Sean Murphy MFA, SAGE Institute President and Co-founder Zen practitioner, Hemingway Award-winning novelist, and author of One Bird, One Stone: 108 American Zen Stories , has had over 25 years of formal Zen training, first under the direction of Taizan Maezumi Roshi of the Zen Center of Los Angeles and then with John Daido Loori Roshi of Zen Monastery in upstate New York. He now studies with Gerry Shishin Wick Roshi of the Great Mountain Zen Center in Colorado. He teaches meditation, creative writing and literature for UNM-Taos and has taught and presented on Zen practice and meditation for 15 years. He is the founder of the Sage Institute for Creativity, Consciousness & Environment. www.murphyzen.com
Mirabai Starr writes creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. She has received critical acclaim for her revolutionary new translations of the mystics. She is author of the poetry collection, Mother of God Similar to Fire, a collaboration with iconographer, William Hart McNichols, and the award-winning book, GOD OF LOVE: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Her newest book, CARAVAN OF NO DESPAIR: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation, received the Spirituality & Practice “Best Books of 2015” award. She lives with her extended family in the mountains of northern New Mexico. You can read more about her at www.mirabaistarr.com.
Dora E. McQuaid is an award-winning poet, activist, speaker and teacher whose work embodies the intersections of arts and activism, service and empowerment. Her unique blend of art, emotion and service has earned her numerous literary and service awards. Dora’s activism addressing sexual and domestic violence led to her portrait replacing that of former football coach and convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky in 2012 in the Inspirations Mural near Penn State. She was honored with a 2014 Pushcart Prize nomination for poetry, won the 2011 New Mexico Woman Writer’s Fellowship from A Room of Her Own Foundation and a 2003 Pennsylvania Governor’s Pathfinder Award, among others. Dora performs, speaks and teaches internationally, works collaboratively with an array of artists and activists and publishes widely. She is the author of the groundbreaking collection of poems, the scorched earth. www.doramcquaid.com
Hannah Rappaport is an initiate of the Western Hermetic tradition and an ordained Gnostic priest. She is trained in several forms of meditation including Vipassana, Zen, and non-religious secular mindfulness, as well as Qigong and Yoga. She is interested in how each of these practices support stress reduction and stability of mind. “Yoga can be understood as evenness of mind. Inasmuch, all practice that brings the mind to equanimity are forms of yoga.” Hannah is certified by The Sage Institute as a meditation leader. She leads workshops on Deep Self Awakening and is a spiritual counselor. You can see more about her at www.loveonthebrink.com.
Julie Tato has practiced Vipassana meditation since 1988, primarily with Sharon Salzberg, other IMS teachers, and Ven. Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Julie has lived, worked, and practiced in spiritual communities, including six+ years at IMS where she supported the integration of Dhamma with service. She has been an instructor for the Insight Meditation Correspondence Course and has a particular interest in the Brahma Viharas and in the practice of Dhamma in daily life. She works and lives in Northern New Mexico supporting people with disabilities and their families. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction workshops for the Sage Institute.