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Teachers & Elders

Buddhist Dhamma Transmission

With the Venerable Dr. Pannavati Bhukkhuni

Ven. Dr. Pannavati is co-founder and co-Abbot of Embracing-Simplicity Hermitage and Co-Director of Heartwood Refuge, a new intentional community, and residential retreat and conference center in Hendersonville, NC. She is president of the Treasure Human Life Foundation. A black, female Buddhist monk ordained in the Theravada and Chan traditions, she remains a disciple of Great Master Kuang Seng, continues Vajrayana empowerments and teachings with beloved Rinpoche Zhaxi Zhouma and received transmission from Roshi Bernie Glassman of Zen Peacemaker. Pannavati is both contemplative and empowered for compassionate service. She conducts retreats nationally at over 50 centers and churches each year sharing living truths that are deep, yet apprehendable. She advises the cultivation of both wisdom and compassionate action. She believes is it fine to sit in temples and meditate and pray when things are good; when they are not, we are compelled to get off our pillows and do something. Let our actions line up with our intentions.

Locally, Pannavati founded My Place and housed 85 youth over 4 years. After their graduation from high school she created a state licensed and funded jobs training program and successful social enterprise for 3 years, My Gluten Free Bread Company. Pannavati has adopted many “untouchable” villages in India, helping them establish an egalitarian community based on Buddhist principles of conduct and livelihood, providing wells, books, improving their schools and providing micro-grants. Approximately 30,000 people live in these villages. She ordained the first Tamili bhikkhuni and visits each year to encourage and promote spiritual well-being and socio-economic development. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Buddhist Women’s Award; received a special commendation from the Princess of Thailand.

 

Learn More: heartwoodrefuge.org

Kabbalah: Jewish Mysticism

With Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD

Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD, is an author, Jungian psychotherapist, and founding rabbi of Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colorado. Ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi in 1992, she is a leader in the international Jewish Renewal Movement and a renowned Jewish scholar and teacher.

Tirzah earned a masters degree in counseling at Beacon College in Boston, Massachusetts in 1982, and a doctorate in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California in 2015. Her cutting edge research on the impact and healing of collective trauma draws on the fields of neuroscience, psychology, Jewish literature and mythopoesis. Her groundbreaking work called Wounds Into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Trauma (Monkfish, 2019) employs interviews, case studies, and her own autobiographical narratives to demonstrate how trauma residue passes from generation to generation and how it can be transformed.

Now Rabbi Emerita of her congregation, Tirzah maintains a private practice in depth psychology, and teaches nationally about modern applications of ancient wisdom and ancestral healing: how to transform patterns of suffering from our past and bring forth clarity, wisdom, and blessings for ourselves and those who come after us.

Tirzah lives in Colorado with her husband David. Together they have three grown children, Brianna, Emily, and Dakota.

 

Learn More: tirzahfirestone.com

Zikr & Storytelling

With Pir Netanel Miles-Yépez

Pir Netanel (Mu’in ad-Din) Miles-Yépez is the current head of the Inayati-Maimuni lineage of Sufism. An artist, writer, and scholar of comparative religion, Pir Netanel studied History of Religions at Michigan State University and Contemplative Religion at the Naropa Institute before pursuing traditional studies and training in both Sufism and Hasidism with his pir and rebbe, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the famous pioneer of inter-faith dialogue and founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, as well as masters of various other traditions, including Father Thomas Keating. He has been deeply involved in ecumenical dialogue and is considered a leading thinker in the InterSpiritual and New Monasticism movements.

He is the translator of My Love Stands Behind a Wall: A Translation of the Song of Songs and Other Poems (2015), the co-author of the critically acclaimed commentary on Hasidic spirituality, A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters (2009), the editor of various works on InterSpirituality, including Meditations for InterSpiritual Practice (2012), and a new series of the works of the Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Khan, annotated and adapted into modern English.

 

Learn More: http://inayati-maimunis.org/