(Founder and President)
Diana Stone is the Founder of the Center for Spiritual Democracy. She is also an educator, therapist, speaker, philanthropist and author of, "Spiritual Democracy: Restoring the Heart of America...One Woman's Journey Home." Inspired by the powerful vision of Spiritual Democracy that came to her in 1997, Diana founded the Center for Spiritual Democracy as a non-profit organization in order to share the vision and its story of origin with others, knowing it will take the gifts and talents of many, many others to build the dream of Spiritual Democracy on earth.
Over the last 18 years, the Center has hosted programs both on a local and international level, including the Women's Leadership Council and the International Youth Leadership Council at the State of the World Forum in 2000 in New York City. Diana has also been a major donor for projects with organizations such as the World Wide Indigenous Science Network, The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Beyond the Global Divide: International Young Leaders Summits.
Her recent book focuses on the recognition of the crucial role that the Iroquois Great Law of Peace had in the creation of the United State Constitution. In addition, it is a call to action for the important leadership role that women have in the world as equal partners with men, and the crucial importance of seventh-generation decision making to protect the children yet to come.
Prior to her work with the Center, Diana spent years working as a therapist in the field of addiction treatment, intervention, and prevention. At the forefront of the public's exploding awareness of this disease in the late 70's, she had the privilege of working in the first inpatient adolescent treatment program in the country, and later participating in the establishment of family treatment programs in response to research showing addiction to be a family disease that involved the entire family. She later worked with the founder of the adult children co-dependency movement, Sharon Wegscheider Cruse, conducting workshops all over the country on co-dependency. Over 20 years ago, Diana appeared on The Oprah Winfrey show with her oldest daughter, to share the power and hope of a family in recovery together.
In 1991, she moved to Mill Valley, California to become the Founding Director of the International Transpersonal Center with Christina and Stanislav Grof, along with other leaders in the transpersonal movement such as Angeles Arrien, Richard Tarnas, Michael Harner and Jean Bolen. It was during her work with Stan Grof that her vision of spiritual democracy appeared, moving her to found the Center for Spiritual Democracy in 1997.
Over thirty years of inner work has strengthened Diana's conviction that an essential step in building world peace is coming to a place of peace within, and that to help heal the world, we must begin by healing ourselves. Her vision and inspiration for the Center have come from her deep commitment to her personal journey of transformation: a transformation that begins with the personal and moves to the collective in support of the global transformation so necessary in our current times.
Andrew Harvey was born in south India in 1952 where he lived until he was nine years old. It is this early period that he credits with shaping his sense of the inner unity of all religions and providing him with a permanent and inspiring vision of a world infused with the sacred. He left India to attend private school in England and entered Oxford University in 1970 with a scholarship to study history. At the age of 21, he became the youngest person ever to be awarded a fellowship to All Soul's College, England's highest academic honor.
By 1977 Andrew Harvey had become disillusioned with life at Oxford and returned to his native India, where a series of mystical experiences initiated his spiritual journey. Over the next thirty years he plunged into different mystical traditions to learn their secrets and practices. In 1978 he met a succession of Indian saints and sages and began his long study and practice of Hinduism. In 1983, in Ladakh, he met the great Tibetan adept, Thuksey Rinpoche, and undertook with him the Mahayana Buddhist Bodhisattva vows; later, in 1990, he would collaborate with Sogyal Rinpoche and Patrick Gaffney in the writing of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. In 1984, Andrew Harvey began a ten-year-long exploration and explication of Rumi and Sufi mysticism in Paris with a group of French Sufis and under the guidance of Eva De Vitray-Meyerovitch, the magnificent translator of Rumi into French. In 1992, he met Father Bede Griffiths in his ashram in south India near where Andrew Harvey had been born. It was this meeting that helped him synthesize the whole of his mystical explorations and reconcile eastern with western mysticism.
In 2005, in the historic Santuario de Guadalupe in Santa Fe New Mexico, Andrew Harvey delivered his vision of the contemporary crisis now confronting us in today's world and its potential solution in what he has termed "Sacred Activism," which he sees as the culmination of his life's work. This extraordinary occasion was made into a documentary film by the Hartley Film Foundation and is available on DVD at www.hartleyfoundation.org.
Andrew Harvey has taught at Oxford University, Cornell University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, The California Institute of Integral Studies, and the University of Creation Spirituality as well as the at various spiritual centers throughout the United States. He was the subject of the 1993 BBC film documentary The Making of a Modern Mystic and appears also in Rumi Turning Ecstatic and The Consciousness of the Christ: Reclaiming Jesus for A New Humanity.
Andrew Harvey is Founder Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism. He also has a spiritual counseling practice in Chicago and is available for spiritual direction via phone.
Jill is honored to be a part of the Spiritual Democracy team as Executive Director. She comes with her experience as a Creative Resourcer that draws on her integrity, precision, efficiency, ethical work practices, talents and experience in Management, Assistance, Networking, Agenting and Creativity.
Jill brings with her 25 years of business and operations management, training and facilitating. She to have the pleasure of working with Andrew Harvey, Linda Tucker and the Global White Lion Trust, Matthew Fox and Marianne Williamson.