The central focus of Nirali’s work is helping people touch into the deep well of ancient wisdom through the powerful Tantric teachings of her lineage as transmitted by the Yoginis and Masters from the feminine mystery schools of the Himalayas.
Her work is strongly informed by the principles of mutual liberation, where one intentionally harnesses the energy arising from these spiritual practices as a force for social change in order to uproot systemic oppression (eg: race, caste, gender, sexual orientation, class, economic inequities).
In the past few years, she has frequently taught at Spirit Rock, Insight Meditation Center, EBMC (East Bay Meditation Center), IBME (Inward Bound Mindfulness Education), as well as Google Headquarters, Stanford University and the Impact Hub. See more
In the last two decades, she has spent thousands of hours meditating in silent Buddhist retreats in monasteries, meditation centers, caves and cells.
In her late twenties, Nirali served in one of the largest slums of Asia for close to five years, located across the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram. Working and learning from one of the most marginalized communities in the world was a formative experience because it gave her further clarity about her spiritual practice and its connections to systems thinking (the inextricable interdependence of political, social, ecological and spiritual forces). During this time at the Gandhi Ashram, she studied deeply with inspiring Gandhian Elders about Seva, Swaraj, Satyagraha and Ahimsa - the important cornerstones of the Nonviolent Freedom Movement.
Later, she spent more than a year in rural areas and remote forests with native communities learning indigenous practices and farming, often living in mud huts without electricity or running water.
Currently, Nirali holds meditation circles and offers retreats in California. She meets with people individually, as a Counselor in her office in Berkeley. And she is involved in Direct Action Movement Building work with the East Point Peace Academy in Oakland, CA.
Once every few weeks, she disappears in the forests and practices next to rivers and creeks. Generally, her love for dancing, laughing with old friends, and the bamboo flute keeps her in ecstatic delight and gratitude for life.
Certifications, Teachers, Mentors and Influences:
She is initiated in two authentic and traditional lineages of: Buddhist-Tantra (the Nyingma School and Dzogchen) and Hindu-Tantra.
In her years of establishing a strong foundation of mindful awareness in the Vipassana tradition, Gil Fronsdal has played the role of a truly generous guide and mentor. In the very early years of her meditation journey she practiced for a few thousand hours in the SN Goenka Tradition.
She is trained and certified in Trauma Healing in the modality of Somatic Experiencing (Dr. Peter A. Levine).
She has received her pedagogy in Depth Psychology and Myth by studying intimately with world-renowned Jungian Analyst and post-trauma recovery specialist, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Nirali is certified by Dr. Estes to teach and lead groups based on the material in the book ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves.’
Her close relationship with her dear mentor Joanna Macy has supported her in making connections with Buddhism, Systems Thinking, Deep Ecology and Activism.
Her activism work is also informed by her relationship with friend and elder in non-violent global liberation work, Miki Kashtan.
She is a certified mindfulness facilitator from UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.