KFA Dialogue Facilitators
|Sunsong Susan Clark has worked in small alternative schools for 30 years; cooking, gardening, and teaching. She spent 9 years at Oak Grove School (Krishnamurti Foundation of America). In 2012 she joined the staff at Brockwood Park School (Krishnamurti Foundation Trust England) where she teaches Psychology, Human Development, and ESL. She co-facilitates annual teacher education workshops through the ‘K’ foundations in the U.S, England, India, as well as in non-Foundation schools internationally. She studied early childhood education, psychology, and English as a Second Language. Sunsong has been interested in the teachings of Krishnamurti since she was first introduced to them in 1980 by an 11 year old who asked her: “When you look at a tree – do you really see the tree, or your idea of a tree?” She has spent a lot of time since looking at trees.|
|Cory Fisher is currently the Archivist at the KFA. He was previously enrolled in the Student Internship program at the KEC.
“Krishnamurti, very simply, offers the invitation to be alone, the invitation to discover that which is, and the depth of confusion and misery of the typical state of human consciousness.
Has true passion—true love—any relationship to the content of consciousness?
What is it to realize that there has never been anyone in control? What are we to do as human beings living in the world? What is it we so deeply long for? And what compels us to attempt to grasp the ever-unfolding mystery of life before us, within us, and in our absence?
Ultimately, is the true question ever even formulated in words?”
Eric Hassett coordinates the monthly dialogue and video showing in Ojai—Looking, Listening, and Shared Inquiry—which is free and open to the public on the fourth Saturday of each month. Eric also moderates the Krishnamurti Network online community.
|Paul Herder is a current teacher at Oak Grove School. He recently published his book Revolutionary Minds, a study of Krishnamurti’s work on education including a comparison to alternative schools and curriculum currently in place. He holds degrees from Connecticut College (BA, philosophy) and The School for International Training (MA, Inter-cultural Administration & Education). Since first being introduced to progressive educational practices in graduate school, Herder has tried to unlock the deeper potential of collaborative, inquirybased approaches to learning. In his first book, Revolutionary Minds, he tackles the iconoclastic educational philosophy of J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986). Mr. Herder has also taught at Brockwood Park, a Krishnamurti school in England.|
|Karen Hesli has worked in education for 40 years. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1970, she taught middle school and conducted human relations training for teachers during the desegregation of Minneapolis Public Schools throughout the 1970's. Inspired by the profound implications of J. Krishnamurti's writings and talks on the nature of mind and the art of learning, she visited the K schools in India and England, and moved to Ojai in 1980. Since then she has held various teaching and administrative positions at the Oak Grove School and is currently a board member of the school, a trustee of the KFA and a part-time teacher with middle school students.|
|Holly Johnson has been connected with the KFA since moving to Ojai in 2001. Her interest is in exploring and facilitating inquiry that moves beyond words and images into a felt sense of connectedness. She is blessed to have raised a daughter at the Oak Grove School and feels deeply appreciative of the beauty of the people and the land at the Foundation.|
|Quei Keke's passion and focus is on Sustainability and Social Development delivered with facilitated action learning coaching projects & social network technologies. She lectured at the Strathclyde University’s China EMBA program and was the panel expert of the Shanghai Labor Office’s Trainer Certification Center. She was the founding president for the Taiwanese Professional Women’s Society in Shanghai, Chair of the Shanghai Amcham Education & Training Committee, and the Executive Committee of Austcham Shanghai. Keke’s invention of the All@1™ Self-Facilitated Learning Games since 2005 is to design and bring unique and innovative tools that supports organizations’ innovation through collaborative & generative leaning experiences.|
“I was born on an island in the Nile River and the first words I learned to speak were Arabic. As both of my parents are educators and students of Krishnamurti’s teachings, growing up in Connecticut I was always exposed to challenging study at home and fun, weekend enrichment classroom-activities with my mother. But it was the unmistakably clear message of Krishnamurti’s example of free inquiry and learning that really awakened me to the possibility—or to the necessity—of dedicating my whole life to the vocation of teaching children at the elementary-school level. The inevitable deficiencies of my regular college-training in education were very thankfully ameliorated by an excellent graduate program at the University of New Haven and by the enriching experience of two different “Teachers’ Academy” programs I attended at Oak Grove School and the Pepper Tree Retreat in 2007 and 2013, and also the wonderful experience of participating as a volunteer Art & Literacy teacher at The Valley School in Bangalore, India, for a year in 2009. After working for four years in a public school in Connecticut I am most fortunate to be in my second year as the fifth-grade teacher at Oak Grove School, which is the fulfillment of my dream: to teach and learn in an exceptional place where education is understood as the blossoming of life!”
