The Team

Our Board of Directors

Picture of Merrill Harmi - President of the International Foundation for Spiritual Unfoldment



Merrill Harmin

44 Midchester Avenue, White Plains NY 10606

Merrill Harmin


Education background:

  • B.S., 1949, Syracuse University (business administration)
  • M.A., 1956, New York University (human relations)
  • Ph. D., 1960, New York University (curriculum and instruction) Advanced Meditation Certificate, 1981, American Meditation Society

Prime work experience:

  • Mathematics teacher, 1957-1960, Long Beach, New York
  • Assistant Professor, 1960-1965, Rutgers University
  • Professor Emeritus of Education and Psychology, 1965-1996, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Books published:

Values and Teaching
Read More
1965, with Louis Raths and Sidney Simon (Charles Merrill Books).
Clarifying Values Through Subject Matter
Read More
1973, with Howard Kirschenbaum and Sidney Simon. (Winston Press).
People Projects
Read More
1973 (Addison-Wesley).
Making Sense of Our Lives
Read More
1973, 1974 (Argus Communications)
I’ve Got to Be Me
Read More
1976, (Argus Communications).
What I’ve Learned about Values Education
Read More
1977 (Phi Delta Kappa Books)
A Peaceable Classroom
Read More
1977, with Saville Sax (Winston Press).
How to Get Rid of Emotions that Give You a Pain in the Neck
Read More
1976 (Argus Communications).
Strategies to Inspire Active Learning
Read More
1993 (Inspiring Strategy Institute).
Inspiring Active Learning
Read More
Complete Handbook. 2006 (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Current focus:

After 40 years of meditation and other spiritual practices, I’m now focusing on teaching a direct path for unfolding one’s true self. I also train meditation teachers, offer consultations to groups on life skills, human development and the current world situation, serve as the Director of the New York Meditation Society and the President of the International Foundation for Spiritual Unfoldment.

Photo of Ramon Leonato Secretary General of the International Foundation for Spiritual Unfoldment Inc.



Ramon Leonato

Secretary General


I was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1960.  As a young boy, I was most interested in understanding the secrets of life. I grew up studying biology, chemistry, physics and, by 15 years old, I was in college. I published my first research work in Insect Biochemistry, Pergamon Press (Vol. 10, pp 529-533) on molecular genetics when I was 19. 

After an MBA from the Instituto de Empresa-London Business School, I studied Physics and Medicine at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; I was a Visiting Scholar at UCal “Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing” (BISC). 

I then spent some time in business and as an entrepreneur.  During that time I actively participated in two IPOs of Internet-based companies that I helped start: Minorplanet Systems Plc. and Amteus Plc.

In my seeking an understanding of life, I started with biology and molecular genetics. From there, I went to theoretical physics. Finally, I landed in the area of spirituality or self-awareness under the guidance of Gururaj Ananda Yogi, a disciple of Swami Pravitananda, from the Swami Vivekananda lineage, with whom I studied until his passing in 1988.  The approach of Gururaj was non-denominational, non-sectarian, and scientific.  It is the approach I maintain today.

I have lived in the UK, the United States (in the Bay Area of California and New York) and in Spain, where I reside now. 

Recently:   Since I learned about meditation and spirituality I have dedicated myself to bring that wisdom to the public, mostly in my home country, Spain, and in the New York area of the United States.  So far I have taught meditation to thousands of people and certified hundreds of meditation teachers.   I have also opened and operated an Ashram in New York and two Ashrams in Spain to serve the general public and, particularly, the education community.

I also have created and directed the meditation program ongoing in the IP Villabona, a Prison of the Government of Spain, with 1400+ inmates.

Since 2010 I have focused on developing the International Foundation for Spiritual Unfoldment (IFSU), healthy living skills, meditation and spiritual practices worldwide.

As part of my involvement with IFSU, I created a school curriculum to teach healthy living and meditation practices in grades K-1 to K-12 plus a parallel program to teach that to teachers and parents as well, so the support for students is comprehensive and long-term.



Jeff Carr

Board of Directors


Artist and educator Jeffrey Carr has had over a dozen one-person exhibitions, including solo shows at galleries in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Charlottesville VA, St. Louis, MO., New Haven, CT., Indianapolis, IN. and Bloomington IN. 

