Living a Happy Life
About the Facilitators
Lisa Besso formally met the Dharma and the FPMT in 2012 when she was lucky enough to have spent time living and working in Raleigh, NC. The Kadampa Center quickly became central to her life and changed her view of how she saw the world. She volunteered within the vast community of the Kadampa Center and was fortunate to be able to help with the Light of the Path Retreat in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Lisa found Shantideva Center in 2014 when she moved back to her native New Jersey. Lisa has worked in international education for many years, working to help universities internationalize their campuses. Lisa’s first introduction to the Dharma was through the FPMT’s Buddhism in a Nutshell course so she is particularly excited to lead this course at Shantideva Center.
Snehy Gupta’s quest for enduring happiness began in high school, when she read a passage from Oedipus Rex: “And none can be called happy until that day when he carries his happiness down to the grave in peace.” This search revived in earnest 18 years ago when Snehy began to study Buddhist philosophy, yoga and Vedanta. Meditation also became a critical part of her study and practice. Snehy also cites this quote from the Kularnava Tantra as best capturing her approach to learning: “Just as a bee seeks honey from many flowers, seek teachings everywhere.” Of all her teachers, Snehy is profoundly devoted to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and regards him as the joyful inspiration for all her efforts to learn and share. She says, “Dharma is a jewel in my life and I am very grateful to have found something so rare and precious to share with everyone.” Snehy’s background ranges from a PhD. in agricultural economics to investment banking to teaching yoga, and also includes a husband, acquired many years ago.
Jennifer Kim has studied Buddhism for over a decade and is passionate about making teachings accessible and relevant for people who don’t wish to adhere to a religious or spiritual system. She has worked for Shantideva Center since 2010 and has served as its director among various roles. She also lived and studied at Vajrapani Institute, a retreat center, for two years and has attended numerous teachings and retreats. Jennifer is a certified trainer and manages US operations for Potential Project, which teaches mindfulness along with its practical applications and related scientific research to leaders and organizations. She received her B.A. in cognitive psychology from Columbia University in 2001 and was certified as a life coach with the Empowerment Institute in 2005. Jennifer is a native New Yorker.
Helen Park (LMSW) is a meditation teacher and family therapist specializing in integrative approaches for children, couples, and families. She is currently a Postgraduate Extern at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and is certified in Contemplative Psychotherapy from the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science where she also serves as meditation teaching faculty for the Mindful Families & Schools program. In addition to facilitating meditation sessions with Shantideva Center and at Tibet House US, Helen also provides individualized meditation mentoring for couples and families.