Cristina Moon was #blessed to be gifted the Dharma on several occasions as a young person—receiving a copy of “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” in the 8th grade and later participating in a day long retreat with a Korean Taoist monk as a senior in high school. She began an annual Buddhist retreat practice in 2007. In 2014, she completed a 26-day samatha retreat with her teachers, Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder, who were authorized to teach by Burma’s Pa’Auk Sayadaw. Cristina is an alumna of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the University of Chicago. She has worked as a digital marketer, and as an organizer and strategist for a range of international and American social justice movements and political campaigns, with an emphasis on online organizing and technology. She is also an avid cyclist, rock climber, backpacker and SCUBA diver.
J. Tyson Casey began to practice meditation while reinventing himself after a work-related injury led to a chronic disability. During a residential practice apprenticeship at Green Gulch Farm, part of San Francisco Zen Center, he met Mia Murrietta. The two were married at Green Gulch in 2009, and lay ordained there in 2011. Tyson currently spends his time during the week at Rockwood Leadership Institute, where he oversees curriculum and programmatic processes. He is also the Visiting Assistant Professor of Leadership and Movements at Starr King School for the Ministry. Prior to Rockwood, he was the Managing Director of BPF. Tyson lives in Oakland with his spouse and an Italian Greyhound named Cosmo.
Sierra Pickett has a passion for accessible Sangha building. At the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) — a donation-based, social-justice Buddhist center that Jack Kornfield has called “the most diverse Sangha on the planet” — she is a long-time Coordinating Committee member of the People Of Color Sangha, a weekly sitting group offering safe(r) space for POC practitioners. Sierra also sits on the Programming Committee for EBMC at large. She is a web weaver who sees networking as an intentional act of love connecting us together in reciprocal support. An American Sign Language interpreter by trade, she loves expanding linguistic and cultural accessibility within a social justice framework. Easily spotted in bright colors, Sierra’s smile is contagious and will greet you readily.
Belinda Griswold is a communications strategist for conservation groups – primarily focused on climate change – throughout the US. She is also a lawyer and mediator, and a longtime Dharma practitioner in the Tibetan tradition. Belinda has worked with BPF as a BASE group leader, board member and volunteer consultant for many years. Belinda has coordinated local and statewide political campaigns, and has also served as a board member of Tara Mandala, as fundraising director for Nalandabodhi, and as the USA national fundraising director for HH Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje. She brings a deep passion for the integration of spiritual practice and spiritual activism to her work for BPF. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, daughter, two pit bulls, and an old cat.
Dan Zigmond is a data scientist working in Silicon Valley. A longtime student of Zen, he was ordained as a priest in the Soto Zen lineage by Kobun Chino Otagawa in 1998. He has served on the board of Jikoji Zen Center, where he continues to practice and teach occasionally. He is also an avid writer and a contributing editor at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. Prior to his corporate career, he taught English to Vietnamese refugees in Thailand and started two wheelchair factories in Cambodia. He lives in Menlo Park, California, with his wife and two daughters.
Jess Benjamin is a photographer, documentary filmmaker, and nonprofit consultant living in Chicago. They began their meditation practice in 2005, which took them across the US and Asia, and are currently training to become a mindfulness teacher. Jess collaborates on media projects related to spirituality, science, and social justice, and also works with nonprofits to raise money and awareness for issues such as food security, education reform, and community health. They can often be found wandering around the city with a camera, looking for their next adventure.