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Conference Keynotes & Invited Presenters


AnnisParkerAnnis Parker RGON, ADN, DipEd, CHTP/I

Annis is a New Zealand Registered Nurse who has practiced in many parts of the world, specializing in High Tech surgery: oncology; bone marrow transplant; disaster medicine; teaching and management. Living outside of NZ for 20 years, working in private enterprise for 5 years, multicultural living, producing a family, racing motor cars, and milking snakes for venom, has enhanced her world knowledge.

Annis has had a full time people (adults and children) and animal practice in energy healing since 1997, first in Christchurch, NZ (S. Island) and now in Tauranga (N.Island). She teaches Healing Touch and animal Bio Energetic workshops throughout NZ and internationally. Her animal practice has large numbers of horses, cats and dogs as well as all other domestic animals, and she has been working with exotic animals both within NZ and overseas. Annis has been using some of her past management training in the dairy industry and intermingling this with animal care. This appears to have had a major effect in calming of animals, affording better results and cost reductions. Encouraging people to realize that animals are not machines does reduce stress and enhance production. Currently, Annis focuses on integrating this work into all the animal industries on the North Island.

Annis has been doing regular work with Game Parks and Rescue Parks which breed or care for endangered species. Zoo animals of all kinds and those coming through quarantine are of particular interest as these animals often have energy problems which can cause the breeding programmes to be put in jeopardy. Big cats, elephants and monkeys are another unique part of her practice. Enhancing awareness of the knowledge within all animals and the teaching of the inter relationship between all beings is something she feels passionate about. This work is complementary to all classical medical and veterinary services.

Annis was part of the formation and served as president of Healing Touch NZ. She serves on the Healing Touch International, now Healing Beyond Borders, Board of Directors, Colorado. Her book, Talking with Tigers, is a collection of stories and lessons from a life of experience that finds absolute delight in teaching people how to view and work with animals.


Belleruth Naparstek ACSW, BCD

Author and nationally recognized guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is founding CEO of and the voice on many of its award winning guided imagery and meditation recordings.

As Prevention Magazine tells us, she has been quietly creating an underground revolution in mainstream health and mental health, by persuading major institutions as diverse as Kaiser Permanente, the NIH Patient Library, Johns Hopkins, Blue Shield of California, the U.S. Veteran’s Administration, the U.S Marine Corps, Progressive Insurance, the Mayo Clinic, Aetna, California Community College system, and Stanford University Health Library to distribute her guided imagery recordings, in many instances free of charge. The DCoE (Defense Centers of Excellence) has declared her guided imagery one of their Twelve Promising Practices.

Her first book, Staying Well with Guided Imagery (Warner Books) is a widely used primer on imagery and healing. Her second book, Your Sixth Sense (Harper Collins) has been translated into 9 languages and called one of the most thoughtful and sophisticated looks at imagery and intuition. Her book on imagery and post-traumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award. Highlighted in the 20th anniversary edition of their seminal book, Courage to Heal, Ellen Bass and Laura Davis call Invisible Heroes “the most useful book for trauma survivors to be published in the last decade”.

Naparstek received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago. She maintained her psychotherapy practice for over 30 years and taught graduate students at The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University. She continues to serve on the faculty of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, and most currently, she has just completed a 6-session Veterans Administration certificate training course in guided imagery, which will be made available to any interested VA staff person, systemwide. She is widely recognized as a key force in making guided imagery and its benefits available in major, conventional health care institutions. She also did a brief stint as a musical comedy actress at Second City and The Tip Top Tap of the Allerton Hotel in Chicago and says that her musical comedy skills sometimes come in handy for teaching.


Emily Markides PhD

Emily Markides is committed to issues of personal, social and global change, spirituality, peace and ecological sustainability.The ideals that have inspired her work over the years, in terms of both theory and praxis, have been in two areas mostly: ecology and peace or what she has named EcoPeace. She has pursued those ideals in her divided island Cyprus by launching along with her daughter Vasia Markides the ecocity project -see where you can also find her latest co-edited book, The Famagusta Ecocity: A New Path for Peace in Cyprus. She served as the first Interim Director of the Peace and Reconciliation Program from 1988-91 and then became the co-founder and president of ESTIA, the International EcoPeace Community in Maine, which served as an educational NGO cultivating EcoPeace: Permaculture, Ecovillages and Ecocities, and Ecological Design in Cyprus and Maine.


