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Guiding Voices

Sousan Abadian

Sousan Abadian is a graduate of Harvard University and a consultant with Cambridge Leadership Associates. Dr. Abadian speaks and leads workshops in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Her areas of expertise include international development, recovery from collective trauma, and conflict transformation. Sousan is of Iranian heritage and Zoroastrian faith, with special inner and outer relationship with Judaism, Christianity and Sufism.

Christopher Bamford

Christopher Bamford is Editor-in-Chief for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. He is the author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West. He has also translated and edited numerous books, including Celtic Christianity, Homage to Pythagoras, and The Noble Traveller. An essay by Mr. Bamford is included in the HarperSanFrancisco anthology Best Spiritual Writing 2000 by Philip Zaleski.

Robin Becker

Robin Becker is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer. She has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Eleo Pomare Dance Company, and with her own dance company of which she has been the artistic director for fifteen years. In the U.S. she has served on the faculties of the Omega Institute, American Ballet Theatre, the High School of the Performing Arts in New York City and Hofstra University. Her work is deeply influenced by twenty years of study within the Sufi Order International, and by Continuum, a visionary field of movement education of which she is an authorized Teacher. Robin has been integrating movement, artistic expression, spirituality and healing throughout her professional career. She leads workshops on creativity and improvisation and is committed to working with people as they seek a deeper connection to life through the body.

Phyllis Berman

Rabbi Phyllis Berman is a leader within the Jewish Renewal Movement, a facilitator for the Tent of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah, an author, and ESOL educator. She is founding Director of the Riverside Language Program, an intensive English language school for adult legal immigrants and refugees. She co-authored Tales of Tikkun, Getting Into It, and with Rabbi Arthur Waskow, A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven: The Jewish Life-Spiral as a Spiritual Path.

Orland Bishop

Orland Bishop is the founder and director of ShadeTree Multicultural Foundation in Los Angeles, where he has pioneered approaches to urban truces and mentoring at-risk youth that combine new ideas with traditional ways of knowledge. ShadeTree serves as an intentional community of mentors, elders, teachers, artists, healers and advocates for the healthy development of children and youth. Orland’s work in healing and human development is framed by an extensive study of medicine, naturopathy, psychology and indigenous cosmologies, primarily those of South and West Africa.

Yitzhak Buxbaum

Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum is a Jewish inspirational speaker and storyteller who specializes in Jewish mysticism and hasidic tales, and also teaches ecumenical courses, such as, “Spiritual Stories from Around the World,” and “Guru, Rebbe, Saint, and Bodhisattva.” He co-taught with Swami Atmarupananda- “Om-Shalom: An Encounter between Judaism and Hinduism”; and engaged in a dialogue with Sheika Fariha Friedrich-- “Sufi-Jewfi: An Encounter between Mystic Judaism and Mystic Islam.” Maggid Yitzhak directs The Jewish Spirit Maggid Training Program. He is the author of ten books on Jewish spirituality, including:The Light and Fire of the Baal Shem TovJewish Spiritual PracticesAn Open Heart: The Mystic Path of Loving PeopleStorytelling and Spirituality in JudaismJewish Tales of Mystic Joy and Jewish Tales of Holy Women.

Paul Devereux

Paul Devereux is a research affiliate of the Royal College of Art, London, and is a specialist in the anthropology of consciousness, archaeoacoustics, and psi phenomena. He is a founding co-editor of the peer-review publication, Time and Mind - The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture. He has field researched ancient places ranging from European Stone Age sites, to Mayan temples, to vision quest locations in the US, and many more. Besides articles, peer-reviewed papers and magazine columns, he has authored or co-authored 27 books in as many years, including Re-Visioning the Earth, The Sacred Place, Stone Age Soundtracks, and Sacred Geography.

Charla Devereux

Charla Devereux is Network Manager of the Scientific and Medical Network, a UK-based educational charity. Her main area of interest is complementary medicine. She co-pioneered the first US university courses on the healing uses of essential oils, and organised international conferences on the same theme. She also organised a conference at the Royal Society of Arts, London, dealing with visionary and mystical levels of consciousness. Her books on essential oils, meditation, lucid dreaming and related topics have sold over a million copies in 14 countries.

Jacob Ellenberg

Jacob Ellenberg comes from an eclectic background that includes high-tech start-up companies, scholarly research and writing, and organizational consulting. Jacob holds a B.A. in Organizational Behavior and Mysticism from New York University and currently develops video content for Whole Foods Market. In his spare time, he continues his study of mysticism and performs improv. 

Sheikha Fariha

Sheikha Fariha is the spiritual guide of the Nur Askhi Jerrahi Sufi Order in New York City. She received direct transmission from Grand Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak of Istanbul in 1980 and is a successor of Lex Hixon (Nur al-Jerrahi). She guides communities around the world.

Richard Grossinger

Richard Grossinger graduated from Amherst College and has a PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan. He is the co-founder and publisher of North Atlantic Books (with his wife, Lindy Hough). Books he has authored include: Planet Medicine; The Night Sky; Embryogenesis: Species, Gender, and Identity; Embryos, Galaxies, and Sentient Beings: How the Universe Makes Life; On the Integration of Nature; and The Bardo of Waking Life. He has studied t’ai chi ch’uan with Paul Pitchford, Martin Inn, and Peter Ralston and craniosacral therapy with Randy Cherner and John Upledger. He and Lindy Hough live alternately in Berkeley, California, and Manset, Maine; they have two children: Robin Grossinger, an environmental biologist with the San Francisco Estuary Institute, and Miranda July, a writer, film-maker, and performance artist.

