SOL Instructors | Sahaja Online

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Meditation Instructors

David Dunphy
Instructor

David is an architect, husband and father of two, and longtime Sahaja meditation practitioner. In 1983, after graduating from the School of Architecture at the University of Kansas, David moved to California, began working professionally, and yet found himself searching for something more. Over the course of his first year in California, David began to read insatiably about meditation and spirituality but felt underwhelmed with his own personal experiences. Inspiration arrived when David met Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the founder of the Sahaja practice. Moved by the depth of his experience, David found the relief and energy he had been searching for in Sahaja meditation’s non-formulaic and tangible practice. Dedicated to the practice of Sahaja, David now enjoys sharing the timeless techniques of Sahaja meditation, empowering others to achieve a rich inner life full of balance, strength, and compassion. He encourages students to see beyond the trends and packaging to discover a meditation practice uniquely their own. David serves the community through teaching, speaking, and serving in various roles in non-profit organizations, introducing Sahaja meditation at programs in Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, and Honolulu. Licensed to practice in five states, David is an NCARB Certified Principle Architect whose firm specializes in hospitality design, creating signature hotel destinations around the globe. For fun, David enjoys bodyboarding in the Pacific Ocean, restoring classic muscle cars, wearing cowboy boots to pay homage to his Texan roots, and renovating his midcentury modern home where he lives with his family.

Melanie Pandit
Instructor

Born and raised in New York City, Melanie now lives far from the madding crowd in upstate New York where she is very active as a Sahaja instructor. With over 22 years of experience in Sahaja practice, Melanie brings a fresh approach to teaching, sharing the techniques that led her to discover the energy within, which is of importance amidst today’s busy lifestyles. Working with people from all walks of life, Melanie also loves the opportunity to bring Sahaja into the workplace through corporate and professional training programs. In addition to her travels in and around Europe, Melanie visited India more than 15 times, spending a year exclusively living and traveling the sub-continent. Melanie received her bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, majoring in Asian Studies and Dance, and has worked in refugee resettlement, arts and education, and pregnancy and birth support. A mother of two, Melanie is artistic and talented, spending her free time gardening, practicing international dance, and enjoying the beauty of nature easily found in the countryside of upstate New York.

Shankar Ramani
Instructor

A senior executive in a Fortune 200 company, professional Indian classical vocalist and teacher, and ardent Sahaja practitioner and instructor, Shankar conceptualized and created Sahaja Online. Shankar’s experiences with Sahaja are far reaching. After his initial 9 months of personal, persistent practice, Shankar was fascinated by the deep, spiritual experience and amazed at how approachable Sahaja can be for people with careers and families. Originally from India, Shankar made the United States his home in the early 2000’s where he strove for an even deeper appreciation of both Eastern and Western cultures and the differences between people across the globe. His discoveries enabled him to align the Sahaja style of meditation to the tastes of the American public. And thus, after years of work, Sahaja Online was born, bridging science and spirituality and proving that meditation isn’t just for mystics and monks. Through Sahaja Online, Shankar strives to pass on the simple and profound experience of Sahaja to others so that lives can be transformed to higher states of maturity and exploration of self, inspiring others to become global and think universal, free from often self-imposed limitations. A world traveler, Shankar travels between India and America several times a year for music concert tours and work. While music, meditation, and management are three key occupations of his day-to-day life, he's also a great fan of humor, sitcoms, political satire, and thought provoking films with deep emotional impact.

Dr. Ashish Pradhan
Instructor

Expert Sahaja instructor and accomplished physician, Ashish Pradhan’s interest in Sahaja meditation was kindled by his father at a very young age. Born and educated in India, Ashish finished his basic medical studies in Mumbai followed by post-doctoral training in Canada. As a physician, Ashish has been involved with research and development within the global pharmaceutical industry for close to two decades. He has predominantly worked in cardiovascular and neuroscience disease areas in various capacities at global as well as national level organizations in North America and Europe. Ashish is married to an Italian national who shares his passion for good food, great company, and travel. They have lived in various cities in Canada, Europe, and the US. He is an inveterate reader with interests in both classical as well as contemporary fictional and non-fictional works. Besides, he is attempting to learn Indian classical music, having been extremely fond of it since childhood. Ashish fancies himself as an amateur chef, a feeling not entirely shared by those close to him, but that has not been a deterrent for his endeavors. Ashish leads regular weekly meditation sessions in New Jersey where he presently resides. Fortunate to have learned Sahaja concepts directly from the founder of Sahaja, Ashish has been keenly involved in Sahaja public programs and medical conferences in India, Europe, Canada, and the United States.

Mar'yana Svarnyk
Instructor

As a Sahaja practitioner for over 10 years, Mar’yana teaches Sahaja meditation in a variety of settings, including lunchtime meditation sessions in corporate and professional environments. She finds Sahaja immensely helpful in all aspects of life, enabling her to see life situations from various perspectives. She treasures both the clarity she has fostered through Sahaja practice as well as the relationships she has gained with other practitioners. With an undergraduate degree in philosophy, Mar’yana traveled to Canada to pursue her graduate studies where she is now completing a PhD in philosophy, with a focus on Heidegger’s notions of the holy and divine. Joining her love for art and philosophy, Mar’yana engages with artwork to aid in the understanding of difficult philosophical concepts, working also as a teaching assistant in the fields of philosophy and the humanities. In her free time, Mar’yana has begun experimenting with natural dyes as she practices the traditional Ukrainian craft of decorating Easter eggs. She enjoys music and is humbled by the graceful capacity of music to bring people into a meditative state. She is learning to play the bansuri, an Indian bamboo flute, and enjoys each moment of peaceful practice. Mar’yana attributes her love of art, nature, and music to her childhood in Ukraine, where she enjoyed the simple pleasures of the mountainside. She finds peace and balance in nature, appreciating its unique ability to restore well being.

Shamik Ghosh
Instructor

Shamik Ghosh found Sahaja as an undergraduate student in India. With persistent practice, Sahaja has become a rejuvenating force in Shamik’s daily life. As a busy technology professional, husband, and father of two, Shamik relies on Sahaja as a bedrock of strength and peace. Shamik received his M.A. in Advertising from Syracuse University, New York and holds an undergraduate degree in engineering from Pune University in India. Today, Shamik serves as program manager for a technology business specializing in multi-channel contact. In this role, Shamik guides the client services, technical support and implementation teams, ensuring that enterprise and business customers are successful in optimizing process and technology. As the son of a merchant marine engineer from Kolkata, India, Shamik grew up traveling with his mother and brother to unique destinations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas to spend time with his father. Shamik attributes much of his success to his family, including his mother, grandmother, many aunts, brother, wife, and daughter – without whom he believes life would be barren. Although busy with work and family, Shamik enjoys fine tuning his presentation skills as VP of PR for Toastmasters in Palm Harbor, Florida. Shamik believes mankind has evolved to great heights of advancement and is poised to embark on new, exciting adventures in collaboration.