InterSpiritual Meditation (ISM) Facilitators
Jeanette Jeanette Banashak, EdD, PhD is the co-founder and co-director of The Spiritual Guidance Training Institute. She is an interfaith/interspiritual bilingual spiritual director and supervisor who loves to incorporate creativity, ISM, and the mandala into her sessions as well as teachings. Jeanette facilitates ISM and the mandala in various groups and also incorporates them as supports for her own path.
Jeanette is also faculty at Erikson Institute, where she teaches core child development courses and social and emotional learning, and a visiting professor of spiritual direction at the Graduate Theological Foundation. When she’s not facilitating communities of practice, Jeanette is hiking and laughing with her fabulous partner or playing board games and telling stories with friends and family.
Matthew Whitney is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and pedestrian. He lives and works in Seattle, Washington, and enjoys going for walks with his family.
He is the Creative Director for Spiritual Directors International, a learning community for people who provide spiritual care, engage in the vocation of spiritual direction, and for all who seek to connect with spiritual companionship and deep listening. Matt provides oversight on visual communications, art and illustration, and is host of the weekly podcast SDI Encounters which engages in conversations around spiritual direction, contemplative practice, and spiritual care.
Matt is a Certified ISM Facilitator and is completing an 18 month training to become a spiritual guide through the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute, an interspiritual program sourced in the Perennial Tradition, which explores, recognizes, and celebrates the deep mystery and wisdom that arises out of all the world’s mature spiritual traditions. He has taught art courses at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle Central College, and Northwest University.
Nancy Rushlow Bray
Nancy is an enthusiastic and compassionate champion for the human spirit and contributes her success to her insatiable appetite to engage. Recognizing each person’s inherent worth and appreciating their individuality is her trademark. Nancy is an Emmy award-winning producer and recipient of several Clio Awards for excellence in advertising. She excels in her ability to combine business prowess and the creative experience. She began her career producing visual effects for the acclaimed PBS series Cosmos and continued on as the executive producer/producer for academy-award winner, Robert Blalack, (Star Wars) also becoming the studio’s vice-president of operations & business development.
Nancy has studied meditation and spiritual development for many years with Transcendental Meditation, Self Realization Fellowship and the Spiritual Paths Institute. She strongly values the inclusive nature of the interspiritual teachings, practice and collaboration made available through Spiritual Paths Institute and is pleased to participate as one of the Institute’s certified facilitators.
Nancy also serves as an education advisor for the Charter For Compassion Education Institute and lives in Orange County, CA.
Vivo en Buenos Aires Argentina , tengo cuatro hijos adultos , soy abuela de Simón y de Matilda. Hace más de 26 años que trabajo en una empresa líder textil que se dedica a la fabricación de ropa para niños . Soy coordinadora de Alianzas Corporativas y Eventos. Mi tarea en la empresa es la Responsabilidad Social Empresarial, entonces tengo como meta las alianzas corporativas dónde ayudamos a la comunidad a través de organizaciones como Unicef, Hospital Garrahan entre otras. Mi tarea siempre estuvo relacionada al servicio de otros, desde mi trabajo en barrios muy carenciados a acompañamiento espiritual como coach en diferentes grupos. Estudié a lo largo de mi vida varias terapias y técnicas para acercarme al autoconocimiento. Fue en la Meditación InterEspiritual, en la profundidad de sus siete pasos, y la guía de Alejandra Warden, que encontré la Unión de lo aprendido, contacto con el momento presente, y la verdad dentro de mi corazón, lo que me llevó a desear compartir lo aprendido, regalarle al mundo y a mi misma, palabras y acciones de amor que tanto se necesitan hoy.
Rev. Tim Sexton
My background includes being an Aerospace Engineer, building and operating a horse boarding stable, driving a truck, and teaching in a private school.
I recently celebrated my 44th anniversary of ordained ministry, having served Episcopal congregations and on Bishop’s Staffs in the Dioceses of Central Florida, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Utah, Olympia, Hawaii, & New Mexico. Over the course of my ordained life I have experienced many of the different contemplative practices. At different times different ones have appealed more to me. After spending a week with Thomas Keating, Centering Prayer became my “go to” practice.