Lindy Hough

Lindy Hough is a poet, essayist and fiction-writer who was the co-founder of Io Magazine, a literary journal prominent in the seventies and eighties, and North Atlantic Books, a 30-year old independent publishing company in Berkeley, California. She has published four books of poetry: Changing Woman, The Sun In Cancer, Outlands and Inlands, and Psyche, a long narrative poem, as well as an anthology of writings critiquing nuclear war and weapons. Her poems and dance criticism have been published in numerous journals over the years.

Taj Inayat

Taj Inayat is adept at working with the inner worlds, and guides many people in how to access their deepest nature and then live this fundamental presence in their outer lives. Employing the insights of personal experience, psychological study, and spiritual discipline, Taj helps others cultivate a sensitivity to the subtle movements, obstacles, and awakenings that are part of the soul’s unfoldment.

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, founder of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom, is the spiritual leader of the Sufi Order International, a mystical and ecumenical fellowship rooted in the visionary legacy of his grandfather, Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is also President of the Suluk Academy for esoteric studies. Pir Zia holds a doctoral degree in religion from Duke University, is a recipient of the U Thant Peace Award, and is a Lindisfarne Fellow.

Rabbi David Ingber

Rabbi David Ingber is the founder and Spiritual Director of Kehilat Romemu, NYC's Transformative Synagogue. An explorer and integrator, Rabbi David has a wide range of experience - from training in the orthodox world to renewal Judaism; from teaching Pilates and Gyrotonics to meditating under the guidance of great Zen teachers. Rabbi David's practices also include tai chi, yoga, and astrology. His inspiration comes from the great Jewish mystics as well as western philosophy. Rabbi David's vision is to bring together all he has learned, renewing his Jewish heritage and revealing a Judaism that is truly Integral.

Lee Irwin

Lee Irwin is a Professor in the Religious Studies Department at the College of Charleston where he teaches world religions with an emphasis on Native American traditions, western esotericism, hermeticism, contemporary spirituality, mystical cosmology, and transpersonal religious experience as related to dreams and visions. He is the Vice President of the Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) and a board member of the Sophia Institute and the Institute for Dream Studies. He has been a workshop leader and group facilitator for over twenty years, particularly in the areas of visionary cosmology and the development of the sacred human. He is the author of many books and articles, including: The Dream Seekers, Visionary Worlds, Awakening to Spirit: On Life, Illumination, and Being, The Alchemy of Soul, and Coming Down From Above: Prophecy, Resistance, and Renewal in Native American Religions.

Rabbi Shaya (Sheldon Isenberg)

Rabbi Shaya (Sheldon Isenberg) teaches Jewish Studies and Comparative Mysticism at the University of Florida, and serves as Director of the university's Center for Jewish Studies. A professor and a rabbi, he lectures and offers workshops on applied mysticism, meditation, self-development and relationships.

Tamam Kahn

Tamam Kahn is a pilgrim and storyteller. She has co-led groups to Morocco, Damascus, and India, visiting the dargahs of Sufi saints and sharing practices and zikrs with local Sufis of various lineage families. She is a poet and author of Untold, A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad, Monkfish Books, fall 2010, available now in limited edition by the author.

Shabda Kahn

Pir Shabda Kahn, a direct disciple of the American Sufi Master, Murshid Samuel Lewis, has been practicing Sufism since 1969. He is the Pir (Spiritual Director) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, the sufi lineage tracing from Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel Lewis. In 1972 Shabda met his second great teacher, the late Master Singer, Pandit Pran Nath, and began the daily practice of North Indian classical music in the Kirana style. He now teaches vocal music and performs Raga singing and has appeared in numerous concerts around the world. Shabda is one of a handful of Americans who have dedicated themselves to carrying on the legacy of the treasure of North Indian classical vocal music. He is also a disciple of the illustrious Tibetan Buddhist Master, the 12the Tai Situpa Rinpoche.

Rabbi Yaakov Kellman

Rabbi Yaakov Kellman is the Executive Director of JERNY, Jewish Educational Resources of New York, and holds semicha (ordination) from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Prior to joining JERNY, for over two decades Rabbi Kellman served as the Administrator of the Vaad Hakashruth of the Capital District. Rabbi Kellman is a student of human nature, and an avid organic gardener and cross-country skier.

Satya Inayat Khan

Satya Inayat Khan is a freelance web developer, martial artist, and chivalry practitioner. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. She can be found online at, or on twitter @satyakhan.

Phil Lane, Jr.

Phil Lane, Junior, a member of the Yankton Sioux and Chickasaw Nations, is a globally recognized Indigenous humanitarian, spiritual leader, educator, and Heredity Chief. He has worked with Indigenous peoples throughout Mother Earth for more than 40 years and is an award-winning author and film producer with Master’s Degrees in Education and Public Administration. He has received various international awards including John Denver’s Windstar Award, the Swiss Foundation’s Award for Freedom and Human Rights, and The Center for the Healing of Racism’s Ally Award for his work in promoting freedom and justice for Indigenous peoples by healing the root causes of racism. Phil is Chairman of the Four Worlds International Institute that is dedicated to manifesting The Fourth Way, a sacred and holistic path that transcends assimilation, resignation, and conflict. For more information, please visit

Anna Less

Anna Less is a senior teacher in the Sufi Order, and co-director of Rising Tide International. She is one of the few Westerners to hold a Ph.D. in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which she was granted by Zhejiang College of Medicine in Hangzhou, China. Anna brings a deep understanding of the mystical underpinnings of physical form, and an ability to relate the subtleties of the spiritual path to our every day lives.

