BuddhaFest ’13 Includes Speakers from other Traditions

Robert Thurman to deliver Keynote Speech, Gaura Vani, and Krishna Das Documentary round out exciting 4 day event. Photo: Adam Helfer

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2013 ― BuddhaFest, the only festival in the country to feature films, spiritual talks, meditation and live music, returns June 20-23 to Artisphere in Rosslyn, Virginia.

Buddhafest features an ecelectic mix of presenters and teachers

In its fourth annual celebration of mindfulness, meditation and compassion, this year’s festival opens to voices beyond Buddhism to include a teacher of ancient Toltec wisdom, a charismatic young yoga guru from India, and a retired Unitarian Universalist minister.

These new and diverse voices will be teaching alongside popular and highly-regarded Buddhist teachers such as Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg.

Named one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman joins New York Times best-selling author Sharon Salzberg on Saturday, June 22 for a keynote talk, “Buddhism: A Joyous Science of Kindness and Wisdom.” Thurman has written numerous books on Buddhism, Tibet, arts, culture and politics. The New York Times has called him the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism. He is the father of actress Uma Thurman.

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New at this year’s festival is Tibet Fest, a family friendly event on Saturday, June 22, featuring the food, dance, music and spirit of Tibet. Children are admitted free, and kids’ activities include making birthday cards to send to the Dalai Lama. Tibet Fest is inspired by Tibetan Buddhist culture and the global concern for its survival inside Tibet.

BuddhaFest ‘13

List of Speakers

Speakers at this year’s BuddhaFest are brought together by a similar approach to higher consciousness, and a commitment to the principles of mindfulness and compassion. 

HeatherAsh Amara, author of The Toltec Path of Transformation, shares the ancient wisdom that she learned from her mentor, The Four Agreements author don Miguel Ruiz.

Anand Mehrotra is a young guru from Rishikesh, India who has created his own branch of yoga - Sattva Yoga. He appears in person with the film, THE HIGHEST PASS. Screening on Friday, June 21, the film is about a harrowing motorcycle ride that he and his students take into some of the highest areas of the Himalayas - a ride that forces them to deeply confront their fears, and better understand courage.

Former Unitarian Universalist minister Marilyn Sewell closes the festival on Sunday June 23rd as she accompanies the film, RAW FAITH. This documentary is a moving and unflinchingly honest story that traces her personal journey as she learns to care for herself as passionately as she has cared for others.

The full list of speakers includes: Robert Thurman • Sharon Salzberg • Khen Rinpoche • Lobzang Tsetan • Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni • Rev. Marilyn Sewell • Ruth King • Anand Mehrotra • Marianne Elliott  • HeatherAsh Amara


Opening Night Film: One Track Heart — The Story of Krishna Das. This film tells a compelling story of transformation as it traces the life journey of Grammy-nominated artist Krishna Das. The film is introduced by director Jeremy Frindel and is followed by a live kirtan music performance by Gaura Vani.

• Former United Nations peacekeeper and human rights advocate Marianne Elliott, author of Zen Under Fire: Finding Peace in the Midst of War, tells a compelling story of working with yoga, meditation and compassionate action in the war-torn battlefields of Afghanistan.

The GuruGanesha Band performs in concert on Saturday night, June 21. The six-member band features a unique blend of kirtan, raga, rock and deeply meditative folk music.

• Other films include This Dewdrop World. Jeff Goodell of Rolling Stone says, “This Dewdrop World is a beautiful, courageous, intimate film about love and loss. It may also be the deepest meditation on climate change that I’ve ever seen.”

See full schedule, times and descriptions of all films and events at:


BuddhaFests Festival partner is Tricycle.com, and founding sponsor is the Insight Meditation Community of Washington D.C.

For Festival Tickets and further information please visit: www.buddhafest.org.

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Adam Helfer

Adam is a Reiki Master, certified Health and Lifestyle counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, 20 year practicing  bramana initiated Bhakti Yogi, Spiritual advisor, visionary, jock and veteran of the “hardcore punk scene” all rolled into one.

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Adam is the founder of Omkara World and produced the mind/body fitness DVD “Intelligent Fitness."

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