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Minister

Gary McSweeney

Gary teaches at Living Wisdom School, specializing in the most fun, and perhaps most challenging time: middle school. He is loved and respected by his students, and has a gift for the discipline and support that kids that age crave. He was manager of the Ananda Community for many years. He has a terrific sense of humor and is a calm, unflappable fellow.

James Noh-Kuhn

James Noh-Kuhn is a former senior executive with a San Francisco based coffee company. His calm, cheery management style in a fast-paced environment is born of many years of yoga and meditation practice. He directed the yoga program at Ananda Santa Rosa in 2003. In the corporate world, he was often asked how he remained so calm. He joyfully answered by sharing Ananda's breathing and meditation practices. He brings years of management and strategic planning experience to the Sangha staff.

Nayaswami Chidambar

Chidambar is one of Ananda Palo Alto's founding members and long-time manager of the Ananda Community, home to more than 60 Ananda members who live together in an intentional, spiritual community. Chidambar teaches advanced meditation training. He also provides one-on-one support and mentoring for long-time meditators and those with a Kriya Yoga practice. He is wise, patient, and awake.

Saranya LaCosse

Saranya LaCosse is a gifted professional educator; her life-long passion has been teaching and working with deaf children of all ages, from babies to college students. She has presented workshops on many topics in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. She has also taught Sunday School for many years in many settings. You may know her from her rich alto voice in choir and Ananda kirtans.

Nayaswami Lahari

Lahari is insightful, wise, and present. She has served in many of Ananda's colonies since 1986, including Ananda Village, Sacramento, Rhode Island, and India. She and her husband, Biraj, helped to found the new Ananda community near Pune, India, and more recently, the new Ananda Valley Farm in Half Moon Bay. Lahari is a pastoral counselor and teaches many programs at Ananda.

Navashen Jones

Navashen helps others fulfill their highest potential through the Ananda teachings in a fun, positive atmosphere. Before Ananda, he was involved in operations services for baseball teams, and as Director of Operations at Facebook’s corporate fitness center. Navashen teaches meditation, and also has a gift for working with young children through nature awareness activities and guided play. He serves in many ways with kindness, a ready smile, and a deep wellspring of inner calmness.

David G

David G is a minister and has been with Ananda for 35 years. He has a gift for making complex ideas and situations easy to understand, with clarity and humor. For the past 18 years, he has provided stress and meditation training for government and the private sector. He has devoted his life to understanding the spiritual life and the complexities of the human mind. His greatest enthusiasm is to help others have deep insights that can change their lives.

Nayaswami Sharmila

Sharmila Barbara Hoffman has a private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Palo Alto. She helps individuals and couples change negative and destructive thinking and habits, and helps them to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. She teaches beginning yoga, as well as offering yoga and meditation to people suffering from stress and anxiety who would like to find greater peace, balance, and joy in their lives.

Saiganesh Sairaman

Saiganesh is a deeply thoughtful, clear speaker. He has an effortless way of expressing complex ideas, and connects easily with people. A world citizen, he grew up in a Brahmin family. He applies his Silicon Valley tech acumen to many Ananda projects. Trained as an Indian Classical musician, he is a frequent soloist at Ananda. He has a keen interest in nature and photography. Saiganesh is a whirlwind of service projects—teaching, developing new projects, filming Asha's webinars, cooking, and more.