Nikki Mirghafori was introduced to contemplative practices and yoga in the early 1980s, to meditation in 1991, and to Theravada Buddhism in 2003. She has studied jhanas and a detailed analytical method of vipassana under the guidance of Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, who instructed her to teach. Nikki has completed teacher training programs at Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research & Education, UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, and is currently part of Jack Kornfield's Spirit Rock/IMS/IMC Teacher Training with Gil Fronsdal as her mentor. She holds a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley and works as a research scientist in academia.