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Nikki Mirghafori

Nikki Mirghafori, PhD, is a Buddhist teacher and Artificial Intelligence scientist. She is a lineage holder in the Theravada tradition, empowered by the living Burmese meditation master Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, with whom she practiced the jhanas and detailed analytical (Abhidhamma-style) vipassana. She also received empowerment from the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Society, Insight Meditation Center, and is a Stanford-trained compassion cultivation instructor.

She serves on the Teachers Council and Board of Directors at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, and also a Teacher at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA. Nikki is Iranian-American, has taught contemplative practices internationally, and aspires to serve as a doula for wisdom and compassion.

Additionally, Nikki has been a researcher and inventor in AI, holding multiple patents and co-author of 40+ scientific research articles. She has directed international research programs as the Principal Investigator, mentored post-docs and PhD students, taught graduate courses at UC Berkeley, and been a scientific advisor to Silicon Valley technology startups. She is interested in the ethics of AI, among others.

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Featured Audio Talk
May 10, 2018 - Maranasati: "If my life is for rent...nothing I have is truly mine."

With this practice of death contemplation, we see aniccā, impermanence, in big and small ways. We see the goodbyes, the losses—divorces, loss of friendship, loss of contact. There’s all kinds of deaths. And we get to see the ultimate impermanence, the arising and passing away of life in all its forms. You’re not a teenager anymore, not a child anymore. It’s all arisen and passed away. Contemplating aniccā, we see anatta, not-self, by noticing how impersonal death is—how ungovernable this body is. You can’t stop it from aging, dying, or decomposing. It’s impersonal. This body is nature. We are nature.

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