Swami Jaidev Bharati (Dr. Justin O’Brien), a leading disciple of Swami Rama of the Himalayas, is a pioneer in the exploration of consciousness. A former Catholic monk who studied in Israel, Jordan, and the Netherlands, he was a major lecturer as his ground-breaking theology took thousands to deep insights in their spiritual quests.
In 1972 he met his Guru while he taught theology at Loyola University of Chicago. He helped Swamiji establish the Himalayan Institute and its graduate school and helped create international yoga conferences in England, Japan, India, Nepal, and the States. He holds a Doctoral degree in the Philosophy of Consciousness, a Doctorandus in Theology, and Masters degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He was Senior Research Fellow in Holistic Medicine at the University of London Medical School, Director of Education at London’s Marylebone Health Clinic, and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota.
He took vows of renunciation on the banks of the Ganges River in 1999. He is author of Walking with a Himalayan Master, The Wellness Tree, A Meeting of Mystic Paths, Superconscious Meditation and several others.
Ma Devi (Theresa King, M.A.) is a life-long practitioner of spirituality. A former vowed religious, she studied theology in Europe for two years, coming home to be initiated by the saint Swami Rama of the Himalayas in 1972. Serving as his personal assistant for twelve years, she also established the Himalayan Publishing House where she designed and published thirty-eight books and numerous periodicals.
She worked with Gurudev in Japan, England, India, and Nepal where she taught and co-directed international conferences. Past spiritual director at Seattle University’s Master of Ministry Summer Program, she founded Yes International Publishers at Swami Rama’s request and continues to publish books on personal growth, yoga, and spirituality.
She edited the award-winning The Spiral Path and The Divine Mosaic and has won national awards for her poetry. Devi brings deep insight to others from a life interwoven with direct spiritual experiences and love of the Tradition.
Manuraj (Maynard Speece) was initiated in the Himalayan Tradition in 1973 and has studied yoga ever since. A past member of the Marine Corps, chair of the MN Chemical Dependency Association Ethics Committee, Marketing Director of the chemical dependency treatment hospital New Beginnings, board member of Affirmation Place and Cornerstone, legislative lobbyist for patient concerns, and Assistant Director of the MN Teamsters Service Bureau, he also served as Transportation Coordinator at the Greater Twin Cities United Care.
Currently he directs Community Outreach, a non-profit organization that operates the detox centers at Hastings and Brainerd, MN. Manuraj is one of the main teachers for the Institute.
Sandhya (Barb Striefel) has been with IHT since 2001 and started teaching meditation in 2008. She is a semiretired Cytogeneticist at the University of Minnesota and loves traveling, spending time with family (especially grandchildren), Hatha, walking, and kettlebell.