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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
Mar 9, 2015 - Death contemplation: an opening to an awakened life

Why reflect on death? One of the reasons is to overcome fear of death—because when we live in fear, we're not fully living. When we're always thinking “How am I going to die?” or pushing it under the carpet, we're not really inhabiting our life. Reflecting on the finitude of our time brings us alive. It brings to focus what is important and helps us get aligned with our highest values. We're on this earth for a very limited time. What do we want to do with this precious human birth?

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