He has also had solo shows at a number of art schools and universities, including the University Gallery at St. Joseph’s University, the Arts Program Gallery at the University of Maryland, the Anderson Gallery at the College of William and Mary, the Slayton House Gallery in Columbia, Maryland, the Society of Fine Arts Gallery at Indiana University, the Fayerweather Gallery at the University of Virginia, the Dwight Fredrick Boyden Gallery at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the ISA Galleria at the International School of Art in Montecastello, Italy

He has been a visiting artist or panelist at over a dozen art schools and university art departments, including those at the New York Studio School, the University of Washington, the Pennslyvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Hollins University, the College of William and Mary, Washington University School of Art, Smith College, the University of Virginia and the Yale University School of Art.

He has published numerous articles and interviews, most recently, an interview with the artist Frank Galuszka in the online journal Painting Perceptions. He himself has been the subject of a number of articles and interviews; the most recent being an interview conducted by Larry Groff in the online journal Painting Perceptions and a number of paintings reproduced in the art and literature review Catamaran.

Jeffrey Carr has recently retired from a long and distinguished career as an artist-educator. He has taught at the Hope School of Fine Arts at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, IN., the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, IN., Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO., the Silvermine Guild School of Art in New Canaan, CT., and the International School of Art in Montecastello, Italy. He was a professor of Art and Chairperson of the Department of Art for over twelve years at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and was Dean of the School of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. from 2003 until his retirement in 2015.

Jeffrey Carr was raised in La Jolla and on the property he now lives on, in East County, San Diego. He attended La Jolla High School and the University of California at Santa Cruz, graduating with Honors in Studio Art in 1973. He attended the New York Studio School in Manhattan in the 1970s and graduated with an M.F.A. in painting from the Yale University School of Art in 1979. Jeffrey Carr is known for his large-scale still lives and for his almost life-size portraits of women, often in mythological or symbolic settings. These may be viewed on this website in the section “Older Paintings”. Since his retirement to East County, San Diego, he has returned to an early love of painting landscape, while continuing to paint smaller scale nudes and figure paintings.

Jeffrey Carr is a direct disciple of Gururaj Ananda Yogi and has had over forty years of experience as an educator and academic administrator. He is an accomplished artist, and, until his retirement, was an art professor at a number of colleges and universities, including serving for over a decade as the Academic Dean of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, a historic art school and museum in Philadelphia. Professor Carr has been active with meditation and spiritual practice for over forty years and has been a disciple of Gururaj Ananda Yogi for almost 40 years. 

He is a Full Teacher in the American Meditation Society and does Satsang and commentary on the teachings of his root guru, Gururaj Ananda Yogi. He has taught meditation and spiritual traditions within several traditions and approaches and has had many years of training and spiritual practice within the Tibetan Buddhist and Dzogchen traditions. He is a Senior Teacher at the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia, and has studied for fifteen years with Scott McBride of the Clearlight Institute in Philadelphia; completing a two-year program in the Clearlight Meditation Teacher Training program of the Clearlight Meditation Institute. His interests and experience include the teachings of Gururaj Ananda Yogi, Advaita Vedanta, Tibetan Buddhism, Dzogchen, Trika Shaivism, and the contemporary “Direct Path” teachings of nondual spirituality. Jeffrey Carr now resides in San Diego, California. His artwork can be seen at:

Picture of Jordi Capdevila - Secretary General of International Foundation for Spiritual Unfoldment



Jordi Capdevila


Education background:

Master in Business Administration (MBA). Certified Civilian Response Team member by the European Union. Wide experience in post conflict scenarios, including Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Expertise in Post Conflict and Crisis Management, Governance and National Development Planning, Donor Coordination, Public Administration Reform, Public Investment Planning and Budgeting, Security Sector Reform, Civil Military Coordination. Monitoring and Evaluation, Quality Management Assessment, Education and Training, Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention, Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Coordination and Disaster Response Management. Assessment of proposals and projects. Solid experience in project and program management cycle, logic framework analysis, results based and customer oriented professional.

