Dharma Gates: Making Intensive Meditation Accessible

Making Intensive Meditation Training Accessible

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Miles Bukiet

Miles is one of our retreat leaders and a teacher of interpersonal meditation. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2011 and spent five years studying meditation full-time, including two years at monasteries and practice centers in Asia, two years of solitary retreat under the guidance of Alan Wallace, Ph.D. and Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D, and one year studying with Soryu Forall at the Monastic Academy. His practice experience in meditation and related mind-body disciplines includes upwards of 10,000 hours of practice.

He recently completed the Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where he focused his studies on the intersection of meditation and modern science. He currently teaches at NYU through MindfulNYU and has run retreats and workshops at Wesleyan University, Upenn Medicine, Middlebury College, Mindful Harlem, Columbia Teacher’s College, and the Monastic Academy. In addition to classical meditation, Miles has a passion for interpersonal meditation as a way to increase emotional intelligence, and build coherence and psychological safety in individuals, teams, and families. He has co-facilitated interpersonal meditation retreats with Circling Europe and has accumulated over a thousand hours of practice and teaching with this potent form. Miles is currently studying the Alexander Technique (a refined method of fostering body awareness and tension release) with Ann Rodger at The Balance Arts Center where he is a third of the way through a 1,600 hour teacher training. By drawing from these various rich traditions, Miles creates programming to fit the needs of unique populations.

Bo-Mi Choi

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Bo-Mi Choi serves as one of our co-directors and retreat leaders. Bo-Mi is a Dharma Teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen, the Director of the Cambridge Zen Center, and has served as the faculty advisor for the Harvard College Meditation Club since 2009. Outside of her work in meditation communities, Bo-Mi is a multi-media producer and teacher. Born in Seoul, South-Korea, she grew up in Hamburg, Germany, where she studied law before she came to the United States to pursue a Bachelor's degree in philosophy at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI. She received her Ph.D. in Modern European Intellectual History from the University of Chicago and taught for many years critical theory and continental philosophy on the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard College.

Nicky Antonellis

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Since 2011, Nicky’s meditation practice has helped him to become a better activist, athlete, and agent for positive social change. Because of a strong feeling that meditation practice could help his peers in college, he was inspired to start a meditation group “Wes Sangha” at Wesleyan University in the fall of 2016. This group helped to make meditation practices accessible to the larger Wesleyan student population. Nicky and Aaron Stryker met through this group and have since been organizing and running meditation retreats together through both Wes Sangha and Dharma Gates. Nicky has retreat experience practicing Zen, Vipassana and Mindfulness meditation techniques. Nicky has received meditation training at the Monastic Academy in Vermont, Dai Bosatsu Zendo in NY, and various Dhamma Vipassana centers in the United States. He currently organizes environmental and animal rights activism in and around Boulder, Colorado. Nicky graduated from Wesleyan in 2018 with a master’s degree in physics and a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in economics. While he was at Wesleyan he had two academic papers published in Physical Review Applied and played college football.

Aaron Stryker

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Aaron developed the idea of Dharma Gates after collaborating with Nicky to create student meditation group at Wesleyan University where he saw the power Zen practice could to improve the lives of young people. During his senior year, he worked intensively with Makaela Kingsley, the director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan, to make this idea a reality. He studied philosophy at Wesleyan and wrote a senior Honors thesis in philosophy on Epistemology, Trauma, and Embodied Practice. Aaron was introduced to contemplative practice when he began practicing Mysore-style ashtanga yoga with Angela Jamison in 2014. He has maintained a daily practice since then. He spent the summer of 2016 in Mysore, India studying at the Kpjayi Institute for Ashtanga Yoga. In 2017 he began intensive meditation practice and since then engaged in residential training at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji, Great Vow Zen Monastery, and the Ann Arbor Zen Temple, where he is currently living.

Dharma Gates Inc. is a pending 501c3 Non-Profit Organization