The Five Wisdoms Council

The council is the governing body of the Five Wisdoms Institute. Irini Rockwell and the five council members work closely to hold the vision and accomplish the mission of the Institute.

Nem Bajra

Nem Bajra

Pink Sage Warrior

My passion is to bring joy to workplace, family, and the community. Being an engineer and entrepreneur has helped me appreciate the benefits of technology and financial success in improving one’s livelihood. Yet, I notice that the happiness that comes from having plenty of money and good health is rather limited and conditional.

Having practiced meditation for many years and trained in the Five Wisdom Energies, I have learned that I can lead a life of joy when I live out my true self. This is my motivation for wanting to share this wisdom with others. When we come to more fully understand our own energetic makeup of the Five Wisdom Energies, we can apply this knowledge to be our most authentic self in our everyday life and work situations.

Jean Gunner

Jean Gunner

Generosity Jewel Warrior

My passion is to help manifest a society based in profound goodness and kindness. Serving as the director of a pediatric primary care medical practice since 1994, I have sought ways to help increase happiness and joy in the workplace. Engaging with my family and the natural world is how I stay authentic and centered in my everyday life. In 2021, I embarked on the yearlong Five Wisdoms Training with Irini Rockwell and became certified to teach.

At work, the application of the Five Wisdoms helps me to mentor and coach staff, leadership, and the team in real time as we navigate intensified emotional situations. Emotions are no longer something to be feared, rather they are pure energy that can lead to greater depths of connection and human understanding. The employees and our patients and families all benefit from the Five Wisdoms work. I look forward to working in businesses and healthcare operations by applying the Five Wisdom Energies.

Kelly Petrie

Kelly Petrie

Sparkling Exertion Warrior

A yearning to come home to my authentic nature is what guided me to Naropa University’s Contemplative Education, where I was immersed in Buddhist philosophy and embodiment work, unleashing glimmers of energetic radiance that felt so freeing. This is where I was first introduced to Maitri Space Awareness and Irini Rockwell’s work. Touching the energies through sensate presence transformed the way I could more genuinely connect with the autistic students I was working with at the time. My thesis emerged as a study that unveiled a deeper understanding of autism through the Five Wisdoms lens, lending to a contemplative approach to relationship development between autistic and neurotypical people.

My passion continues to center around the transformative power the Five Wisdoms brings to curriculum design and teacher-student relationships. I founded the Maitri Center for Mindful Living in Oregon, Wisconsin. I am dedicated to cultivating a sense of wellbeing, impassioned learning, and interconnectivity through the development of innovative programs that employ contemplative pedagogies and creative modalities for optimal human flourishing.

Patrícia Valinho

Patrícia Valinho

Sweetheart Warrior

My utmost desire is to respond to what is needed and be of service. Therefore, I am applying my skills to help the Five Wisdoms community grow. It has been quite the journey. I discovered Irini's books on the Five Wisdoms in 2015, started the dharma path two years later, and the Five Wisdoms Training in 2020. Within 10 years I wish to build a Five Wisdoms centre in Portugal, focused on trauma and self-healing. As well, I want to nurture civic participation (political, social, and cultural) for a more active and awakened democracy.

Having studied communication, management, and design, for the past decades I’ve been an innovator, and marketing and business strategist. I started two businesses focused on promoting Portuguese culture and industries, Uma Casa Portuguesa (house renovations with local raw materials) and Dedal (smart homeware made the heart way in Portugal). What drove me to create these businesses was the need to change both the inevitable loss of traditional knowledge and local economic value creation. I will keep working with the Portuguese talent with projects that promote our culture, services, and products.

Nannette Weinhold

Nannette Weinhold

Rainbow Warrior in Training

As an experiential educator, my passion is creating and supporting experiences that allow for contemplation and self exploration. Upon return from teaching in Southeast Asia, I enrolled in Naropa University’s Contemplative Education MA and was exposed to maitri practices. Recently I completed a PhD in Somatic and Spiritual Psychology which was an opportunity to deepen my understanding of self, other, and the world, through contemplative photography. Currently I am doing the Five Wisdoms Training, where I am immersed in the teachings and practices and having profound insights and transformation.

I am transitioning from 35 years of teaching children into retirement, which I call rewirement. I am looking forward to working with people who desire to expand their spectrum of life experiences through the practice of photography. To this end, I am creating contemplative photography classes that bring in the Five Wisdom Energies to both inform my teaching and enhance the experience for the students.