More than 7 years of expertise in direct international assistance to conflict affected and fragile countries, including Afghanistan Subnational Reform program under the Asian Development Bank and the UN Mission to Afghanistan.

More than 18 years’ experience with managing projects, programs and processes concerning peacebuilding, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, governance, development assistance, humanitarian assistance and civil military coordination, including United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Colombia and Barbados. Advisor to NATO on civil military coordination, peacebuilding, governance and humanitarian response. Experience as Board Member (pro bono) of several non-profit organizations.

Monitoring and evaluation experience with the Abu Dhabi Government, UN DPKO, UNDP, EU/EC and ADB all along all the professional assignments. Participated in the UNDP final Results oriented/Outcome oriented Evaluation of the Mozambique Police Reform Program and most recently, as international assessor for the Abu Dhabi Public Administration Excellence Awards and assessor for the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme. Certified European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Basic Assessor. Currently preparing to become a certified auditor for Core Humanitarian Standards on Quality and Accountability (CHS)/Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI).

Participated in specific international training on civil administration, subnational governance and local development, electoral observation and electoral assistance, decentralization and peacebuilding, reintegration, DDR and conflict analysis.

Working as Director of the Barcelona International Peace Resource Center (, managing the project created by the Barcelona City Council, leading the organization of international training programs in peacebuilding, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, democratization and governance, local government development in fragile countries, crisis management, humanitarian affairs, civil protection, among others.

Certified Electoral Observer, with direct participation as Short Term Observer to Kosovo 2001 electoral process, and Ukraine 2010 Electoral process. Direct participation as coorganizer with UNDP, EC and the European Center for Electoral Assistance of several international courses on electoral assistance, conflict management and leadership for electoral stakeholders. Local team leader of the ECES Georgia Electoral Commission study visit to Barcelona, Spain.

Certified EU Civilian Response Teams (CRT) member for EU rapid interventions in crisis situations.

Staff IFSU

Sergio Iglesias
Sergio IglesiasWeb master and user support
Read More
I’m the one who will be there for you in case you need help with the platform. Besides, I create all the invisible infrastructure to make this platform work. When I'm not working, you can find me outdoors with my van!
Cristina Leonato
Cristina LeonatoChief web development and design
Read More
Web design is my passion! I create all the pages you can see here making sure that are nice and functional as equal. In my free time I enjoy doing fitness, taking photos or walking with my dog Kali.
Jeeru Leonato
Jeeru LeonatoTranslation, social networks & web support
Read More
I translate our contents and publish the activities that we offer in the social networks (Make sure you follow us!). Fun fact: I am the animator in our international meetings, join us and you will recognize me.
Charlotte Carr
Charlotte CarrCommunications Manager
Read More
I support our teachers in hosting their classes on our platform. I work to ensure the years of wisdom and practice our teachers have accumulated are accessible to an online audience. When I’m not working, you can most likely find me painting.
Gemma Palomares
Gemma PalomaresMarketing Manager
Read More
I coordinate the marketing tasks to grow this nice community and write all the communications. In the IFSU I discovered that my devotion is cats. My house already has a cat door, but I don’t have any… yet!.
Marcel Sorribas Ph. D.
Marcel Sorribas Ph. D. Mindful Education program manager
Read More
I coordinate the big team of professionals in Mindful Education to bring Mindfulness and Meditation to the schools with Rosa Maria Dulcet. Do you know what? I live in a tiny house in the woods, that is a dream come true!
Irma Graciano
Irma GracianoVirtual Ashram Meditation & Ashram Care
Read More
I help coordinate virtual activities from the Ashram, lead meditation and yoga to old and new meditators. I make sure the NY Ashram is taken care of 🙂 I love to make people happy with good and healthy food! Would you like to visit us?
Benito Lopez
Benito LopezIFSU Resource Finder
Read More
My job is to have the IFSU Resource Finder on point! I collect, organise, translate and write the subtitles of Gururaj’s videos to facility to find whatever you need there.
Brian O’Connor
Brian O’ConnorFriendly Circles Coordinator
Read More
The Friendly Circles are my main focus. I coordinate the sessions, prepare all the documentation, talk to the facilitators... Would you like to be part of a community where we talk about our concerns? Join us 🙂