Sara Shapouri is an Iranian-American meditation and mindfulness teacher, artist, social entrepreneur, and lawyer who began practicing meditation in 2008. Since then, she has participated in numerous meditation retreats (including a 3-month silent retreat) at the Insight Meditation Society and currently serves on its board. Sara’s experience with mindfulness and meditation instruction include curriculum development and instruction at Awake Youth Project, a program offering meditation and mentoring to teenagers in Brooklyn, and teaching at meditation retreats with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. To further her experience in meditation instruction and group facilitation, she completed the 2016 Immersion and Teacher Training program at the Interdependence Project. Sara has also trained in conflict mediation with the New York Center for Interpersonal Development, and she completed the year-long caregiver training program at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. Sara is currently retired from the practice of law but remains committed to social justice, particularly issues related to human rights and children's rights. Her international advocacy work includes anti-corruption and legal reform for incarcerated children in Bangladesh, research on child soldiers in Sierra Leone, and the publication of a policy paper on child sexual abuse and exploitation in Iran.
Beatrice Anderson is a champion for liberation through spirituality and holistic wellness. Her work as a community organizer, contemplative practice facilitator, ritual leader, and artist centers the importance of restorative and healing justice. By sharing her study and experience of Dharma informed both by Zen Buddhist and indigenous practices, she cultivates an approach that honors her Jamaican Maroon, Choctaw and Niitsitapi/Blackfoot ancestry.
Her work in community organizing is punctuated as visionary and co-founder of the Love Circle Sangha; a meditation/mindfulness community that serves as a refuge for Black/Indigenous/People of Color and white comrades who are actively engaged in anti-oppression work. She also acts as core collective member and healer with Harriet’s Apothecary, an intergenerational healing village led by the Black Cis Women, Queer and Trans healers committed to co-creating accessible, affordable, liberatory community healing spaces.
In her commitment to deepening her spiritual practice, Beatrice is an aspirant in the lay Zen Buddhist community of the Order of Interbeing, a member of the Ifa tradition under the tutelage of Baba Asoju and an apprentice of spiritual plant medicine with Karen Rose.
She has also embraced her calling as a ritual leader, assisting ceremonial gatherings of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers at the Montezuma Well in Arizona, retreat ceremonies at Blue Cliff Monastery in New York, and with grassroots organizations such as Ayiti Resurrect in Leogane, Haiti.
Her artistic solo and collaborative work has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, the Rotterdam Museum, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. Her newest exploration, entitled Ratchet Dharma, centers process and testimony in changing the narrative of self and community care through a social art process piece.