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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.

At Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Nikki serves as a Stewarding Teacher as well as on the Board of Directors. She also teaches at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA. Nikki’s teaching style combines clarity and warmth, and she delights in exploring deep Dharma topics with practitioners as well as mindfulness in daily life. Mindfulness of death is one of the areas of her interest and expertise.

Additionally, Nikki has been a researcher and inventor in AI, holds multiple patents and author of 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.

As an Iranian-American, Nikki has taught contemplative practices internationally and aspires to serve as a champion for wisdom and compassion in our world, and ethical AI in our zeitgeist.

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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.

Nikki is co-teaching the Mindful Leadership Training, August - December 2023

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