Teachers & Elders

Initiatic Teachings

With Taino Elder, Maestro Manuel Rufino
Universal, Inter-Tribal, & Indigenous Wisdom

Maestro Manuel Rufino is a recognized elder in the Taino tradition and World Director of M.A.I.S.C., a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing the teachings of humanity’s great wisdom traditions. He is a spiritual guide, gifted ceremonial leader, and teacher of sacred initiatic traditions of the world. He is also an artist, certified iridologist, naturotherapist, vegetarian chef & the visionary guiding Golden Drum, and many vegetarian restaurants including Jungle Café. Guided by his teacher, Maestro Domingo Dias Porta, Maestro Manuel has been following the trails of indigenous healing arts for over 43 years. Currently, Maestro Manuel travels around the world sharing initiatic traditions, leading workshops, lectures, sweat lodges, and healing rituals.


Learn More: http://goldendrum.org/

Zikr & Storytelling

With Pir Netanel Miles-Yépez
Sufi Remembrance and Direct Transmisson

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/

Dhamma of Music

With the Venerable Dr. Pannavati Bhukkhuni
Musical Dhamma about the “Heart of Gold”

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: https://heartwoodrefuge.org/

Jewish Mysticism & Kabbalah

With Rav Kohenet Taya Mâ
Shekhinah: Presence & The Divine Feminine

Taya Mâ Shere plays passionately in the realms of transformative ritual, embodied vocalization and ancestral reverence. She is the co-founder of Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, co-author of The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Paths of Jewish Women’s Spiritual Leadership, and is on faculty at Starr King School for the Ministry and the Chaplaincy Institute, where she trains emergent clergy across faith traditions. She co-leads a multireligious Jewish and Sufi community in the Bay Area and teaches Ancestral Lineage Healing, offering individual sessions virtually as well as in-person workshops across the country. Taya is also a Somatic Experiencing practitioner and offers online courses including Embodied Presence and Pleasure as Prayer.. Her Hebrew Goddess chant albums — This Bliss, Wild Earth Shebrew, Halluyah All Night and Torah Tantrika — have been heralded as “cutting-edge mystic medicine music.” She makes home, music and other magic in Berkeley, California, on occupied Ohlone lands.


Learn More: http://www.taya.ma/