Jeanne Anselmo BSN, RN, HNC-BC, BCIA-SFC has been pioneering the integration of compassionate self care and self healing into the lives of helping professionals and community members over the last decades. Her chapters are found in both nursing and law text books focused on cultivating our inner capacities and building beloved community. Jeanne is a certified Holistic Nurse, Senior Fellow in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback , Co- Founder of the Contemplative Urban Law Program at CUNY School of Law and Ordained Lay Monastic and Dharma Teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing. Jeanne co-founded and practices with the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition Green Island Sangha in Syosset and teaches at Iona College in the Merton Contemplative Initiative.
Isma Chaudhry, a physicist by profession, is an interfaith advocate and a champion for the rights of Muslim women. She has been actively involved with the Islamic Center of Long Island for over 20 years, and in 2015 was elected the Center’s first female president, and after serving the community for 3 years in 2018 was elected as the first female chairperson of the center’s board of Trustees. Isma has been in the forefront supporting interfaith initiatives by frequently presenting lectures and dispelling myths about Islam, Islamophobia and building bridges of mutual respect, understanding and moving beyond just tolerance. In addition to her advocacy she has extensive public appearances and speaking engagements to her credit, including the United Nations conference on Islamophobia, United States Institute of Peace, United Nations office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, and the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. Isma has been listed in Long Island Press power list 2015, 2016 and 2017 among 50 most influential Long Islanders.
Dr. Don Cornelius is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at Molloy College. Mindfulness meditation and the teachings of the Buddha in the Pali Cannon are the focus of his study and practice. In 2010 and 2017 he completed an intensive course of Dhamma study at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Barre, MA.
Lama Surya Das, who the Dalai Lama affectionately calls the “American lama”, has spent over forty five years studying with the great spiritual masters of Asia. He is an authorized lama in the Tibetan Buddhist order, and the founder of the Dzogchen Center. Surya Das is the author of the international bestseller Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World and twelve other books, including his latest release, Make Me One with Everything: Buddhist Meditations to Awaken from the Illusion of Separation. His blog “Ask the Lama” can be found at askthelama.com. To see Surya's lecture and retreat schedule please visit www.surya.org. He can be followed on Facebook (Lama Surya Das) Twitter (@LamaSuryaDas) and Instagram (lamasuryadasusa).
Claire Durkin, RN, MSN, CS, NPP has been practicing meditation and especially Zen meditation for many years. As she has found her meditation practice to be key to compassionately caring and serving others without burning out, she integrates mindfulness skills and meditation practice in her work as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Both patient and clinician benefit from mindfulness techniques and meditation.
Marion Flomenhaft, PhD is the Associate Dean for Academic Services at Molloy College and a sangha member of Clear Mountain Zen Center.
David Flomenhaft, LCSW, PhD is a psychotherapist and healthcare administrator.
Margaret Galiardi, O.P., is a Dominican sister from Amityville, New York, whose passion is the contemplative integration of justice and peace for people and planet. She is a “lover of the wild,” spiritual director and workshop and retreat leader who has lectured nationally on the New Cosmology and the Christian Story. She spent a year living with the Trappistine monks in their monastery on the Lost Coast of Northern California in the Redwood Forest and is a regular practitioner of the Inisfada Sangha.
Karen Gargamelli-McCreight, JD is a co-founder of Benincasa Community, along with James Hannigan and Sean Gargamelli-McCreight. Benincasa Community is rooted in and inspired by the Catholic Worker Movement, Dominican Sisters of the Northeast , as well as Daniel Berrigan's Jesuit Community. The primary works of Benincasa Community are: offering hospitality, promoting lay formation/leadership and seeking right-relationship with our Earth. Prior to establishing Benincasa Community, Karen was Co-Director and staff attorney at Common Law. She earned her J.D. at CUNY School of Law and B.A. at Loyola University Chicago. She was born in New Haven, CT and grew up in Branford, CT—which means she loves white clam pizza pie, Foxon Park soda and marshy wetlands.
