Miles is one of our retreat leaders and a teacher of interpersonal meditation. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2011 and spent five years of full-time study of meditation including two years at monasteries and practice centers in Asia, two years of solitary retreat under the guidance of Alan Wallace, Ph.D. and Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D, and one year studying with Soryu Forall at the Monastic Academy. His practice experience in meditation and related mind-body disciplines includes upwards of 10,000 hours of practice.
He recently completed the Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where he focused his studies on the intersection of meditation and modern science. He currently teaches at NYU through MindfulNYU and has run retreats and workshops at Wesleyan University, Upenn Medicine, Middlebury College, Mindful Harlem, Columbia Teacher’s College, and the Monastic Academy. In addition to classical meditation, Miles has a passion for interpersonal meditation as a way to increase emotional intelligence, and build coherence and psychological safety in individuals, teams, and families. He has co-facilitated interpersonal meditation retreats with Circling Europe and has accumulated over a thousand hours of practice and teaching with this potent form. Miles is currently studying the Alexander Technique (a refined method of fostering body awareness and tension release) with Ann Rodger at The Balance Arts Center where he is a third of the way through a 1,600 hour teacher training. By drawing from these various rich traditions, Miles creates programming to fit the needs of unique populations.
Bo-Mi Choi is a multi-media producer and teacher. Born in Seoul, South-Korea, she grew up in Hamburg, Germany, where she studied law before she came to the United States to pursue a Bachelor's degree in philosophy at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI. She received her Ph.D. in Modern European Intellectual History from the University of Chicago and taught for many years critical theory and continental philosophy on the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard College. A Dharma Teacher in the Kwanum School of Zen, she has been the faculty advisor for the Harvard College Meditation Club since 2009. For her newest project, she is directing the Digital Learning Law Lab (dL3) at the Institute of Law at the University of Natural Sciences and Resources in Vienna, Austria.
Since 2011, Nicky has been practicing and exploring various meditation techniques in order to help him become a better activist, athlete and agent for positive social change. Because of a strong feeling that meditation practice could help his peers in college, he was inspired to start a meditation group “Wes Sangha” at Wesleyan University in the fall of 2016. This group helped to make various meditation practices accessible to the larger Wesleyan student population. Through this group Nicky and Aaron met and have since been organizing and running meditation retreats together through both Wes Sangha, a Wesleyan student group, and the IMN. Nicky has extensive retreat experience practicing Zen, Vipassana and Mindfulness meditation techniques. Nicky has received meditation training at the Monastic Academy in Vermont (where he met Miles Bukiet), Dai Bosatsu Zendo in NY and various Dhamma Vipassana centers in the United States. Currently, he is living in Boulder, Colorado and working as a full-time engineer. In his free time he helps to organize animal rights actions, actions aimed at tackling climate change and animal rights outreach events. Nicky graduated from Wesleyan in 2018 with a master’s degree in physics and a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in economics. While he was at Wesleyan he had two journal papers published in the Physical Review Applied journal, which includes a first author publication. And surprisingly, he also played college football while at Wesleyan.
Aaron developed the idea of the IMN and Dharma Gates after helping to start a student meditation group at Wesleyan University. During his senior year, he worked intensively with the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan to make these ideas a reality. At Wesleyan, he wrote a philosophy thesis on Epistemology, Trauma, and Embodied Practice. Aaron began practicing Mysore-style ashtanga yoga with Angela Jamison in 2014. He spent the summer of 2016 in Mysore studying at the Kpjayi Institute for Ashtanga Yoga. In 2017 he began intensive meditation practice and since then has lived at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji, Great Vow Zen Monastery, and the Ann Arbor Zen Temple, where he is currently living.
Rabbi David has provided ongoing support for us during our time at Wesleyan, and has played a crucial role in bringing meditation to the Wesleyan community at large.
Rabbi David is the director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Wesleyan University. He studied at Columbia University (BA), The Jewish Theological Seminary (BA), Yakar, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (MHL and Rabbinic Ordination), and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2015 he completed a second Smikha/Ordination with Aleph: Allliance for Jewish Renewal in the lineage of his beloved teacher and friend Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z'l.
Makaella Kingsley is the director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan University. She has been a mentor for us in getting the program off the ground and helped immensely with the process of creating a new organization.
She encouraged Aaron to participate in the Connecticut New Venture Pitch Competition where he won Best Executive Summary.