About our presenters

Bardor Tulku Rinpoche
was recognized by the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa at a young age.  He accompanied the Karmapa on world tour in 1974 and 1976.  In 1977, he became resident teacher at KTD, where he continues to skillfully guide students.  He has established the Raktrul Foundation in Red Hook, NY Kunzang Palchen Ling as the dharma center under his auspices.  He has authored, "Living in Compassion, Kagyu Lineage and The Activity of the Karmapas, Precious Essence, Treasury of Eloquence.

Madeline Mazzetti Labriola has been involved in Pax Christi  (the international Catholic peace movement) for more than 25 years.  She is  one of the founders of Hudson Valley Pax Christi, a local chapter of Pax Christi USA.    Pax christi International has consultative status at the UN and she has been the chief delegate since 2002.  She recently developed curriculum for the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of NY on peace and justice issues.  She was the receipient of the following awards;  MLK Center (Kingston) “Heroes in our Backyard” Award 2001; Orange/Ulster Mediation Center Peacemaker of the Year 2004, and Pax Christi Metro NY's Peacemaker Award 2009.  She is the proud mother of 5 children and 10 wonderful grandchildren.

Pandit Shashidhara Somayaji  has been 
the head priest at the Hindu Samaj Temple at Wappingers Falls, NY since 2005.  He has been a practicing priest since 1989 and besides his responsibilities in performing daily worship ceremonies, he teaches Vedanta and Sanskrit to both children and adults.  He has taught in India, Europe and the United States.

Homi D. Gandhi
is a past president of the Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York. He is also FEZANA's Main Representative to the United Nations.  He is the Co-Chair of the FEZANA Interfaith Activities Committee and the Treasurer for Religions for Peace-USA, Inc.  Homi has worked on projects such as Micro-financing - A Step Towards the Upliftment of Women, Technology and the Private Sector Bringing Solutions in Financing to Impoverished Communities, Faith Responses to Climate Change, UN Decade of the Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, and will be participating in 2009 World Parliament of Religions in Melbourne

Amir Vahab
is one of New York’s most celebrated and distinguished composer / vocalists of Persian sacred and folk music. The New York Times calls him the "ambassador for a silenced music." He sings in the traditional Persian style, which embodies millennia of the theoretical and mystical traditions of the ancient land of Iran. He has spent more than three decades perfecting his skills under the instruction of some of the most renowned and legendary masters of Persian music. Music should be so powerful such that one is powerlessly dragged to the unknown. It should invade the listener’s mind to the point of losing awareness.”