|In 2005, Deborah Kerner helped to develop the original Krishnamurti Study-Intensive Programs, which she co-facilitated for 9 years. Beginning in June 2014, she introduced a new 7-day program, along with Richard Waxberg, called the Explorations into Freedom Intensives. Deborah has taught workshops on graphic design in New York City, and continues to have a distinguished career as a book designer with clients such as Random House and HarperCollins. Deborah taught a variety of art and design programs at the Krishnamurti Rishi Valley School in India. She also participated in numerous dialogues held at Krishnamurti Centers throughout India. As a part of her spiritual journey, Deborah studied and participated in Native American shamanic spiritual practices with traditional elders from several Native American tribes, before discovering the profound insights of Krishnamurti. She is a practicing poet and artist.|
|Prof. P. Krishna is currently in charge of the Krishnamurti study center at the Rajghat Education Center of the Krishnamurti Foundation India in Varanasi, India He was the Rector of the center and Principal of the Rajghat Besant School from 1986 to 2002. He is a trustee of the Foundation and continues to be involved with its activities. He has written articles and books on various issues relating to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti . He has also delivered lectures on Education, Science and Society to varied audiences.He is an Honorary scientist and Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, as well as the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore. Before joining the Krishnamurti Foundation India , he was a professor of Physics at the Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University, where had been a faculty member for 24 years. He specialized in Solid State Physics, his area of research and teaching being X-Ray Crystallography.|
|Gopal Krishnamurthy has spent most of his life since the age of 4, as a student and teacher at Krishnamurti's schools in India, the UK and the USA. He is currently at Brockwood teaching physics and mathematics, and working as Principal (Curriculum). His focus is on educating educators and educational programs. He enjoys teaching a variety of subjects including physics, mathematics, geography, environmental studies, philosophy, drama, Indian classical music, and education. He has been a teacher for more than 18 years at High School, Middle School and College levels. He is Director of the internationally conducted Educating the Educator programmes. Gopal holds a PhD in Education, MAs in Education & Philosophy and a BA (Hons) in Physics. Gopal is passionately interested in teacher education and Krishnamurti's educational vision. Gopal proposes that "When teaching is so resolutely structured around demonstrating what one already knows — 'not knowing' is a challenging and unexplored point of departure for teaching and learning".|
|Amanda Lezra is a college student, studying toward her BA in Religious Studies and Philosophy, and also works for the KFA. She is the driving force behind the Think On These Things program. She has personally conducted many conversations with high school and university students on the topics such as meaning, identity, success, fear, violence, loneliness, freedom, as well as many others. Videos of her work with students can be watched on the Think on These Things webpage and Facebook page.|
|Francesca Michelle Lies E-RYT 500, was introduced to Krishnamurti's teachings in her childhood, has participated in events at the KFA since 2007, including a year long residential program in 2012, and has facilitated dialogue groups, workshops and retreats in Pittsburgh, PA and Ojai, CA. Krishnamurti has deeply impacted the way she lives her life, her yoga practice, and her relationships with herself, others, and the world. She is grateful for the gifts of life and love and aims to live fully in the world with an open heart.
Francesca received certification through the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, and studies Yoga Therapy at Loyola Marymount University. She crafts individualized therapeutic yoga sequences for people from all walks of life. She describes her teaching style as holistic, observation based, mindful, and meditative.
|Rowan Lommel was a student at Krishnamurti schools Oak Grove and Brockwood Park. Through that connection she had the opportunity to study with several of TKV Desikachar's most serious students, at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, and with with Desikachar himself (Desikachar was Krishnamurti's yoga teacher).
Since 2001, she has taught yoga at Oak Grove, Brockwood, and other yoga studios. Currently she focuses on supporting individuals in creating and refining their own yoga practice through one-on-one teaching. She teaches Vedic Chanting workshops monthly in Ojai.
Rowan has worked at the KFA in administration, fundraising and the organization of dialogue weekends and is a member of the Oak Grove School Board of Directors.
|David Moody is the author of The Unconditioned Mind: J. Krishnamurti and the Oak Grove School. In 1975, Moody was the first teacher hired at Oak Grove in Ojai, California. He served as educational director of the school from 1980-1984, and as director from 1984-1987. During his years at the school, he had extensive opportunities to interact with David Bohm as well as with Krishnamurti. A southern California native, Moody attended undergraduate school at UC Berkeley and received his Master’s Degree in Political Science at UCLA. After he left Oak Grove, he returned to UCLA and received his Ph.D. in Education. Portions of his research have been published in the journal Science Education and in a book he co-authored, Mapping Biology Knowledge (Kluwer, 2000). He is currently a mathematics and science instructor with Laurel Springs School.|
|Liz Otterbein, R.N. studied media and communication at the University of Paris VIII and then studied Nonviolent Communication in France where she received a certification as an NVC trainer in 2001. She gave seminars on “Response to Assaultive Behavior” to public school teachers, social workers, and peace officers. She has been involved in Oak Grove School since 1986. As a parent first, then co-leading several trips to India with the senior class. She now works at the Pepper Tree Retreat in Ojai.|
|Zeenat Patel is a medical doctor with a specialty in public health and preventive medicine. Zeenat has endeavored to improve the health of disadvantaged populations both domestically and internationally, through working with governments, NGOs, and international organizations. She has acted in key leadership roles and has considerable experience facilitating committees and work groups on wide range of health issues. While Zeenat enjoys her work, her passion lies in the serious investigation of how we live our everyday lives. It is this passion that drew her to the work of Krishnamurti and the KFA.|
|Kelley Singer O'Mara is the Director of Marketing for the KFA.