Fr./Sensei Michael K. Holleran was raised on Long Island, and trained by the Jesuits (Regis High, Fordham College). He was a Jesuit himself for five years, and then a Carthusian contemplative monk for 22 years, in the US, France & England. Since 1994, he has served as a parish priest in Manhattan & the Bronx, and is now a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. In 2009, he also received Dharma transmission as a Sensei in the Zen tradition through his mentor, Roshi Robert E. Kennedy, SJ, and runs Dragon’s Eye Zendo in Manhattan. (Cf. www.michaelkholleran.org).
Fr. Robert Kennedy, S.J., is a Catholic Jesuit priest and a Zen master. He is one of several practicing Catholic priests in the world, who are recognized by the Buddhist community as Zen teachers.He studied Zen with Yamada Roshi, Maezumi Roshi, and Bernard Glassman Roshi. In 1997 he received inka, ,the title Roshi, or Master. He holds doctorates in Theology from the University of Ottawa and from St. Paul University in Ottawa, a Masters in Theology from Sophia University in Tokyo, and a Doctor of Ministry in Psychology and Clinical Studies from Andover-Newton in Boston. In 2017, Roshi Kennedy received two honorary doctorates, one from St. Peter’s University, and one from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Fr. Kennedy is a professor emeritus of theology at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. He was a representative at the United Nations of the Institute for Spiritual Consciousness. He is active in interfaith work, teaching Zen to people of all faiths, conducting retreats in the United States, Mexico, Ireland, Poland and England. He is a practicing psychotherapist and the author of two books, Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit and Zen Gifts to Christians .
Dr. Laura B. Kestemberg is a bilingual Spanish-English NYS Licensed Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and her Master’s degree in Clinical and School Psychology from Adelphi University’s Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies. She has post-doctoral training in neuropsychology. Dr. Kestemberg has worked in a variety of clinical, medical, research, and higher education settings for over 25 years. She joined the faculty at Molloy College in 2012 and is the Chair, Associate Dean and Director of the Master of Science Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Molloy College. Her research and clinical interests include developmental and emotional disabilities and their effects on family members, stress and mindfulness, psychological and neuropsychological assessment of children and adults, multicultural counseling and psychology, parenting groups, and supervision and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students. She has presented at local and national conferences (ACES, ACA, APA, NYMHCA) on the topics of mindfulness, parenting stress, group counseling, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. In 2015, she was awarded the Research Achievement Award at Molloy College. She has a part-time private practice providing individual and group psychotherapy and assessment services to children and adults.
Brian Larkin, JD, a Dharma practitioner for close to 10 years, is the facilitator of the South Ocean Sangha, a lay-led, Buddhist meditation group that meets at the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Freeport, New York. A lawyer, he lives in North Merrick.
JoAnn Miller is a long time Zen student of Robert Kennedy, Roshi, serving as Co-Head Monk of the Inisfada Sangha of Long Island. She is currently co-teaching a course on Buddhism with Dr. Mike Russo at Molloy College and teaches meditation to children and parents in Sea Cliff’s Family Mindfulness Group.
Rev. Daiken Nelson, Sensei began Zen Practice 30 years ago in Iowa, where he was born. Since that time, he has practiced with several Teachers within the White Plum Zen Lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi and The Zen Peacemaker Order of Roshi Bernie Glassman. In October, 2013, Daiken received Shiho (Dharma Transmission) from Roshi Genkoji Lugoviña. Daiken is the Guiding Teacher for The Pamsula Zen Center in W. Harlem. (pamsulazen.org). Prior to focusing on Zen, Daiken was a Social Worker, working with the homeless plus those with Chronic Mental Illness & Substance Abuse issues. Currently, Daiken has Founded The Mandala Café, a Nonprofit which provides Culinary Training & part-time employment plus a weekly free dinner to those needing food, job training & placement. mandalacafe.org. In addition to Zen, Daiken is a Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor, Photographer & Writer.
Dr. Michael S. Russo is a Professor of Philosophy at Molloy College whose teaching and research is focused on the problem of happiness in both Western and Eastern thought. He is also the publisher of SophiaOmni Press (sophiaomni.org) and the director of the Sophia Project (sophia-project.org), a free online resource in philosophy. He is the author of Awakening Wisdom: The Buddha and the forthcoming Buddhism: Teachings, Sources, and Practices and the co-author of Plato's Republic: A Study Guide (with Stephan T. Mayo).