In 2016 I came to The Mandala Center, a retreat center in NE New Mexico, as Director. Shortly after coming here I read an article about InterSpiritual Meditation. I was draw to it first because of the name connections and then more because of the vision and emphasis that Ed Bastian had for what this was becoming. I have taken the InterSpiritual Mandala, InterSpiritual Meditation, and Facilitator Training courses. I have also facilitated a couple of InterSpiritual Meditation weekends at The Mandala Center and have created a Mandala Walk based on the seven steps, with a video of the Mandala Walk. I believe that the InterSpiritual approach is a great way for all who are on, and those who want to be on, a spiritual journey which brings together their own path with the paths of others, both present and past.
I am blessed with a wonderful and supportive wife, 7 children and 11 grandchildren. Life has been and is truly a grand adventure!
I grew up in a small Iowa farming community and became a member of the local Methodist Church. I attended a small women’s college and majored in philosophy. It was the 60s and I was an occasional protester with no religious commitment. I returned to Iowa and obtained an MA from the University of Iowa’s College of Education and a JD from the law school.
I began my government trial attorney career in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1978 I then transferred into the United States Attorney’s Office practicing in federal court. I remained with the Department of Justice until retirement in 2007 working in Iowa and San Francisco. I loved trying federal criminal and civil cases; but I recognized that the work, which also required supervising attorneys, had a negative impact upon my view of the world. Again, I did not participate in a religious tradition.
I then met my husband’s friend Ed and learned about Spiritual Paths. I was fortunate to attend some of his early inter-spiritual retreats and have continued to participate in courses. I have achieved a 180 degree change in my attitude toward spirituality through an inter-spiritual meditation practice. What a gift to realize this spiritual growth. The brilliance of the ISM path is its universal assistance to any religious or non-religious tradition seeker and our opportunity to walk along this path with others, assisting them and therefore our own practice.
I grew up in Illinois, was raised an Episcopalian. Through early travels my mother opened my eyes and heart to learning about and connecting with people of other cultures and religions. After graduating from Yale, I settled in Washington, D.C. where I worked on Capitol Hill for my Congressman. I began to raise my family in Virginia, and I started to take courses in spiritual subjects, getting an adult education certificate in religion from Georgetown University, completing the Education for Ministry program for lay people from the University of the South, and I became a Stephen Minister. In 1996 I founded a retreat center, the Mandala Center, on the high plains of New Mexico. My family moved to New Mexico, where we lived for about 15 years to serve those who came on retreat. Over the years the Mandala Center has had programs on meditation, yoga, healing, Buddhism, and many of the arts, as well as personal growth. I now live in Carpinteria, California. On our Center’s 20th anniversary I learned about InterSpiritual Meditation, and I have practiced this daily ever since. I have taken the ISM course several times, and I am now certified as a facilitator.
I grew up in Kingsville, a small town in South Texas, where I developed my deep love for desert spirituality. With a graduate degree in business, I worked as a human resources director in the financial services, healthcare, and higher education industries. As I began to explore Christian spirituality, I became a certified Spiritual Director, answered the call to ordained priesthood, and became a Benedictine Oblate in the World Community for Christian Meditation.
Upon ordination and while leading Grace Episcopal in Houston, I began the integration of yoga into my ministry. In 2015, upon receiving my yoga teacher certification, I founded and co-created YogaMass—a blend of yoga, breathwork, meditation and Holy Communion.
Interfaith relations is a key component of my ministry, and when I discovered Interspiritual Meditation, it deeply resonated with my work to integrate yoga, meditation, and respect for people of all faith traditions. ISM is a tool that will help many to integrate the wisdom teachings into their own spirituality and to find their unique styles that deepen their spiritual path. ISM supports my work in helping others discover wholeness within and to discover their true essence and I am honored to be a facilitator of ISM.
Nomi Naeem has been a librarian at Brooklyn Public Library, since 2000, and graduated from the Integral Mentoring program of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary (2011-2013), where is also completed one year training in the Spiritual Counseling program (2018-2019). He also holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, master’s degrees in information studies (University of Toronto, 2000), liberal studies (Graduate Center, CUNY, 2016), interdisciplinary studies (Brooklyn College, CUNY, 2019), and is currently enrolled in master’s in English Literature program at Brooklyn College. Ever since he got introduced to Edward Bastian’s ISM approach in 2008, he has attended several courses (ISM Meditation, Mentoring, Mandala, Facilitator), and hopes to develop educational curriculum based on ISM. In addition to Interspiritual Meditation, his current research interests include human rights and interspirituality based education, philosophy and mindfulness for children, and the Great Books of East & West.