Shahabuddin Less

Shahabuddin Less has been a senior teacher in the Sufi Order International for over 30 years. Shahabuddin leads workshops and seminars worldwide. He brings a depth of spiritual insight and profound attunement to his teachings. Students benefit from his compassionate nature, broad knowledge and gentle humor. He is founder of Rising Tide International, a center devoted to uniting the heart of all religions.

Sister Miriam MacGillis

Sister Miriam MacGillis is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, New Jersey. She lives and works at Genesis Farm, which she co-founded in 1980 with the sponsorship of her Dominican congregation. Genesis Farm is a learning center of Earth Studies, practicing biodynamic methods of agriculture, which are in tune with the natural rhythms of the Earth. Miriam invites us to see ourselves as a living part of a living cosmos, and lectures extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

Gayan Macher

Gayan has been a teacher and guide in the tradition of universal Sufism for over 30 years. He was instrumental in the founding of Suluk Academy, the core esoteric training of the Sufi Order International, and has been a lead teacher since its inception. He also helped to launch Seven Pillars House of Wisdom and served as its first Chair of the Board. Professionally, he consults to corporate executives about the art and practice of human relations, and has worked with organizations including Hewlett Packard, BellSouth, Kaiser Permanente and the US Army, among many others. Gayan is also a singer song writer.

Ghassan Manasra

Ghassan Manasra is the director of Anwar il-Salaam (Lights of Peace), a Muslim peace center in Nazareth promoting tolerance and interfaith dialogue. Ghassan is an ordained sheikh and is the son of Sheikh Abdel Salaam Manasra, the head of the Qadiri Sufi order in the Holy Land.

Dena Merriam

Dena Merriam is the founder and convener of the Global Peace Initiative of Women. Dena has worked to engage women in peace-building activities in conflict and post-conflict regions around the world. She has also organized major international interfaith events and has worked to build a global network of contemplative leaders and practitioners who share the experience of unity at the heart of all the religious traditions. Dena  holds a master’s degree from Columbia University and has served on the advisory boards of the Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions, the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, The Interfaith Center of New York, the Manitou Foundation, and the All India Movement for Seva. Additionally, she is an advisor to the board of Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association. 

Lama Palden

Lama Palden was authorized as a lama in 1986 by her root teacher, Khabje Kalu Rinpoche, and has been a student and practitioner of Buddhism for over 30 years, and of Comparative Mysticism for over 35 years. She is the founding teacher of Sukhasiddhi Foundation in Marin County. Lama Palden has a deep interest in helping to make the teachings and practices of Tibetan Buddhism accessible and practical for Westerners, as well as in actualizing the deep feminine wisdom. Also a licensed therapist, she is engaged in facilitating psycho-spiritual integration and development through bringing together understandings and methods from Buddhism and the Diamond Heart work. &

Carol Parrish

Rev. Carol E. Parrish, Ph.D. is founder and director of the intentional community of Sparrow Hawk Village, Pastor Emeritus of Light of Christ Community Church and Dean of Sancta Sophia Seminary. Long recognized as an inspired spiritual leader, Carol has stimulated many people to rejoice in their oneness with God. Many find hope in her lucid explanations of how certain fundamental truths, which underlie all major religions, can guide us in these changing times. Carol has received numerous awards, including the Russian Nebolsin Medal and the Earl Award for Religious Futurists. Her eleven books include Sophia Sutras, The New Dictionary of Spiritual Thought, and the Adventure in Meditation series, which won the Athena Award for Mentoring Excellence three years in a row.

Deepa Patel

Deepa Patel is passionate about music, young people, fighting injustice and poverty and nurturing equality and creativity in our world. These areas have been the focus of her work.  Her past roles have included work as a music education producer for the BBC, a campaigner on HIV/AIDS for ActionAid, and as a Managing Director of Creative Partnerships (a national UK Government Initiative on creativity in schools). She currently facilitates programs on the art of collaboration and conversation and is Co-Director of Slow Down London, a campaign on how to appreciate and enjoy life at a different pace. Deepa is a member of the Seven Pillars Board of Trustees and lives in England.

Janet Piedilato

Janet Piedilato is a transpersonal psychologist, a complementary health care consultant, and an ordained minister.  She holds a doctorate in biology from New York University and a doctorate in transpersonal psychology from Saybrook Graduate School. She took her herbalist training at David Winston's Center for Herbal Studies. Janet holds the distinction of being the first woman practitioner to present shamanic ritual at the Harvard Divinity School Conference on Reinterpreting Shamanism. In private practice she creates complementary therapies incorporating natural supplements as well as psycho-spiritual techniques. Janet is the founder of Immaginal, a company that grew from her practice of creating scent memory experiences during relaxation therapy protocols. She resides at Temenos, an environmental sanctuary, co-founded with her husband and soul mate, Iggy.

Yuval Ron

Yuval Ron is an international composer and record producer who actively creates musical bridges between people of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths. His ensemble, The Yuval Ron Ensemble, includes Arabic, Israeli and Jewish musicians and well as Christian Armenian artists, and unites the sacred musical traditions of Judaism, Sufism (Islamic mystical tradition) and the Armenian Church into an unusual mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration.

