J. Tyson Casey began to practice meditation while reinventing himself after a work-related injury led to a differently abled life. 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 the National Leading from the Inside Out Yearlong Fellowship and coordinates programmatic and operational systems. He also teaches Sustainable Leadership at Starr King School for the Ministry. Prior to Rockwood, he was the Managing Director of BPF. Tyson lives in Oakland with his wife and a middle-aged Italian Greyhound named Cosmo.
Cristina Moon is a marketing expert building communities around technology, innovation and social change. She has practiced since 2006 in the American Insight tradition, focusing on the samatha path with Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder since 2011. Cristina started her career working with refugees and former political prisoners from Burma to promote human rights and democracy and most recently supported social justice nonprofits as a digital strategist with PowerLab.io. She also graduated recently from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Cristina lives in Oakland, California with her husband, Michael Norbeck.
Funie Hsu is an Assistant Professor in American Studies at San Jose State University. She has a background in education, having taught elementary school in Los Angeles Unified, received a Ph.D. in Education from UC Berkeley, and continued her research on U.S. empire and education as a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Davis. She comes from a multicultural, multilingual (Hoklo, Hakka, Mandarin, English) family and is the daughter of working class Taiwanese American immigrants. She grew up with Buddhist practice and feels strongly about including the experiences of Asian and Asian American Buddhists in discussions of Buddhism in the U.S. Coming from a vegan/vegetarian Buddhist tradition, she is also passionate about including non-human animals in our work for collective liberation.
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 Boston-based photographer, documentary filmmaker, and nonprofit consultant. 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.