Gilah Yelin Hirsch MFA, BA

Gilah Yelin Hirsch, (BA UC Berkeley, MFA UCLA), is a painter, writer, theorist, filmmaker, lecturer and Professor of Art at California State University, Dominguez Hills (Los Angeles). She works in a multidisciplinary manner including art, design, anthro-pology, architecture, theology, philosophy, psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, and world culture. An internationally exhibiting artist in over 250 exhibitions since 1968 including the Israel Biennale, the Whitney Museum (New York), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hungarian National Museum, Slovak National Museum, Museo del Pintura, Oaxaca, Mexico, and acquired by many major public and private collections, including the, Skirball Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Alexander Braun Collection, Budapest; Slovak National Museum, Bank of America National Banks, USA; University of California Medical Arts Collection, Los Angeles, CA, California State University Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, and Museo del Pintura, Oaxaca. Hirsch’s work has been reviewed extensively worldwide, has appeared on covers and within dozens of international publications, along with articles and chapters about her life and work, (e.g. LA Rising: SoCal Artists Before 1980; Bridges Magazine, ISSSEEM, 2010, Issue 3; Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies & Gender Issues; Subtle Energy & Energy Medicine, 2007 Vol 16, No 3, 1994, Vol 2, No 1; Feminists Who Changed America; LA Times; The Re-enchantment of Art; The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s;History & Impact and Artists of the Spirit: New Prophets in Art & Mysticism). Hirsch’s own articles and theoretical papers have been published in scholarly journals internationally (e.g. MIT’s Leonardo: Journal on Science and Art; International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies; Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal; Journal of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow; Collections of Foreign Studies on Shamanism, Dalian Nationalities University, China. She has also authored the book Demonic to Divine: The Double Life of Shulamis Yelin (Vehicule Press). Hirsch’s film Cosmography: The Writing of the Universe, an investigation into the relation between origin of alphabet, pattern in nature and the neurology of perception and cognition, has received worldwide interdisciplinary notice. Her current film, Reading the Landscape, brings these concepts to children of all ages in sixteen languages and cultures.

Hirsch’s numerous awards, honors, grants, fellowships and residencies include the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine’s (ISSSEEM) Alyce and Elmer Green Award for her “innovative blending of science and art;” US National Endowment for the Arts; California State University, CA; CLASS Foundation, CO; Panavision Inc; California Community Foundation, CA; Fieldmouse Foundation, CA; Takahashi Foundation CA; US Embassies of Slovakia and Ukraine; Mountain Conservation Recreation Authority, CA; ARTLAB, Civitella D’Aglioni, Italy, Dorland Mountain Colony, CA; Banff Center for the Arts, Canada; MacDowell Colony, NH; Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Italy; Tyrone Guthrie Center for the Arts, Ireland; International Painters’ Symposium, Slovakia; Tamarind Institute of Lithography, NM; St. Martin’s School of Art, London, England; Syracuse University, NY; Rim Institute, AZ., Morris Graves Foundation, CA; Songambele Arts Festival, Nairobi, Kenya. Besides leading numerous creativity and art and healing workshops worldwide, Hirsch has given over 300 presentations/keynotes on her work at universities, institutes and conferences internationally e.g. Santa Monica Museum, CA, Yale School of Divinity, CT; Haverford College, PA; McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Russian Academy of Sci-ences, Moscow, Russia; Institute of Art, Science & Healing, Berlin, Germany; International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy Medicine, KS; TED X at First International Festival of the Arts, Bhutan; UNESCO’s 2015 International Year of Light Exhibition and Symposium at the National Museum, Budapest, Hungary; the International Inter-disciplinary Symmetry Society, Santorini, Greece and 30th Congress, Adelaide, Australia; International Society for the Academic Study of Shamanism in Alaska, US, Delphi, Greece, and Hanoi, Vietnam.

Gilah Yelin Hirsch resides in Venice, California. Her archives are housed in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.


Griselda (Grace) Alvarez Sesma, Curandera

Grace is a student, practitioner, and teacher of Curanderismo indigenous healing practices. Born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, Griselda, or Grace as she is better known, is Mexican, of Yaqui and Kumiai ancestry. Her “don” (Spanish for spiritual gift) was deeply influenced by the work of her aunt, a curandera, and an uncle who was a well-known sobador/huesero, bonesetter. Much later she undertook the formal study of ancestral healing traditions by undergoing traditional training with indigenous healers from various nations, in Baja California as well as the United States. Her formal apprenticeship and training in Native medicine ways began in 1995 with Yaqui/Lacandon Maya elder Tezkalci Matorral Cachora of Mexico.

She was called to the medicine ways in dreams from early childhood, and beginning in her late teens through her 30’s, was visited in the dreamtime over a period of many years, by a group of native Grandmothers dressed in the traditional clothing of various nations (tribes). They gave her teachings and urged her to return to the ways of the Ancestors, of the Medicine, in preparation for the days to come when she, and other women, would help usher in and support the return of the energy of the Grandmothers…the force that would be helping restore the balance of power of the Feminine and Masculine, in the world. Congruent with these personal visions, Grace, in May 2006, attended the gathering of the 13 International Indigenous Grandmothers Council in Huautla de Jimenez in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Grace considers this path to be one of life-long learning and is committed to continuing to deepen her understanding of health and healing and doing her own inner work in order to be of service to the best of her ability, to her community and to the areas where she is invited to share her medicine. She is an approved provider of traditional services for Sycuan Inter-Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation.

