The Community Ministry track offers practical training in Karma Yoga, spiritually focused service; Seva, the way of compassionate action; and Worship, practices for infusing daily life with spiritual awareness. Learn to embody the spirit of Seva in all aspects of your life. Students gain the yogic foundation, practices, and tools to offer transformative support based on spiritual teachings in a variety of settings such as educating youth and families, caring for the ill and dying, teaching in organization or business environments, or providing one-on-one guidance.

Graduation from Meru Institute provides an excellent foundation for disciples following a path to ordination to enter into a formal internship program for training as Kriya Yoga teachers and ministers.



Rev. Pat Kirti Hall serves as a Kriya Yoga Teacher at CSE where she has studied with her teacher, Yogacharya O'Brian since 1997. Her teaching experience extends over three decades including as faculty at Denver Community College and Meru Institute. She has taught many enrichment classes both nationally and internationally and has taught meditation and Kriya Yoga classes at numerous outreach locations as well as at CSE. As a member of the Meru faculty, Kirti trains and supports meditation instructors who serve at CSE and in the greater community.  Kirti completed level one Hatha Yoga Teacher Training and teaches weekly classes. She also holds a Transformational Coaching Certification from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (Sofia University). 

Rev. Sylvia Karuna Lunt, MDiv, serves as a Senior Kriya Yoga Teacher at CSE where she has studied with her teacher, Yogacharya O’Brian, since 1985. Karuna has over 19 years’ experience supporting individuals through spiritual direction and grief counseling. She oversees community ministry at CSE which includes training and supervision of ministers and interns, worship services, and oversight of the youth and family ministry. She was trained by Life Innovations, Inc., as a marriage development counselor. She also trained in the Principles and Elements of Contemplative Care at San Francisco Zen Center to support the ill and dying. Karuna is a member of Spiritual Director’s International (SDI), International New Thought Alliance (INTA), and the Association for Global New Thought (AGNT).

Rev. Marcella Shanti Macartney, MDiv, has been practicing meditation in the tradition of Kriya Yoga for over 15 years. She developed and oversees the Compassionate Care Ministry at CSE—offering practical and spiritual support for the ill and dying and their caregivers. In support of this work, Shanti drew on 25 years of experience with end-of-life care to develop the Spiritual Care Giving training program to support hospice and healthcare providers, as well as those who are caring for a loved one. She was trained by Life Innovations, Inc., as a marriage development counselor. She also trained in the Principles and Elements of Contemplative Care at San Francisco Zen Center to support the ill and dying.  She has served with Hospice of the Valley, the Center for Living with Dying, and the Sacred Dying Foundation.

Rev. Paula Whang-Ramos, PhD, MDiv, has studied Kriya Yoga with her teacher Yogacharya O'Brian since 2011 and serves as the lead Kriya Yoga Teacher and Director at CSE affiliate center, Blue Lotus Meditation and Yoga Center, in Gilroy, California. Dr. Whang-Ramos is a licensed psychologist who has been in practice for over 20 years. Her experience with western psychology and eastern philosophy & healing systems supports and informs her teaching. She has taught in Meru Institute, hospitals, universities, and health care agencies primarily in the areas of holistic self-care and stress management and end-of- life care.  She is also a QiGong and Tai Chi instructor and has taught these disciplines for the last 25 years.

Amarnath Michael Scott, MA, has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1982 and serves as a child custody mediator for the County of Santa Cruz Superior Court. He is an educator offering workshops both nationally and internationally on marriage, parenting education, personal and professional development, conflict resolution, and the developmental needs of children. Amarnath has credentials in Pupil Personnel Services and Multiple Subject Teaching. He is a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Rev. Elena Kanti Fritchle, BA, M.Div., oversees the Youth Spiritual Education and Family Ministry at CSE where she teaches Yoga practices and philosophy with children, teens, and families. She has served on the Meru faculty for several years, teaches yogic principles as part of communication classes for adults, and regularly contributes articles on youth and family spirituality to the Enlightenment Journal. Her passion for training youth and supporting families began in her young adulthood as she took on the challenge of homeschooling her own children. Rev. Fritchle has studied the teachings of Kriya Yoga with Yogacharya O'Brian since 1995. 

Rev. Christine Kamala Sodt, MA, MDiv, has been an educator and worked with children and families for over 30 years. She is currently serving as adjunct faculty at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, and has also taught at San Francisco City College. She managed her own Early Childhood Education program for 18 years. Christine leads the Teen Rite of Passage program at CSE where she has been studying Kriya Yoga with her teacher Yogacharya O'Brian since 1999.

Rev. Beverly Rajni Kam, LMFT, MDiv, has studied Kriya Yoga with Yogacharya O'Brian since 2007 and serves as a CSE Kriya Yoga teacher. Beverly has offered meditation instruction, workshops, and retreats for caregivers both at CSE and in an outreach capacity. She has over 20 years of experience supporting individuals in personal development, leadership, and business skills. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and serves on the Board of Directors for Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC), a group of religious leaders from many faith traditions.

Rev. Ann Sarasvati Hayes, RN, MDiv, has been studying Kriya Yoga with her teacher Yogacharya O'Brian since 1998, teaching and leading meditation and Kriya Yoga classes for over 2005, and teaching in Meru Institute since 2007. Ann served as Executive Director for Carry the Vision (CTV) and as a leader in Interfaith Community work.  Ann and her husband, Jeff, have established a CSE Meditation Group in Santa Rosa, California.  Ann has also completed Bereavement Training through Sutter Home Health and Hospice, and is a hospice volunteer.

Kathleen Wall, PhD, is a former professor in the PsyD program in clinical psychology at Sofia University, where she had an active research program resulting in several doctoral dissertations and publications. She is a licensed psychologist, the founding executive director of The Mental Health Resource Center in Jacksonville, FL, director of counseling services at San Jose State University, and a previous chair of the Master of Arts in counseling psychology program at Sofia University, where she also served as the interim academic dean. Kathleen’s research and publications focus on spiritual psychology in action. Recently, her research has been focused on spirituality and health using Psycho-Spiritual Integrative Therapy (PSIT) which she co-developed. Psycho-Spiritual Integrative Therapy integrates spiritual practices and a personal sense of the sacred with psychotherapy.

Genie Palmer, PhD, has over 30 years of experience in health and human sciences as a teacher, advisor, and researcher. In addition, her expertise includes years of mentoring students through the dissertation process. Genie’s research is focused on the expansive nature of human experience (meanings and life impacts of non-ordinary, transcendent, and exceptional human experiences) and spiritually transformative experiences of ecstatic states of consciousness (mystical, peak, and epiphany experiences). Other scholarly interests include conscious aging, qualitative research methods and approaches, use of creative expression within a research project, and integral inquiry blended methods. Genie maintains a private spiritual guidance practice, working with individuals and groups to foster spiritual growth and development and facilitate assimilation and integration of spiritual and exceptional human experiences.

Parthenia Kavita Hicks, M. Div, is the Poetry Editor of the Enlightenment Journal and has studied Kriya Yoga for nearly fifteen years under the tutelage of her teacher, Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian. She is the Poet Laureate Emerita of Los Gatos, CA; the recipient of the 2015 Dragonfly Press Award for contributions to literature; the Silicon Valley Arts Fellowship for Literature; the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Poetry Prize and the Villa Montalvo Poetry Prize. She is the editor of the anthology, Song of Los Gatos and teaches and performs spoken word art in the Bay Area.


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