GLOBAL HEALING COMMUNITY
OUR CORE TEAM
The founder, guiding visionary and teacher of the Gaia Mandala Global Healing Community is Cynthia Jurs. In the spirit of co-leadership, Cynthia works together at the center of the Mandala with a core-team of collaborative weavers; Nikole Rosaria Manieri in Ohio, Rasul Luisa Bravo in Colombia and Rick Jansen from the Netherlands, living nearby Plum Village, close to Bordeaux in France. In a way, one could see The Gaia Mandala as a living bodhisattva, an awake being with a deep aspiration to relieve the suffering of the world. Just like Avolakiteshvara (the Bodhisattva of Compassion), the Mandala feels to have multiple arms reaching out in all the ten directions. It is our practice to deeply listen and attune to the energetic currents of The Mandala so that we can act, respond, tend to and initiate new offerings and projects in the most aligned way. It is a dynamic, creative, spontaneous, life-enhancing and inspiring process in service to the healing and protection of the Earth.
Cynthia Jurs met her root teacher, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh in the early 1980s, and in 1994 received his transmission of Dharmacharya, becoming a teacher in his tradition, the Order of Interbeing. In 1990 she traveled to a remote cave in Nepal to meet the 106-year-old Lama Kushok Mangden Rinpoche (aka Charok Rinpoche) from whom she received the practice of the Earth Treasure Vases. In 2018 she was made an honorary Lama at Tolu Tharling Gompa in Nepal by Ngawang Tsultrim Zangpo Rinpoche. Today, Cynthia is forging a new path of dharma in service to Gaia, deeply rooted in the feminine, honoring indigenous traditions, and teaching an embodied, engaged, sacred activism dedicated to global healing and collective awakening. Cynthia teaches meditations and leads pilgrimages and through the nonprofit, Alliance for the Earth, she also works with former combatants in Liberia to build peace through mindfulness. She lives at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in northern New Mexico where she is often found walking in the wilderness with her dog or gardening with husband. You can find more about Cynthia here.
Nikole Rosaria lives with her family on a small, educational non-profit farm in Ohio, Heartbeat Learning Gardens. Inside of a global vision of re-birth in sacred relationship, she dedicates herself locally to community and habitat healing, and cultural adaptation and regeneration from the ground up. She is trained as a Cultural Anthropologist; Serves her community as an Artist and Educator; and Creates from a Healer’s lens. She leads classes on ecology and community herbalism in the gardens, and teaches and performs Southern Italian drum and dance, and loves bringing them together for seasonal community celebrations. Nikole is passionate about musical storytelling that emerges from the dreamtime, and from the messy, honest path of relational transformation in these times. For the last 15 years, Nikole has been sitting inside of diverse, peer-group led circles focused on healing and empowerment – including the use of somatic, trauma-informed, nature-based, ritual and expressive arts practices. She actively explores themes of lineage; belonging; having tea with her shadows; empowering creative relationship patterns outside the distress of systemic oppression; ancient and emergent mythic narratives; how we hold and uplift the next generations. She serves as part-time administrative assistant to Cynthia Jurs and program coordinator in the Gaia Mandala Global Healing Community.
Rick Jansen is passionate about the transformation and healing needed to wake up to the deeper interconnected reality of our lives and to find one’s true and authentic calling in service to the ‘’Great Turning’’. His spiritual path started in 2013 trekking in Nepal where he met Tibetan Buddhism and his first spiritual teacher, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. Currently Rick practices mainly within the Plum Village Tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Rick also works as a nature and soul-oriented Purpose Guide™ privately and as a mentor with Purpose Guides Institute. He is stewarding an Earth Treasure Vase (ETV) dedicated to the roots of Tibetan Buddhism and the lineage of this practice, going all the way back to 8th century Tibet. Within the Gaia Mandala Rick co-facilitates an ETV Stewardship Support Group and the monthly Mother Gaia Sadhana. Born in the Netherlands, Rick lives currently a 10-minutes walk away from Plum Village in the South of France. There he spends time with his hands in the dirt on the Happy Farm, a project of organic regenerative agriculture in mindfulness. He enjoys breathing in sitting meditation and taking his slow steps on the walking meditation paths with the Plum Village community. In his free-time Rick loves to hike, cook, write, dance and create or visit theatre. You can find his offerings as a Purpose Guide™ at www.naturesoulpurpose.com.
