Visiting Teachers Bios

Visiting Monastic Teacher with NCMC

Bhante Buddharakkhita was born and raised in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while living in India, and he began practicing meditation in 1993. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk by the late Venerable U Silananda in 2002 at the Tathagata Meditation Center in San Jose, California and then he spent eight years under the guidance of Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia. He is the founder of the Uganda Buddhist Center in Uganda. Besides spending time at his Center, he is the spiritual director of Flowering Lotus Meditation Center in Magnolia, Mississippi. He is on the council of spiritual advisers to the Buddhist Global Relief, New York. Bhante has been teaching meditation in Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, and the U.S, since 2005. His book, Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism in Africa, tells the story of his religious and spiritual work in Africa.

Visiting Teachers with NCMC

Khalil Maasi is a lifelong student and practitioner of meditation, mindfulness, martial science and it’s related integrated systems of knowledge. To understand the fruit, you must understand the root. And the root in this paradigm is Khalil’s father, well-renowned meditation and martial arts Grandmaster Shaha Mfundishi Maasi. He teaches under Shaha Maasi’s tutelage their family system known as Moyo Kazi (Energy Work) through their organization The School of Heaven and Earth which is based in Baltimore, Maryland. Moyo Kazi is a system of Chi Gung (internal martial healing science) developed and based on the study of internal healing martial traditions from around the world.
Khalil is also a initiated Yoruba Priest (Minister) in the traditional African/Nigerian spiritual system of Ifa (Isese) and is an associate Minister at The Ifa Temple Of Light in East Orange, NJ. Khalil often teaches the African connection to these practices during his classes and workshops. As well, Khalil is a certified child assault prevention counselor in the state of New Jersey working primarily in the Newark and Essex County school system.

Dr. Rebecca Li a Dharma heir in the Dharma Drum lineage of Chan Master Sheng Yen, started practicing meditation in 1995. She began her teacher’s training with Master Sheng Yen in 1999 to become a Dharma and meditation instructor. Later on, she trained with John Crook and Simon Child to lead intensive retreats and received full Dharma transmission from Simon Child in 2016.  Currently, she leads Chan retreats, teaches meditation and Dharma classes, and gives public lectures in North America and the U.K.  Her talks and writings can be found at www.rebeccali.org.  She is the founder and guiding teacher of Chan Dharma Community and a sociology professor at The College of New Jersey, where she also serves as faculty director of the Alan Dawley Center for the Study of Social Justice.

Shaka Georges began his martial arts practice at the age of 9 years old. He immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti in 1975, and ever since then has studied various forms of martial arts including Wing Chun, White Crane Kung Fu Capoeira, and Tai Chi Long and Short Forms. He is a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner from the Mahamudra Lineage and has been meditating for over 10 years. He has also been a fitness coach and instructor in Newark. Shaka is a certified tai chi and qi gong teacher practicing in Montclair and Harrison NJ (see Discovering The Healer Within Facebook page) and is a mathematics high school teacher in West Orange.