Servant-Leader. A humorous and inspiring speaker, Grace has lectured on Curanderismo at the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy & Energy Medicine Conference, Children’s Hospital-Denver, CO, the University of Southern California – San Diego Medical Anthropology Department, San Diego State University’s School of Social Work, the 2013 Great River   Symposium (acupuncture and Chinese medicine conference), University of Tampa, Florida, Iskotew Lodge (First Nations – Canada), and other institutions. She is Adjunct Professor at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona where she teaches “Exploring Native American Medicine Ways: Learning from, and honoring, Indigenous Healing Traditions.”

Married at 16 and divorced at 19, a single parent with two daughters, Grace dropped out of school and later received her GED. She worked hard for many years often holding two jobs. This included being the administrator of a psychiatric partial hospitalization program for several years. During that time she went on to become the founder of MANA of Imperial Valleywhich promotes advocacy and leadership of Hispanic/Chicanas, and is a 1993 Fellow of theNational Hispana Leadership Institute, a collaborative leadership project with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition to her curanderismo clinical practice she continues to have diverse leadership roles in community outreach and social action programs, helping organize grass-roots advocacy group and has presented at various educational institutions on leadership and social advocacy. In 2013 Grace lead a successful social media protest to stop the Disney Corporationfrom trademarking the Mexican holy days known as Dia de Muertos. In acknowledgment of her work, she has been the recipient of many community and leadership awards including two commendations from the California State Senate.

Grace travels extensively and offers workshops and presentations on Mexico’s ancestral wisdom traditions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Formerly from El Centro, California she now lives half of the year in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains and near sacred Mt. Kuchumaa in Southern California the other half, with her husband, Ken Cohen. Their blended family includes three beautiful daughters and five grandsons. She is available for consultations, workshops, and lectures.

JoelAndersonJoel G. Anderson PhD, CHTP, FGSA

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA, is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and a certificate in Advanced Clinical Dementia Practice from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Anderson completed a NIH-funded postdoctoral research fellowship in the conduct of clinical research at the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies at the University of Virginia. Dr. Anderson’s research program focuses on non-pharmacological interventions for symptom management and caregiver support in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care. This focus includes the use of social media as part of the family caregiving experience, as well as the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ caregiver population and older adults.

Dr. Anderson has received funding from the National Institute on Aging and the Pat Summitt Foundation. He consults on media strategies to promote public and patient involvement in research with the Centre for Medicine and Aging at the University of Stavanger in Stavanger, Norway. Dr. Anderson has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles in numerous academic journals, including Research in Gerontological Nursing, the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Brain Research, the Journal of Holistic Nursing, Holistic Nursing Practice, and the Journal of Family Nursing. He is an elected fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, an active member of the International Dementia Scholars Collaborative and the International Family Nursing Association, and member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Family Nursing. Dr. Anderson is the current President of Healing Beyond Borders.

KellieSaulsKellie Sauls MS, BA

Kellie Sauls, a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, has worked in both graduate management admissions and career services throughout her career, leading efforts to increase historically underrepresented student populations and implement diversity strategy. Sauls also launched an international recruiting program, resulting in a doubling of international students in degree programs. Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Teacher Retirement System of Texas, Austin, TX.Prior to the Batten School, Kellie served as Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Diversity Initiatives at the Darden School of Business at UVA and Associate Director of Admissions at the Babcock Graduate School of Management, Wake Forest University.

Kellie earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.S. in Counseling and Clinical Programs from Columbus State University. Sauls is the 2016 recipient of UVA’s Lincoln V. Lewis Staff Diversity Award, which recognizes efforts.


Kenneth Cohen M.A.

Kenneth Cohen, M.A. (, world renowned Qigong and Tai Chi Grandmaster, has been practicing Chinese healing, contemplative, and martial arts since 1968. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing and more than 200 journal articles on spirituality and health. In 1974 Ken received the Teaching Certificate from the William C.C. Chen School of T'ai Chi Ch'uan and later became the only apprentice to Taoist Abbot Huang Gengshi (1910-1999). Ken speaks and reads the Chinese language, and his academic training includes graduate study of Taoism and theology.

Passionate about the dialogue between ancient wisdom and modern science, Ken was one of 9 "exceptional healers" studied in the Menninger Clinic’s Copper Wall Project. His seminars have been sponsored by the American Cancer Society, Health Canada, the Mayo Clinic, the International Conference on Taoist Studies, the World Congress on Energy Healing, and numerous medical schools and cultural organizations. In 2004, Ken was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Energy Medicine. Known for his friendly and engaging teaching style, Ken Cohen makes ancient healing practices easy to learn and a joy to practice.