Omid Safi

Omid Safi is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he specializes on Islamic mysticism (Sufism), contemporary Islamic thought, and medieval Islamic history. He received his PhD from Duke University (2000). Before coming to UNC he was an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. Safi is the Chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. His book The Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam, dealing with medieval Islamic history and politics, was published in 2006. His translation and analysis of Rumi’s biography is forthcoming from Fons Vitae.

Barbara Sargent

Barbara Sargent is founder and president of Kalliopeia Foundation, a grant-making charity whose mission is to help cultivate the evolution of communities and cultures that honor the unity at the heart of life’s diversity. She was brought to the Naqshbandi Sufi path starting in 1985 and is a disciple of Sheik Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. She resides in northern California with her husband and they have two grown children.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author, poet, essayist, and educator whose poems have been anthologized in over a dozen volumes, and whose prayers are used in prayer books around the world. Rami received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and holds doctoral degrees in both Jewish studies and divinity. A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Rami currently teaches Religious Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. In addition to writing books, Rami writes a regular column for Spirituality and Health magazine called Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler. His most recent books are Recovery, the Sacred Art, and The Angelic Way.

David Spangler

David Spangler is an internationally known spiritual teacher and writer, and was instrumental in helping establish the Findhorn Foundation community in northern Scotland in the late 1960’s early 1970’s. Since then David has traveled widely within the United States and Canada giving classes, workshops and lectures. His themes have included the emergence of a holistic culture, the nature of personal sacredness, our participation in a coevolving, co-creative universe, partnering, and working with spiritual realms, our responsibility to the earth and to each other, the spiritual nature and power of our individuality, and our calling to be of service at this crucial time of world history. Many of these themes come together in his primary work, which is the development of a spiritual perspective and practice called Incarnational Spirituality.

Max Strom

Max Strom is a teacher, speaker, and author known for inspiring and impacting the lives of his students and has become one of the most respected teachers of personal transformation and yoga worldwide. Due to an ever-increasing demand for his teachings, Max travels extensively teaching methods and lecturing on personal transformation, spirituality, and yoga. His methods address the emotional and spiritual aspects of our life as well as physical healing and health. His teachings can now be read in his new book, A Life Worth Breathing (Skyhorse Publishing 2010). You can see more of his work on his DVDs Learn to Breathe: To Heal Yourself and Your Relationships and Max Strom Yoga – Strength, Grace, Healing.

Barbara Tedlock

Barbara Tedlock, Ph.D. is the granddaughter of an Ojibwe midwife and herbalist and was trained and initiated as a shaman by the K'iche' Maya of highland Guatemala. She is currently Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Buffalo. The author of four previous books and numerous essays, she divides her time between Buffalo, New York, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Bisan Toron

Bisan Toron is a voice teacher and performer. She holds a degree in classical voice performance and a Masters in Ethnomusicology, with a focus on the fusion music of various refugee populations and Middle Eastern vocal traditions. Bisan was born in Syria and raised in Paris and New York. Her debut CD is Backstage Reveries, Voice Sketches by Bisan Toron.

Kevin Townley

Kevin Townley is co-founder of the Hermetic school, The Philosophers of Nature, which has a seven-level curriculum in laboratory alchemy and Qabalah. Kevin has worked full-time in an alchemy laboratory and conducts workshops on Qabalah, Spagyrics, Alchemy and Tarot in the US and Europe. He has been a faculty member at institutions such as The Colorado Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Boulder College, and Naropa University.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a sheikh in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujadidiyya Sufi Order. Born in London in 1953, he has followed the Naqshbandi Sufi path since he was 19. In 1991 he moved to Northern California and became the successor of Irina Tweedie, author of Chasm of Fire and Daughter of Fire. In recent years, the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and the emerging global consciousness of oneness. He has also specialized in the area of dreamwork, integrating the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of modern psychology. Llewellyn is the founder of The Golden Sufi Center and author of several books.,

Arthur Waskow

Rabbi Arthur Waskow has been one of the creators and leaders of Jewish renewal since 1969. In 1983, he founded and has since been director of The Shalom Center. In 2007, Newsweek named him one of America’s fifty most influential rabbis. He is a co-author of The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, & Muslims (Beacon, 2006). He pioneered in peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians and in opposing the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. He also pioneered in the shaping of Eco-Judaism, both through his books (Down-to-Earth Judaism; Torah of the Earth (2 vols); and The Shalom Center’s religiously rooted social action. He taught at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from 1982 till 1989 and as a Visiting Professor in religion at Swarthmore, Vassar, Temple University, and Drew University.

Contributors & Presenters

Ralph Abraham

Ralph Abraham has been Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Santa Cruz since 1968, and has held teaching posts at Berkeley, Columbia, Princeton, and many visiting positions in Europe and Asia. He is the author of more than 20 texts, with eight books currently in print.  He has been a consultant on chaos theory and its applications in numerous fields (medical physiology, ecology, mathematical economics, psychotherapy, etc.) and is an active editor for the technical journals World Futures, and the International Journal of Bifurcations and Chaos.

Kamil Alast

Kamil Alast is a writer with many years of experience studying the cultures of the Middle East and South Asia. His main preoccupation is the dialectic between speech and silence, which, particularly through the Sufi tradition, takes on a profoundly important role in times of crisis.