Rasul Luisa Bravo’s life is rooted in the tender yet wild remembrance of our oneness with creation. In the journey backwards and forwards to this recognition, she has been shaped by studying intuitive plant medicine, regenerative agriculture, non-violent communication, and rituals for communal grief tending. She is dedicated to cultivating the power of communication through writing and narration, song, ritual, prayer and through creative collaboration. Weaving all these threads, Rasul serves as host of the virtual home for the Earth Treasure Vase Global Healing Community on The Mandala. She also co-facilitates practices offered within the Gaia Mandala Sangha including the Monday Mindfulness Meditation and the Mother Gaia Sadhana to which she has developed a deep connection. Inspired to learn more about the Vajrayana Buddhist Tradition, Rasul has also participated in the Ösel Nyintig program offered through Tara Mandala. Rasul is dedicated to stewarding an Earth Treasure Vase for the restoration of the waters of the world, which has led her back to live in her native land of Colombia, where “paramo” ecosystems that offer a vital source of water, reside.
Elizabeth Christine guides Monday Mindfulness Meditation through the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. Her ability to encourage self-discovery and heartfelt dialogue creates a nurturing space for individuals to explore mindfulness practices. The initial catalyst for her spiritual growth came in her early twenties with the Re-evaluation Counseling community, which practiced witnessing and deep emotional clearing. In 2001, Elizabeth began a transformative Teacher Training program with spiritual teacher Leslie Temple Thurston, which included deep shadow work for individual and collective healing. Elizabeth studied Birthing From Within, taught birthing classes, and acted as a birth doula, guiding parents through their rite of passage into parenthood using mindfulness, art, and mythology. In 2011, Elizabeth engaged with Alliance for the Earth, attending Full Moon Meditations and helping prepare Earth Treasure Vases to go to their dedicated location. Joining the first pilgrimage to Australia proved to be a life-altering experience, as did stewarding an Earth Treasure Vase to Canada during the Truth and Conciliation Reports in Ottawa. Her commitment to mindfulness and global healing practices makes Elizabeth Christine a compassionate guide on the path to collective awakening and planetary healing.
OUR ROTATING LEADERSHIP
In concert with Cynthia and the Core-Team are Circles and Councils with rotating leadership that hold, tend, guide, and organize the various practice groups, retreats, pilgrimages and special projects.
- Our Earth Treasure Vase Stewardship Council meets every New Moon for guided meditation and visioning for the Gaia Mandala as a whole. These members are listed here.
- Monday Mindfulness Meditation Circle is currently led by Elizabeth Christine with assistance from Rasul Bravo. Cynthia offers special teachings from time to time.
- The Sublime Mother Gaia Monthly Meditation Circles are currently led by Rick Jansen & Rasul Bravo with other group members assisting. Cynthia joins from time to time.
- Earth Treasure Vase Stewardship Support Circlesare hosted by: Rick Jansen, Therese Hogan, Elizabeth Christine & Rasul Luisa Bravo.
- Gaia Mandala Online Community (on Mighty Networks) is currently hosted by Rasul Luisa Bravo.
- Full Moon Global Healing Meditation is hosted by Cynthia Jurs, Nikole Rosaria and rotating Stewardship Council Members.
- Sublime Mother Gaia Retreats are led by Cynthia Jurs with assistance from Rasul Luisa Bravo and Rick Jansen.
- Gaia Mandala Organizational Coordinator is Nikole Rosaria Manieri.