Brenda Eshin Shoshanna, Ph.D., is a long term Zen practitioner, psychologist, speaker, and author. She offers ongoing dharma talks for Inisfada Zen, various workshops and an upcoming podcast on applying the teachings to our everyday life. Some of her books include, Jewish Dharma (A Guide To The Practice of Judaism and Zen), Zen and the Art of Falling in Love, Zen Miracles (Finding Peace In An Insane World), Move The Mountain Without Using Your Hands, (Koan Practice for Your Everyday Life), and more.
Her website is www.brendashoshanna.com and theonetent.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sangeeta Swamy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at Molloy College, has been practicing Vipassana Meditation, taught by S.N. Goenka, for 20 years. She has attended many 10 day silent retreats as part of this tradition, and has found it invaluable for gaining peace of mind, reducing distractions and self awareness and growth. She has incorporated mindfulness in workshops and classes with children and adults, and meditates 2 hours a day.
Bhante Suddhāso is a Buddhist monk trained in both Theravāda Buddhism and Soto Zen Buddhism. The co-founder of Buddhist Insights (www.buddhistinsights.com), a non-sectarian Buddhist organization using technology to build community and facilitate access to orthodox monastic teachings, his work aims to convey Buddhist concepts and their practical applicability to everyday life. His primary focus is on spreading awareness of orthodox Buddhism and helping people have meaningful contact with Buddhist monks and nuns from all Buddhist traditions. Currently he lives in New York City, where he offers free meditation retreats on a weekly basis and free meditation classes almost every day of the week.
Vicki Toale, OP, D.Min. is a Dominican Sister from Amityville, New York, who teaches Theology, Religious Studies, and Ethics at Molloy College. She has dedicated herself to understanding and explaining the emergent levels of existence described by Dr. Clare Graves and developed as "Spiral Dynamics" by Dr. Don Beck. Unless we recognize that most people, no matter how enlightened, are incapable of recognizing the different worldviews which underlie the beliefs and behaviors of "others," the chaos and polarization we currently experience can only increase.
Sensei Carl Viggiani began formal study of Zen Buddhism with the Japanese Teacher Eido Roshi in 1987, later moving to Dai Bosatsu Zendo, Eido Roshi’s monastery in the Catskills, where he lived and practiced until 1993. He continued with Daido Loori Roshi at Zen Mountain Monastery, and with Roshi Robert Kennedy at Morning Star Zendo in Jersey City. In 2013, Roshi Kennedy installed Carl as a Zen Sensei.
Dr. John Yanovitch is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Molloy College and has been teaching Zen for almost 40 years both at Molloy and throughout the Long Island region. This year he has published Honey on the Razor’s Edge, a collection of his poetry over the past fifty years, through Ars Omnia Press.
D. Kengaku Zezulinski is the Abbot of the Clear Mountain Zen Center and a native Long Islander who has been practicing Zen Buddhism and zazen meditation for 25 years with an established teacher. The introduction to this teacher came as a result of not having anything better to do one evening when invited by a friend to ‘go meditate!’ Since that initial introduction to Zen, Kengaku has taken three lay vows to become a lay monk. He has created and taught a structured and comprehensive beginner’s class and a sutra class, and has spoken at various interfaith forums on Long Island and Manhattan. He has led zazen training classes at martial art schools from Port Jefferson to Bushwick Brooklyn, and continues to do so in Huntington. His first public lecture was included in the book, “Don’t Dare Call Me Zen Master,” a self-published collection of Zen lectures by his teacher, Kendo Rich Hart, Abbot Emeritus of the Clear Mountain Zen Center. Kengaku has also self-published two editions of an informative beginner pamphlet titled “An Introduction to Zen Buddhism.” An avid writer, he has authored spiritually centered articles and poems that have been published in various periodicals. Through social outreach, he continues to support and encourage the courageous folks from all spiritualties, as they engage in the noble act of bringing an end to suffering.