Asatar Bair

Asatar Bair holds a doctorate in economic theory from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and currently teaches economics at the City College of San Francisco, CA, where he lives with his wife. His research focuses on the political economy of prisons and crime. Asatar is a student of meditation, and enjoys running, tai chi, sculpture, and philosophy.

Michael Banks

Michael Banks is a bishop in the Mennonite Church, with responsibility for six churches in the Bronx, New York. He is also a dynamic preacher and inspirational speaker who has appeared to great acclaim at countless religious convocations and conferences. He is much-in-demand as a retreat leader, with special expertise in spiritual transformation and peacemaking; he has done ground-breaking work in urban peacemaking. Reverend Banks has taught throughout the United States, in Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, and Africa. He has presented at seminaries, including the Westminster Methodist Seminary in Philadelphia, and at universities, including Notre Dame University. He is recognized as an extraordinary preacher, and was selected as one of the 10 top preachers in his denomination.

Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was educated at the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught poetry and creative writing at the University of Georgia for thirty years. He is the author of numerous Rumi translations and has been a student of Sufism since 1977. His work with Rumi was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers's Language of Life series on PBS, and he is a featured poet and translator in Bill Moyers's poetry special, "Fooling with Words." Coleman Barks is the father of two grown children and the grandfather of four. He lives in Athens, Georgia.

William C. Chittick

William C. Chittick, Ph.D. is professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has lectured around the world and published 30 books and numerous articles on Islamic intellectual history, concentrating on the interface between Sufism and philosophy. His books include The Sufi Path of Love, The Sufi Path of Knowledge, The Heart of Islamic Philosophy, Ibn Arabi: Heir to the Prophets, Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul, and, with Sachiko Murata, The Vision of Islam.

Henry Corbin

Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. Corbin's major written works include Avicenna and the Visionary Recital, Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi', Spiritual Body & Celestial Earth and The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism.

Nambaryn Enkhbayar

Nambaryn Enkhbayar has been the president of Mongolia since June 2005; he served as speaker of the Parliament 2004–5 and as prime minister 2000–2004. A graduate of the Moscow Institute of Literature, he has also studied at Leeds University in England. Enkhbayar worked for the Mongolian Writers Union as an editor-translator, and was their secretary general and vice president. He has translated Mongolian epics as well as a number of works of European literature, Dickens among them. Enkhbayar has also translated Buddhist teachings into Mongolian.

Heather Siddiqi Ferraro

Heather Siddiqi Ferraro is a long-time student of Sufism and many other world wisdom traditions. She holds an MA in Counseling Psychology and currently works as a development officer for Coffee Kids, an international non-profit organization that supports coffee-growing communities in Latin America. She has a deep interest in cultivating beauty in modern culture, as well as exploring the feminine experience of the divine. She currently lives in Derbyshire, England with her husband.

Jennifer Ferraro

Jennifer Ferraro, MFA, is a poet, artist, and translator of Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey and a collection of her own illustrated poems, Divine Nostalgia. She has led workshops and has presented poetry performances combining poetry, dance and music in innovative ways. For four years she toured with a Turkish music ensemble performing percussion, dance and sacred poetry all over the world. Her work is particularly concerned with presenting poetry as a sacred art and in illuminating the neglected beauty and passionate wisdom of the sacred feminine. Jennifer lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is currently working on a new book.

Carole Forman

Carole Forman is an actor-turned-storyteller who brings spiritual stories and songs from the Jewish tradition and many other paths to people of all backgrounds and ages around the country and in Canada. A long time yoga teacher, Carole also leads spiritual workshops in creative movement and dance. She is a “Guidess” at Life Works, Inc. supporting women in having the lives they desire.

Ashok Gangadean

Ashok Gangadean is a professor of philosophy at Haverford College, Haverford, PA. He was the first director of Haverford’s Center for the Cross–Cultural Study and is the founder–director of the Global Dialogue Institute.

Jim Garrison

Jim Garrison serves as President of Wisdom University. He also founded and serves as President of the Gorbachev Foundation/USA and the State of the World Forum, both created to establish a global network of leaders dedicated to creating a more sustainable global civilization. Garrison received his BA, magna cum laude, in World History from the University of Santa Clara in 1973; his MTS from Harvard Divinity School in Christology and the History of World Religions in 1975; and his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in Philosophical Theology in 1982.

Amira Anne Glickman

Amira Anne Glickman currently resides at the Abode of the Message in New Lebanon, NY. She moved to the area following a call to open her heart and has been working on the organic farm there for the past year. Previous to her new adventures working the land, she was a freelance radio producer and was featured on Weekend America, Radio France International, Studio.360 and Chicago Public Radio. She has also been active within the progressive philanthropic community and was a founding member of the Gulf Coast Allied Funders – a national cross-class, cross-race giving circle that channeled over 3M to progressive grassroots organizations throughout the Gulf South area.

Nancy Grace

Nancy Grace has been learning and teaching about dreams for twenty years, with a focus on dreamwork as spiritual practice, and the benefits of sharing dreams in groups.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and co-founded the Cummington Community Dream Center in western Massachusetts in 2004.  Nancy has an M.A. in Transformative Arts, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Mythology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in southern California.

Donald A. Sharif Graham

Sharif Graham is a scholar and former professor of Literature and Comparative Religion at University of Arizona and Pima College. For the past twelve years he has authenticated and edited the lectures of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, and regularly given seminars on Inayat Khan's teachings. Sharif lives in Suresnes, France.

