Rabbi Jeff Roth is the founder and director of The Awakened Heart Project. He was the co-founder of Elat Chayyim where he served as Executive Director and Spiritual Director for 13 years. He is the Author of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life, Jewish Lights 2009. He is an experienced meditation teacher and the facilitator of over 90 Jewish meditation retreats.
Raja Selvam, PhD, is a senior trainer in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing (SE) professional trauma training programs and the developer of Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP), an advanced approach for integrating body, energy, and consciousness into any psychological process, a master training for experienced clinicians.
Dr. Selvam’s eclectic approach draws from bodywork systems of Postural Integration, Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and Polarity Therapy, body-psychotherapy systems of Reichian Therapy, Bioenergetics, and Bodynamic Analysis, Jungian and Archetypal psychologies, psychoanalytic schools of Object Relations and Inter-Subjectivity, Somatic Experiencing (SE), Affective Neuroscience, Quantum Physics, and Advaita Vedanta, a spiritual tradition from India.
Dr. Selvam teaches in the United States, England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Israel, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China, Brazil, and South Africa.
Once called “the most intriguing African-American Buddhist” by Library Journal, Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei has been bridging the worlds of spirit and justice since her critically-acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace. Ordained as a Zen priest, she returned to her activist roots and began applying wisdom teaching to social issues to become a leading voice in the ever-emerging field of Transformative Social Change. Recently becoming only the second black woman to be recognized as a Zen teacher, she is known for her unflinching willingness to both sit with and speak uncomfortable truths. angel notes, “Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.” Whether in writing, teaching or speaking, her voice is unique.
Richard Mendius, MD is a neurologist in private practice in Marin County. He trained at UCLA as an epileptologist under Jerome Engel and as a neurobehaviorist under Frank Benson and Jeff Cummings. He has been on the teaching faculty of UCLA, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Stanford University. His meditation practice began in the 1980s with Shinzen Young in Los Angeles, and continues at Spirit Rock with Jack Kornfield, Phillip Moffitt, Ajahn Amaro, and Ajahn Sumedho. He teaches a weekly meditation class at San Quentin. His daughters, Courtney and Taryn, and his son, Ian, are three of his main teachers and companions on the path.
Richard Shankman has been a meditator since 1970, and teaches at Dharma centers and groups internationally. He is guiding teacher of the Metta Dharma Foundation, and cofounder of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and of Mindful Schools. He practices and teaches meditation that integrates compassion, mindfulness, concentration and insight as one path of practice. Richard is the author of The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation and The Experience of Samadhi.
I first encountered Buddhism in 1974, and it blew the doors wide open for me with its profound and practical insights into the mind, suffering, and true happiness. Over time I gravitated to the original teachings of the Buddha, embodied in the Theravadan tradition, for their down-to-earth clarity, and important sources for me have included the teachers of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Pali Canon itself. More recently, I've explored grounding the dharma in modern evolutionary neuropsychology - "neurodharma" - recognizing how mind arises dependently upon the body, especially the nervous system as it tries to meet ancient needs for raw survival. I am especially interested in using these approaches to heighten the learning - the cultivation (bhavana) - from beneficial experiences (otherwise often wasted on the brain) to reduce the underlying sense of deficit and disturbance that causes the craving that causes suffering and harm. Overall, I feel amazingly blessed to have the opportunity in this life to ride the dharma stream and share its gifts with others!