Lorrie Webb Grillo, Certified Practitioner of Essential Feng Shui®.

Lorrie is a consultant and practitioner of Essential Feng Shui®. As a graduate of the Western School of Feng Shui™, she practices a Western cultural interpretation of the ancient Eastern principles of Form School Feng Shui. As an educator of the principles of Feng Shui, one of her goals is to teach these principles to clients so they can bring Feng Shui into their lives as a process and a practice - not just a project, but for change.

A writer and speaker about the ancient wisdom of Feng Shui and its practicality for today’s world she speaks at business meetings, book groups, amd leads group. Her Restful/Zestful blog offers “ideas and tips, and to read about my experiences as a Feng Shui traveler”. Lorrie sees Feng Shui in action everywhere!

Lorrie created Thriving Spaces Feng Shui to help people change their lives by changing the energy in their living and working spaces. Feng Shui is the practice of spatial arrangement to support energy flow and can be used to increase prosperity, move a career forward, support a relationship, create a balanced and harmonious home, bring in customers, or revitalize a workspace.

Since 2009, Lorrie has helped clients do all of that and more. She considers it a privilege to be invited into someone’s home, office, store, or restaurant to help them see it in a new light and to give them tools to make changes that will support their life goals. From one-bedroom condos to multistoried homes on large lots, from office cubicles to office suites, from small retail shops to large restaurants, Lorrie has helped clients use the tools of Feng Shui to align their environments with their personal goals - on their schedule and within their budget.

Practicing Feng Shui can vary from moving a piece of furniture to repainting or reorganizing the entire space. Frequently, a small act will start to move energy that inspires bigger action! I always try to give my clients a range of choices in my recommendations. For Lorrie, Feng Shui is practical, sensible, doable, and fun, and “I try to make each client visit feel that way. I want to show you how to make the adjustments in your living and working spaces that will help you transform your life.”


Martha Colby, Cellist
Banquet Performance

Cellist, pianist, writer, singer, arranger, and teacher, Martha Colby, “scrapes, glides and plucks her way like a flame” (Performing Songwriter magazine). Having spent her summers since 2007 with the Lake Quartet at Yellowstone Park, Martha left her freelance career in NYC to be out in the mountains with the bears, mountain goats, wolves and spaciousness of the west. She currently works as a pianist and cellist at the historic Old Faithful Inn, Old Faithful Snow Lodge, and continues to perform with the quartet at Lake Village.  She has performed in such ensembles as the band October Project (Bury My Lovely), singer-songwriters Anna Dagmar, Sloan Wainwright, Gregory Douglass, Latin trio Rosewood and Rhythm, in jazz bands The Llama Dollies and Lyric Fury, and was principal cellist of the Hudson Opera Theater and the Spirit of America Pops. She is featured on over 70 recordings by a variety of musicians and is recipient of the Joe Venuti Jazz Masters Award and several Meet the Composer grants. Martha has worked with world-renowned musicians such as Matt Glaser, Matt Darriau,  Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Billy Hart, and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Martha Colby music is what you get from a kid who wanted to be a lead singer and a bass player and wound up playing the cello. She grew up listening to classical music, progressive rock, thrash, 60's folk rock, dixie and swing, and avante garde jazz. She graduated Cum Laude in performance cello from Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA and started off in Guilford, CT.

roshiRoshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D.

Roshi Joan Halifax is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress.

From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers the psycho-social, ethical and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying, and Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She is also founder of the Nomads Clinic in Nepal.

She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman.

A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and founder of Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on applied Buddhism. Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; Being with Dying: Compassionate End-of-Life Care (Professional Training Guide); Seeing Inside, among others. She is a Lindisfarne Fellow and a Mind and Life Fellow and Board member.

VasiaMarkidesVasia Markides MFA, BA

Vasia Markides is Director of Waking Famagusta and Founder/Director of The Famagusta Ecocity Project. A painter originally, Vasia completed her first documentary short in 2008. Hidden in the Sand is a chronicle of her mother’s hometown under Turkish occupation, which is now off limits within the six square kilometer fenced off abandoned district of Varosha. Hidden in the Sand has screened in venues and festivals across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, France and Portugal. As a video producer, Vasia has worked with clients such as Oxfam America, Global Nomads Group and other human rights organizations. After launching the Famagusta Ecocity Project and directing a documentary about the effort, her team’s work gained worldwide media attention (CNN, BBC, Associated Press, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, National Geographic, Boston Globe, ABC News, U.S. News & World Report, and TedX Limassol). In addition to working on her personal projects, she freelances as a filmmaker and video producer in Maine, New York City, and Cyprus.