Michael Green

Michael Green, a long-time student of Sufi master M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, is interested in revivifying the medieval arts of illumination, and is responsible (along with Coleman Barks) for The Illuminated Rumi, as well as its sequel One Song • A New Illuminated Rumi, and The Illuminated Prayer. Green lives and works in rural Pennsylvania, and is converting a barn once used by Buffalo Bill Cody into a studio and gallery.


Gyrus is an independent writer, public speaker, publisher and web developer. He edited the acclaimed Towards 2012 and Dreamflesh Journal, and his interests include prehistoric consciousness, magic, altered states and ecopsychology. He recently published his first book of essays, Archaeologies of Consciousness.

H. Talat Halman, Ph.D.

H. Talat Halman is Assistant Professor of Religion at Central Michigan University where he teaches courses in Islamic Studies and World Religions. His book on the Green Man, al-Khidr, is to be published by Fons Vitae as Where Two Seas Meet: The Story of al-Khidr and Spiritual Guidance. Talat holds initiations in the Ruhaniat, the Sufi Order, and Sherif Baba’s Rifa’i-Marufi lineages of Sufism.

Patrick Harpur

Patrick Harpur published two novels, The Serpent's Circle and The Rapture, before embarking on a long study of the Western esoteric tradition which found expression in his alchemical romance Mercurius; or, the Marriage of Heaven and Earth; in his study of visions and apparitions, Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld; and in his history of the Imagination, The Philosophers' Secret Fire. Harpur's most recent title is A Complete Guide to the Soul published by Rider in 2010.

Lafcadio Hearn

Lafcadio Hearn (June 27, 1850 – September 26, 1904), also known as Koizumi Yakumo after gaining Japanese citizenship, was well known for his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories.

Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is Professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. He has published numerous articles on Jung, Hegel, transpersonal psychology, and the new science and is the author of Individuation and the Absolute: Hegel, Jung, and the Path toward Wholeness (Paulist Press, 1993). Sean is an editor (with Donald Rothberg) of Ken Wilber in Dialogue: Conversations with Leading Transpersonal Thinkers (Quest, 1998) and a translator (with Roger Lapointe) of the French thinker Edgar Morin's book Homeland Earth: A Manifesto for the New Millennium (Hampton Press, 1999). Along with his academic work, Sean has trained intensively in the Chinese internal arts (taiji, bagua, and xingyi) and has been teaching taiji since 1990.

Mirza Inayat Khan

Mirza Inayat Khan teaches Religion at San Domenico School. He enjoys riding his bicycle.

Sister Joan Kirby

Sister Joan Kirby is the Temple of Understanding's representative to the United Nations and a member of the Sacred Heart Order.

Jean-Yves Leloup

Jean-Yves Leloup is a Ph.D. in Theology, Philosophy and Psychology. He is also the founder of the International College of Therapists as well as an author on spirituality and psychology. His many works include translations and commentaries on the Coptic Gospel Of Mary Magdalene and the Coptic Gospel of Thomas and Philip, as well as a range of books designed to enrich the Western spiritual tradition through greater familiarity with that of the East.

Patrick Levy

Patrick Levy is the author of Sadhus: Going Beyond the Dreadlocks.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse

Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota in 1954. Raised by his grandparents, Lucy and Thomas Looking Horse, Arvol learned the culture and spiritual ways of the Lakota. He speaks both Lakota and English. At 12 he was given the enormous responsibility of becoming the 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the youngest in history. Arvol has felt, on many occasions, overwhelmed by inheriting such a responsibility of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nations at such a young age. He was raised in an era and bore witness to the suppression of his peoples' spiritual practices. He decided to "work for change and let the world know how beautiful our way of life is, so the seventh generation can have a better future."

Victor Mansfield

Victor Mansfield (1941-2008) was Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Colgate University and a student of Tibetan Buddhism. He published widely in physics, astronomy, and several interdisciplinary fields, studied and practiced with teachers in the USA, Europe, and India, and lectured widely in the USA and Europe. In 2008, Professor Mansfield published Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Science, with an introduction by His Holiness the Dali Lama.

Eliyahu McLean

Eliyahu McLean is the director of the Jerusalem Peacemakers, a group of religious leaders and grassroots peacebuilders in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Eliyahu organizes monthly inter-religious Israeli-Palestinian peace gatherings in East and West Jerusalem and coordinates the Abrahamic Reunion, a group of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Druze religious leaders working together to re-claim religion as a source for peace. Eliyahu is also a board member and interfaith advisor for the Sulha Peace Project, which hosts an annual event which brings together thousands of Israelis and Palestinians.

John Michell

John Michell was an English philosopher and a prolific writer on geometry and number, archeology, archeoastronomy, sacred sites, the occult, art, and the lives of noted eccentrics. His better known works include The View Over Atlantis, which stimulated renewed interest in ley lines; City of Revelation, which concerns sacred geometry; A Little History of Astro-Archaeology; and Who Wrote Shakespeare?

Netanel Miles-Yepez

Netanel (Mu’in ad-Din) Miles-Yepez studied History of Religions at Michigan State University and Contemplative Religion at Naropa University, specializing in non-dual philosophies and comparative religion. He is the editor of Living Fully, Dying Well: Reflecting on Death to Find Your Life's Meaning, and co-authored A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters (2009) with Reb Zalman.