I recently retired from practicing as a registered nurse for over 40 years where I supported people both physically and psychologically. In this next chapter in my life journey, I find myself caring for others as a Spiritual Director, an ISM Facilitator and a certified mindfulness instructor. Through these avenues, I accompany others on their journey inward in their discovery of self, life, and the quiet voice within.
I find Truth in all wisdom traditions and religions and deeply value walking with individuals who declare no religious or spiritual path. When working through the 7 steps of the ISM course, seekers develop their own path, discover their own Truths and find inner peace and joy. I am honored to journey with another and assist them in venturing into the wisdom discovered within the InterSpiritual 7-step meditation.
Anna is currently in private practice as a spiritual director. Her work has a distinct interspiritual focus, which is why Interspiritual Meditation (ISM) held strong appeal when she was first introduced to it.
Those drawn to Anna as a spiritual director are often people who are “spiritually independent” or lean toward a progressive approach to their spirituality. ISM provides a flexible, inclusive form of meditation, and Anna has introduced it to a number of clients. She incorporates ISM into her own spiritual practice as well.
Prior to establishing her practice, Anna retired from a career dedicated to advocacy and systems change facilitation, focusing on students from marginalized populations. She is a long-time resident of Upstate New York, where there is ample opportunity to hike, write, read, and engage in visual arts. Anna also uses her time to focus on the key people in her life — family, friends, colleagues, and clients.
Nicole DeVault teaches French, Art and Ethics at the Alexander Robertson School, in New York City. She holds an M.S. Ed., in Multi-Cultural Education, an M.S. in Leadership and Administration from Fordham University and is a certified Etiquette and Protocol Consultant. A harpist, lyricist and vocalist, Ms. DeVault enhances and supports her instruction with music and art to facilitate a multi-sensory approach in her teaching practice. She is the winner of the 2014 Blackboard Awards for teachers, in recognition of her outstanding work for New York City students. She was a prominent former member of the Open Music Ensemble, an evolving cooperative of versatile professional music improvisers. Ms. DeVault was also on the faculty of the Music Institute of New York. She is currently collaborating on writing and developing an inter-spiritual global curriculum for children, called the Inter-spiritual Child.
“Ed Bastian’s seven-step inter-spiritual meditation has allowed me to introduce a contemplative practice to school age children through art, music, movement and stories. In addition, I am offering the practice to young men and women on the autism spectrum, along with their caretakers.”
Patricia Stenson Knutson
Patricia has been a life-long student of the world’s spiritual traditions. Trained by the founders of Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, she serves as anam cara (soul friend.) Patricia lives in Northeast Wisconsin where she has been a hospice chaplain and pastor for many years. Her experience and connections include being an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, UMC endorsed hospice chaplain, student and mentor in The Living School of The Center for Action and Contemplation, certified by the Center for Loss & Life Transition and holding seminary graduate degrees in inter-spiritual and Celtic studies. She is a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer for Contemplative Outreach and a certified facilitator of InterSpiritual Meditation. Patricia is also part of several groups seeking to be faithful to the Spirit’s call to living love and compassion – Integral Christian WE spaces, Cynthia Bourgeault’s Wisdom network, and Quaker meeting, among them. She is currently working to develop ISM meditations with those in the midst of suffering and with Christians seeking authentic dialogue with the world’s great spiritual traditions.
Rev. Naomi C. Kelly, is a spiritual companion, a leader of a new worshipping community, Weaving Home, whose mission is to live in harmony with the earth while nurturing spiritual awareness through creative, contemplative and compassionate living. She is also an Interspiritual Meditation Facilitator and has developed a moving meditation using Qi Gong movements that coincide to the 7 Steps of ISM.
She is a PCUSA pastor and received her M.Div. from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and is pursuing a Doctor in Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary in spirituality. She and her husband live in the Adirondack Park in northern New York where she loves to walk, hike, and garden. She has 4 children and 3 grandchildren.