her ministry to the "untouchables" in India.
An international teacher, she advocates on behalf of disempowered women and youth globally, and insists on equality and respect in Buddhist life for both female monastics and lay sangha. She is the founder of My Place, Inc., a program empowering young homeless people through education, jobs training, residential living, and social enterprise. She was a 2008 recipient of the international Outstanding Buddhist Women's Award, received special commendation from the Princess of Thailand for Humanitarian Acts in 2009, and established the first Thai and Cambodian ordination platforms for women in 2009 and 2011, respectively. She is also the recipient of the 2011 Women in Engaged Buddhism Award, presented by the Buddhist Council of the Midwest.
"To truly be whole we must attend to all aspects of our selves: mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. This takes both remembering who we are beyond our personality and physicality, and honoring exactly where we are in this moment."
HeatherAsh Amara is the author of The Toltec Path of Transformation and numerous other books. She is the founder the Toltec Center of Creative Intent, based in Austin, TX, and teaches extensively with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.
Raised in Southeast Asia, HeatherAsh has traveled the world since childhood, and is continually inspired by the diversity and beauty of human expression and experience. She brings this openhearted, inclusive worldview to her writings and teachings, which are a rich blend of Toltec wisdom, European shamanism, Buddhism, and Native American ceremony.
"If we live long enough in this world, we will have our hearts broken. Do they heal? Well, maybe not fully, completely, ever. But in the cracked and broken pieces, that's where the light shines through. We walk in the world forever after with more depth, more sensitivity, more compassion. Our love affair with the world begins with a broken heart."
The Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell, an accomplished Unitarian Universalist minister, is known for her dynamic speaking, writing, teaching, and her justice work. She is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Attic Institute, a literary think tank and visual arts studio in Portland, Oregon that is a haven for writers and artists. She is frequently sought out by the media for interviews on current issues of social or spiritual import. She holds master’s degrees in English literature, social work, and divinity, and a PhD in Theology and Literature from the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California at Berkeley.
Her life journey itself has been an amazing one and is beautifully and movingly rendered in the award-winning documentary film, Raw Faith,which will be screening at BuddhaFest. Marilyn grew up in a small town in North Louisiana with her father, her younger brother and sister, and her grandparents. She left the Catholic Church, the faith of the mother she lost, and became a Southern Baptist, the religion of her grandparents. Marilyn distinguished herself in her studies in college, and then attempted to find meaning through the conventional role for women of the day, marrying a surgeon and becoming the mother of two sons. She left the marriage when the boys were toddlers. She felt unaccepted at this time by the Southern Baptists, and so she sought out Unitarian Universalism, a liberal religious faith.
She attended seminary and has served with distinction for 17 years, as the Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Portland Oregon. during which time the church grew to be one of the largest UU churches in the nation. Also during those years, she received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate for her justice work from Meadville Lombard Seminary in Chicago. Marilyn retired in 2009, was named Minister Emerita, and a social justice lecture was established in her honor. She serves on the Board and the Executive Committee of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and is on the Workers’ Rights Board of Jobs with Justice.
She is the editor of two celebrated collections of women’s poetry focusing on the spiritual, the award-winning Cries of the Spirit, 1991, and a companion volume, Claiming the Spirit Within, 1996. Breaking Free: Women of Spirit at Midlife and Beyond (2004) is a collection of powerful essays by women reflecting on the spiritual growth in the second half of their lives. Marilyn’s latest books are two companion volumes, A Little Book on Forgiveness (2008) and A Little Book on Prayer (2009), and a book of quotations from her sermons, A Little Book of Reflections (2011). She currently contributes regularly to Huffington Post and also writes a blog. She is one of the poetry editors for the Harvard Divinity Bulletin.
"The Buddhists think that, because we've all had infinite previous lives, we've all been each other's relatives. Therefore all of you, in the Buddhist view, in some previous life...have been my mother - for which I do apologize for the trouble I caused you."
NY Times Magazine refers to Robert A. F. Thurman as "The Dalai Lama's man in America." A scholar, author, former Tibetan Buddhist monk, co-founder with Richard Gere of Tibet House in New York City, a close personal friend of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and father of five children including the actress, Uma Thurman, he is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. Time magazine named him one of the "25 Most Influential Americans."
He has lectured all over the world; his charisma and enthusiasm draw packed audiences. He is an internationally recognized scholar, translator and author, and the first Westerner to be ordained by the Dalai Lama as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. In describing Thurman, Time magazine calls him "the Billy Graham of American Buddhism. Or perhaps the St. Paul, a later-day, larger-than-life scholar-activist destined to convey the dharma, the precious teachings of Siddhartha, from Asia to America."
As Jey Tsong Kharpa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies, Thurman holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Studies in America. He regularly leads trips to India, Bhutan, and Tibet. Thurman is co-founder of Tibet House New York, a nonprofit cultural institution dedicated to preserving the endangered civilization of Tibet. In addition, he is co-curator of two important and critically acclaimed exhibitions of Tibetan art. Thurman served as an advisor for both Seven Years in Tibet and Kundun, two movies focusing on the history of Tibet, the Dalai Lama's early life, and Buddhism.