‘Aziz Miyan

‘Aziz Miyan was born in Bareilly, North India, in 1899. He was a descendent of the great 18th century Chishti saint, Shah Niyaz Ahmad. ‘Aziz Miyan become the lineage-bearer of the Niyaziyya branch of the Chishtiyya. He was adept in the arts of alchemy, gemology, medicine, music, calligraphy, fencing, swordsmanship, marksmanship and the manufacture of fireworks. He composed poetry in Persian, Urdu and Hindi, under the pen name Raz (secret). He was even rumored to have miraculous powers including the ability to foretell the future. In 1968 ‘Aziz Miyan died and was succeeded by his son.

Jennifer Morgan

Jennifer Morgan is a storyteller, author, educator and environmentalist who has a love of the natural world and cosmology. She has written a trilogy of children’s books about the universe story: Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story (which earned the Learning Magazine Teacher’s Choice Award), From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth Story and Mammals Who Morph: The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story.

Reverend James Parks Morton

The Very Reverend James Parks Morton is retired Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and Founder and current President of the Interfaith Center of New York. In 25 years Dean Morton achieved recognition throughout the world as one of the most energetic and accomplished religious leaders of our time. During his long career, Dean Morton conceived and founded numerous social service organizations, became a force within the sacred ecology movement, and served as an ambassador of tolerance and understanding through a respect for all faith traditions.

Sohrob Nabatian

Sohrob Nabatian studied pastoral counseling and psychology at Harvard Divinity School, and had the privilege of working as a hospital chaplain in Berkeley, California, where a dying man taught him to really taste a mango. Sohrob currently lives with his family in San Rafael, CA.

Gary Null

Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health, founder of the Progressive Radio Network, a New York Times best selling author, and a multi-award-winning director of controversial documentaries, including Gulf War Syndrome: Killing Our Own, The Drugging of Our Children, and Autism: Made in the USA.

Martin Palmer

Martin Palmer is the Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), and the author/translator of The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity, published by Piatkus Books (2001) as well as the Penguin Classics translation of The Book of Chuang Tzu, a compilation of the great Daoist philosopher from the fifth century BCE.

Pythia Peay

Pythia Peay’s down-to-earth articles about the inner dimension of life – whether the soul of the city, the messages in our nightly dreams, deep politics, or finding our life's calling – have appeared in media such as Washingtonian, Beliefnet, George, New Woman, Common Boundary, Ode, and Utne magazine. Her “Body & Soul” columns for Religion News Service appeared in newspapers around the country, from The Cleveland Plain Dealer, to The Kansas City Star and The Salt Lake Tribune. The author of Soul Sisters: The Five Sacred Qualities of a Woman's Soul, (Tarcher/Penguin) Peay also lectures and offers workshops on women's spirituality.

A.E./George Russell

George William Russell (1867-1935), who wrote under the pseudonym A.E., was an Irish Nationalist, critic, poet, and painter. He was also a mystical writer, and centre of a group of followers of theosophy in Dublin for many years.

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman (Suleyman) Schachter-Shalomi, better known as ‘Reb Zalman,’ was born in Zholkiew, Poland in 1924. He was ordained by the HaBaD-Lubavitcher Hasidim in 1947 and is professor emeritus of Psychology of Religion and Jewish Mysticism at Temple University and World Wisdom Chair holder emeritus at Naropa University. Today he is primarily known as the father of the Jewish Renewal movement and is widely considered one of the world's foremost authorities on Hasidism and Kabbalah. He is the author of Jewish with Feeling: Guide to a Meaningful Jewish Practice (2005). In 2004, he co-founded The Desert Fellowship of the Message: The Inayati-Maimuni Tariqat of Sufi-Hasidim with his student, Netanel (Mu’in ad-Din) Miles-Yepez, fusing the Sufi and Hasidic principles of spirituality espoused by Rabbi Avraham Maimuni in 13th century Egypt with the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov and Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Josh Schrei

Josh Schrei is a full time Marketing Director and a part time writer, activist, critical thinker, and student of Indo-Tibetan history and philosophy. His work focuses on the dissection of all-too-common memes in China-Tibet propaganda and American political and religious thought.

Mahmoud Shelton

Mahmoud Shelton studied at the University of Edinburgh before taking a degree in Medieval Studies at Stanford University. He has traveled in search of Hermeticism's legacy from the Western Mediterranean to the Far East. Shelton is the author of Alchemy in Middle Earth: The Significance of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, is a contributor to The Royal Book of Spiritual Chivalry, and has numerous magazine articles to his credit.

Wayne Teasdale

Brother Wayne Teasdale (1945-2004) was a lay monk, a Hindu sannyasa, a scholar, a teacher, a prolific writer, an activist, and a leader in the interfaith movement. He served on the board of the Parliament of World Religions, and with His Holiness the Dalai Lama founded the Synthesis Dialogues. As a member of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, Brother Wayne helped draft the Universal Declaration of Nonviolence. He also published numerous books, including The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions, and A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life. Seven Pillars House of Wisdom is in part inspired by Brother Wayne’s vision. Wayne Teasdale Memorial Site

William Irwin Thompson

William Irwin Thompson is a poet and cultural philosopher who has made significant contributions to cultural history, social criticism, the philosophy of science, and the study of myth. Early in his career he left academia to found Lindisfarne, an association of creative individuals in the arts, sciences, and contemplative practices devoted to the study and realization of a new planetary consciousness, or noosphere. Thompson lived in Switzerland for 17 years and describes his most recent work, Canticum Turicum, as “a long poem on Western Civilization, that begins with folktales and traces of Charlemagne in Zurich and ends with the completion of Western Civilization as expressed in Finnegans Wake and the traces of James Joyce in Zurich.” With mathematician Ralph Abraham he has designed a new type of cultural history curriculum based on their theories about the evolution of consciousness. Thompson now lives in Portland, Maine.