"Krishnamurti’s work—the teachings, the discussions, the explorations—I find them to be deeply challenging and rewarding. Dialogue feels to me a particularly rich opportunity for deeply exploring ideas, acknowledging contradictions as they arise, turning them over, and beginning again. It is interesting to meet these contradictions and ideas from a variety of directions; through the body, through quiet contemplation, through writing. We thrive off of these opportunities to be still and to wander simultaneously."
|Jaap Sluijter is the current head of the KFA. He taught at Brockwood Park School in England from 1995-2000.
"The study of Krishnamurti’s work is the study of our own life, to observe our own minds in action and to become aware of the multitude of stimulus-response patterns in the network of our thoughts. His questions draw attention to the very perspective from which we view our lives. We are so used to having problems and to solving problems. Then Krishnamurti comes along and asks, 'Is it possible to not make a problem out of anything?' A question like this brings in a totally new perspective, and has the possibility of turning the mind towards its own movement, creating the potential for a new direction."
Stephen Smith was sometime Acting Principal, some years Academic Director, and twenty years a teacher at Brockwood Park School in England. While living in Ojai, he was for five years Coordinator of the Krishnamurti Center in Ojai, organizing events and facilitating dialogues. He is now an itinerant Teaching Consultant and Dialogue/ Workshop Facilitator.
|Frode Steen is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at UCLA and a member of the board of the KFA. His research is focused on a transformative understanding of the mind and on how mass media recruit and amplify mental processes. He attended high-school at Brockwood Park Educational Centre in England.|
|Dr. Satish Telegar, PhD, is a full-time professor of ancient and classical-to-modern world philosophy and religious studies at Towson University. He has taught at the Krishnamurti Rishi Valley School in India and several prestigious universities in the USA. Satish also teaches special programs at Towson that include the teachings of J.Krishnamurti within the context of ancient and classical-to-modern world philosophical and spiritual traditions. He is a respected scholar of the Vedantic and Buddhist spiritual traditions and texts. He also directs and facilitates a Krishnamurti Dialogical Study Group at Towson University. Satish co-facilitates the Krishnamurti Study-Intensive & Retreat Programs.|
|Craig Walker holds a BA in Humanistic Psychology from UC Santa Cruz, a MA in Psychology w/emphasis on college teaching from San Francisco State University, and a California Standard Secondary Teaching Credential. Craig’s interest in Krishnamurti’s teachings began when he first heard K speak in New Delhi, India, in 1960. Over the next 25 years he participated in many talks and small-group discussions with K. He taught high school psychology and history in Ojai, CA for 35 years; challenging his students to question their conditioning and explore the nature of consciousness. Craig served as Secretary of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America for three years beginning in 2006 and served on the KFA’s education committee, where he organized the new Oak Grove School Board and served as its first Chair.|
|In 2005, Richard Waxberg created and developed the original Krishnamurti Study-Intensive Programs, which he co-facilitated for 9 years. Beginning in June 2014, he introduced a new 7-day program, along with Deborah Kerner, called the Explorations into Freedom Intensives. Over a 20 year period, Richard taught and developed a variety of courses for Parsons School of Design in New York City. He also led programs in teacher training that helped teachers to communicate with students from different cultural backgrounds. Richard taught a variety of art and design programs at the Krishnamurti Rishi Valley School in India. He also participated in numerous dialogues held at Krishnamurti Centers throughout India. As a part of his spiritual journey, Richard studied and participated in Native American shamanic spiritual practices with traditional elders from several Native American tribes, before discovering the profound insights of Krishnamurti. Richard is a practicing writer and artist.|
|Jeff Welch … is the given name of a fictional person (me) who once worked in several of the K schools in one capacity or another. If he were thinking of attending workshops at the KFA he would probably want to know something about the facilitators too; such is conditioning. My guess is he would like to read words like these, rather than a description of what jeff had 'achieved' and he thinks that all histories have the probable result of the reinforcing of the fictional image of whom we think we are, or they are and the concurrent separation. Yes, even this short blurb may be of that ilk too :) Is it possible to find out?|