Denise M. Abatemarco (aka buddhistfemme) has a bachelor’s in Communications and Psychology from The College of New Rochelle and a master’s in Humanities and Social Thought from The Draper Program at NYU. She will be returning to school this fall for a master’s in mental health counseling from Brooklyn College and dreams of one day having her own private practice. Her primary interests include gender and queer theory and the psychology of intimacy.

Stillman Brown (aka scribblerist) is a writer, meditation practitioner, and outdoor enthusiast living in New York City. He graduated from New York University with a degree in English, where he studied creative writing with Darin Strauss and Bonnie Friedman. When not working on short fiction, Stillman blogs about politics, the intersection of science and the spiritual, and the daily challenge of meditation practice. He enjoys apple pie, hiking & climbing, and kites.

Dan Cayer (aka theeastriver) is a practitioner in the Shambhala tradition. He was a newspaper reporter in Rhode Island, then produced stories for public radio, and now finds teachers for the NYC public school system wherever they may be. Once, he rode his bicycle from Mississippi to Los Angeles.

Davee Evans (aka owlmonkey) is a Shambhala practitioner in Portland, Oregon. He’s a software and usability engineer, who freelances mostly for startups in Silicon Valley. He graduated from MIT with a degree in mathematics, where he also tried out his first weekend meditation retreat. Lately he’s particularly interested in Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist terminology.

Born in Baton Rouge, raised in Philadelphia, Paul Griffin (aka milaman) is a writer, scholar and tutor working and living in New York City. He believes the world is enchanted and enlightenment is real.

Emily Herzlin (aka finishingthehat) graduated NYU with a degree in Dramatic Literature and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer for the Women’s International Perspective, and has had writing published in Sentient City, the ID Project’s online literary magazine. Emily is also a playwright and winner of the Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwrighting Competition for her one-act play “Assemblage.” Her writing is influenced by art, artists, psychology, and spirituality. She has run drama and arts workshops in schools in NYC and Long Island, and is currently working as a teacher for autistic children. Emily has been attending classes and workshops at the ID Project since 2005.

Julia May Jonas (aka tinderfoot) writes, directs and performs throughout New York City and the world wide web under the auspices of her company, Nellie Tinder.  Nellie Tinder is Art.  Appropriate & Instructive.

Brian Naas (aka resetmind) is a musician and meditation practitioner living in the Greenwood Heights area of Brooklyn. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Electronic Music. He currently performs in the band Millions, and produces solo recordings under the name Egocentric. He has been practicing Insight Meditation since 1999, and has studied with Gil Fronsdal and Jack Kornfield. Please check out his website at

Ethan Nichtern (aka rigdenpoet) is the founding director of the Interdependence Project and the host of the I.D. Project’s popular weekly podcast. A poet and writer with both strong spiritual and political influences, Ethan is a featured performer in Sacred Slam, a performance series which brings together artists from different spiritual traditions. He is the author of the acclaimed book One City: A Declaration of Interdependence (Wisdom Pubs) and a forthcoming novel, The Last Year on the Island. His writing has been featured in numerous print and online publications. He is currently a part-time faculty of Eugene Lang College at New School University and lectures regularly at Brown, Wesleyan, and New York Universities.

Cassie Peterson (aka cassmaster P) is a writer and meditator living in Brooklyn. She leads the Interdependence Project’s monthly writing/meditation workshop, “Write Action” — a group committed to exploring writing as a spiritual practice. She also leads creative writing and meditation workshops for queer, at-risk youth at her day job. Her work can be found in the book, “Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing up Working Class” and in various issues of the online magazine “Sentient City.” She has been a Buddhist practitioner since 2004 when she spent a year studying in India with various teachers. She graduated from New College of California (San Francisco) with a degree in writing and literature. And most importantly, Cassie likes to dance.

Laura Ross (aka menagerist), is the Director of the ID Project Portland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of arts in liberal studies from Reed College. She has worked in cognitive neuroscience research for ten years, and as a freelance oral historian for five. She recently completed yoga teacher training, and is fascinated by the challenge of balancing the simultaneous study of Bhakti yoga and Tibetan Buddhism. Other long-standing interests include documentary studies, the essay genre, the history of American higher education, and knitting.

Ellen Scordato‘s multi functions include being 1) chairperson of the board of the Interdependence Project; 2) the co-owner of The Stonesong Press, LLC [], a book producer of high-quality nonfiction bestsellers for the popular market; 3) a part-time faculty member of the English Language Studies department at the New School; and 4) long ago, the published author of four young adult nonfiction biographies. A graduate of Wellesley College,where she studied Classics and art history, she lives in Manhattan with her husband and cats.

Greg Zwahlen (aka gzza) has a master’s degree in urban planning from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and studied English at the University of Connecticut. He began practicing meditation and studying Buddhism in 2000 and joined the ID Project at its inception in 2005. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where he still notices elaborate cornices and habitually reads plaques.