Bart van Melik has been teaching personal and interpersonal meditation since 2009, with a specific focus on working with diverse populations. He is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock and is currently in the Spirit Rock/IMS teacher training program. Among other places, Bart teaches at NY Insight Meditation Center and is a senior teacher at the Lineage Project—an organization offering mindfulness-based practices for youth facing challenging circumstances. Bart holds an MA in Psychology of Culture and Religion from the Nijmegen University in The Netherlands. His passion is supporting people to discover how they can find new ways to relate to the stress created by our life circumstances.
Pilar Jennings, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst in private practice who has focused on the clinical applications of Buddhist meditation. She received her Ph.D. in Psychiatry and Religion from Union Theological Seminary, and has been working with patients and their families through the Harlem Family Institute since 2004. Prior to this training, she earned a Masters in medical anthropology from Columbia University, where she focused on illness narratives, and a Bachelors in interdisciplinary writing from Barnard College of Columbia University. Pilar is a researcher at the Columbia University Center for Study of Science and Religion and Co-chair of the Columbia Faculty Seminar on the Slavery of Memory, where she explores the intergenerational transmission of trauma. She is the author of Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism.
Geri Loizzo is a Nalanda meditation faculty member and has served on its board of directors since 2007. She's had a regular practice of Hatha Yoga since 1982 and since 2006 has studied with Nalanda Yoga Faculty, Mary Reilly Nichols. In addition, Geri has been studying and practicing Tibetan meditation since 1999, and has been leading weekly morning meditations at the Institute since 2011. Her mentors include Khyabje Gelek Rimpoche , Venerable Robina Courtin, and Kathleen McDonald.
Joe Loizzo, M.D., Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and Founder and Director of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, a contemplative learning community that teaches timeless tools of self-healing and interdependence for today’s complex world. On faculty at the Weill Cornell Center for Integrative Medicine and the Columbia University Center for Buddhist Studies, Dr. Loizzo lectures widely on the role of contemplative science in the future of health, education and contemporary life, and teaches regular public classes and workshops through Nalanda Institute and Tibet House US. Dr. Loizzo's book Sustainable Happiness: The Mind Science of Well-Being, Altruism, and Inspiration was recently published.
Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, one of the main interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, and a leading spokesperson for the emerging American Buddhism. The Dalai Lama affectionately calls him “The Western Lama.”