Edward Tick

Edward Tick, PhD, is the author of War and the Soul, The Practice of Dream Healing, and The Golden Tortoise. He is the Director of Soldier’s Heart, a non-profit organization that works to prepare families and communities to help in supporting and healing veterans returning from current wars as well as those who fought in past wars.

Mary Evelyn Tucker

Mary Evelyn Tucker is a senior lecturer and research scholar at Yale University, where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. A cofounder of the Forum on Religion and Ecology, she is the author or editor of numerous books on spiritual and ecological topics.

Dr. Andrew Weil

Andrew Weil, M.D., is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and the editorial director of

Visual & Performance Artists

Jeanne Cameron

Jeanne Cameron is an artist/photographer, flower designer and art historian specializing in "the history and symbolism of flower decoration from ancient times to the 20th century." Her art work "Nature Spirits" has been exhibited widely including in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Dublin, Paris and Moscow. As a designer, she created environments primarily with flowers and plant materials for events here and abroad including The Metropolitan Museum, The National Gallery of Art, The Morgan Library, The White House, American Embassy Residences in Moscow and Paris and the British and Dutch Royal Families. In the last 20 years her work with indigenous people, Shamanism, mythology, Jungian psychology and the Tarot has focused her on historic and traditional teachings regarding the beneficial uses of flowers and plants. She is currently preparing a book on how to give flowers with more consciousness based on those teachings, the effects of color, numerology, her extensive practical experience and that of her colleagues.

Cathy Cone

Cathy Cone is Director of the Workshops of Cone Editions Press. She received her training at Ohio University and and the Vermont Studio center. She was awarded the Vermont Art Fellowships. Exhibitions include Wiesman Art Musuem, University of Albama, HBO Corporate Gallery and the DeCordova Museum. Cathy is an innovator combining large format digital printing, paint and photography. Her works are in the collection of IBM, MCI, Hallmark, Solomon Brothers, American Express and Saatch&Saatchi.

Jane Feldman

Jane Feldman is an award winning photojournalist and social activist. Feldman is the coauthor/photographer of Jefferson’s Children: the Story of One American Family (Random House), coauthored with Shannon Lanier, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Feldman is also the author/photographer of four books in the Young Dreamers Series (Random House). As an international activist for human rights, peace, and the environment, her work has shown at the United Nations in NYC and the Human Rights Conference in Vienna. Her portraits include: Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Maya Angelou, and the Dalai Lama. Feldman’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, TIME magazine, the Berkshire Eagle, Berkshire Living Magazine, and has been featured in documentaries shown on PBS’s Frontline and the History Channel. She has also worked with Amnesty International and many other non-governmental organizations worldwide.

Karla Gudeon

Karla Gudeon’s celebrated paintings and prints depict joyful representations of life, love, family, Jewish ritual and culture. Her moving artwork is displayed in galleries and distinguished collections throughout the country and abroad. She is the illustrator of “Hanukkah Haiku” &”One Red Apple” ”Blue Apple Books. Karla lives in New York with her supportive husband, Kevin and her two amusing boys, Sam and Max. More of her artwork can be seen at

Muhammadi Zuhal Karamanli

Muhammadi Zuhal Karamanli is classically trained in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, in Turkey. Muhammadi's paintings reflect her creativity, classical training in Islamic Art, and her exposure to modern and contemporary art. Her pieces are a cross pollination of the East and West as well as the traditional and modern. She lives with her two sons in New Jersey.

Angela Manno

Angela Manno is an internationally exhibited artist known for her pioneering work combining contemporary, western art forms with ancient, non-western forms of expression. Her art ranges from traditional Byzantine Russian icon painting, to mixed media pieces conveying the New Cosmology, to vibrant impressionist landscape painting. Her art has been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the American Museum of Natural History and museums from Mexico City to Moscow and resides in private in collections throughout the US, Europe, South America and the Middle East.

Jose Said Osio

Jose Said Osio is an artist and retreat guide in the inner traditions of Sufism for over 30 years. He developed nadazul ( The Blue Sky School of creative imagination) as a means to deepening creative imagination. He lives in Asheville NC with his wife Evelyn.

Alyce Santoro

Alyce Santoro is a conceptual and sound artist with a background in biology and scientific illustration. Her “philosoprops” and “subtle reality technologies” (incorporating video, printmaking, booklets, actions, and assemblage) are all part of a grand multi-media, multi-disciplinary experiment into the mystery inherent in the natural world. She is best known for inventing “Sonic Fabric”, an audible textile woven from recycled audiocassette tape. Alyce relocated from Brooklyn to the high desert of west Texas for its unique land-, light-, and –soundscape, and to explore post-urban pioneering. She is the founder of the Center for the Improbable & (Im)permacultural Research.

Omar Faruk Tekbilek

Omar Faruk Tekbilek is now one of the most sought-after Turkish/Middle Eastern musicians living in the United States. Relentless worldwide touring and welcoming openness to music from all cultures position him as a rare artist who transcends political obstacles while maintaining traditional sensibilities in a way few artists can manage. He is a virtuoso on several instruments: The nay (bamboo flute), the zurna (double-reed oboe like instrument), the baglama (long-necked lute) and percussions , as well as a masterful performer on dozens more.

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