Nikki Mirghafori has practiced in the Theravada tradition since 2003, with a persistent interest in intensive retreat practice. She received authorization from her teacher, the renowned Burmese meditation master Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, to teach jhanas and a detailed analytical method of vipassana in 2008. She is both a Stanford-trained compassion cultivation instructor, and a UCLA-trained mindfulness facilitator. Invited by Jack Kornfield and mentored by Gil Fronsdal & Guy Armstrong, she is in the 2013-16 Spirit Rock/IMS/IMC Teacher Training. She holds a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley, engaging in daily life practice as a research scientist in academia.