Sveta Yuzhelevskaya has participated in the creation of Galiana from the very start: she has co-created both the development of the philosophy and the manifestation of the retreat itself.
Sveta is the Princess of Mercy at Galiana. She attends to people’s needs and encourages them to forgive themselves. She advises on the decoration, architecture and landscaping choices to sustain the magical spirit of Galiana. She is drawn to Galiana by the love for her friends, and a love for celebration of all things, which is what Galina will be. Sometimes, she cooks or oversees the kitchen activities. Sveta is a talented cook; she realized she could cook when she was seven years old. What she cooks is both healthy and delicious.
She does magic with her hands! You will find some of her recipies on the Galina website. For the past three years, Sveta has been the assistant organizer of the Boston Tantric meet up and managed Tantra Without Borders workshops at Burning Man. Since she first went to Burning Man six years ago, it became interesting for her to help people experience the deep bonding and communication that happens there.
Sveta has a keen ability to read and understand people. She feels how true the person is to his or her self. Sveta also has an undying curiosity about the world: she is interested in all aspects of life and creation, especially the inner workings of the mind. In her spare time, Sveta creates art projects, reads, walks, practices yoga and meditation, parties and plays with her kids.
Favorite Quote: “Live free or die.”
Sveta says, “My special wish is for all sentient beings to be happy and get rid of suffering.”
Masha Evans is a beautiful, wise, and talented goddess with an incredible sense of humor and an ability to speak and understand many languages of nature, especially music. She is a perceptive, sensitive individual who lives from moment to moment. Her favorite time is the present. She works with children in many capacities, bringing a shift in consciousness to people at the earliest stage of development. At the retreat, Masha serves as an ‘inner child psychologist’ with people of all ages: she helps them connect to themselves, to the world, and beyond. Masha also runs parent-child family workshops at Galiana. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Barnard College. In her spare time, Masha takes photographs and composes music.
Favorite Quote: “Buddha says, breathing is the most important thing in life. Don’t believe me? Try not breathing for five minutes.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson
Masha says, “There is one thing for us to do: connect. Connection is the foundation behind everything in life. We must allow ourselves to deeply connect to ourselves and each other, and then we can make change.”
Jessie Karsif joined the Galiana family only recently but has integrated herself fully. Of the many roles she plays, she is both the Retreat Coordinator and Financial Advisor, and also has a special place in her heart for cleaning dishes. She loves listening to nature at Galiana- the birds, the trees, the wind, and particularly the laughter of everyone who finds their way to our beautiful sanctuary tucked away in the Berkshire hills. The moment of excitement when someone new discovers the tranquility of Galiana is a moment that she could live in forever. She sings, drums, dances, and tries to live every moment of every day to the fullest, however she can. Jessie’s latest talent is listening to the Universe- it has so much to say if only you can hear it!
Jessie has extensive experience in youth education, peer-to-peer mediation, programming, administrative organizing, and logistical coordination. While she finds peace in the logic of spreadsheets and formulas, she equally appreciates the natural chaos of life and the unexpected.
Favorite Quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Jessie says,”If you trust in the Universe, the Universe will trust in you.”
Pradip (Paul Smith) is a lifelong meditator and long-time Tantrika. He assists Galiana by contributing his networking skills and organizational competence to help behind the scenes. Paul also assists with holding the space for events and workshops as they happen. He has danced the 5 Rhythms twice weekly for the last nine years. An Osho sannyasin he has been involved in the Tantra community for the last decade. His main Tantra teacher was Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita of the School of Awakening; others include Gitama and Hariprem, Geho, Sambhavo, in Europe, and Homa and Mukto of Brazil. He has assisted Sarita and other teachers including Leora Lightwoman at their workshops in the UK, and was co-host of the London Festival of Tantra in 2009.
Paul heads the European branch of Tantra Without Borders and publishes a monthly Tantra Without Borders newsletter. Paul is a professionally trained bodyworker and healer and for the last twelve years has offered coaching, healing and bodywork sessions to his clients. Paul has many accomplishments in the world of business, most recently co-founding a successful media company. He retains some business interests and serves on the board of directors of various companies. He studied Art, Computer Science and Cybernetics, once upon a time. If he could, Paul would love to develop the skill of bi-location. In his spare time, Paul breathes, dances, walks, cooks.
Favorite Quote: “It must be obvious… that there is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity.”
~ Alan Watts
Paul says, “I’ve loved Luba and everyone else involved since the first moment I met them.”
Meera Eliza Metere is drawn to this project by the potential of spreading love and light… much more is needed out there in the world. She is grateful and immensely happy to be part of this transforming process for humanity.
Meera has a degree in law and spent four years as the head of the legal department in a bank. She has been practicing yoga and meditation since 2003. Her first tantra group experience was with Mahasatvaa Ananda Sarita, which changed her life forever. She realized she found her new home and set off on the Tantra path, leaving her office work behind. Since then she has been on her journey, working with many different tantra teachers in Latvia, UK, France and USA, as well as learning massage, reiki, colourpuncture and other healing arts. At the moment Meera helps organize tantra related groups in London and at the Galiana Retreat. Her main interest is the healing and rejuvenation of the body, helping the body to stay healthy and young as long as possible, as well as sexual healing and awakening.
Osho, one of Meera’s embodied masters whom Meera met on her journey, has been the greatest teacher for her. She loves to dance, to draw, to read, to do yoga, to snowboard, to chill out on the beach.
Favorite Quote: “There has never been a person like you before, there is not anybody else like you right now in the whole world, and therewill never be anybody like you. Just see how much respect God has paid to you. You are a masterpiece – unrepeatable, incomparable, utterly unique.” ~ Osho
Meera says, “The world is one. We are one. And no matter where we are, we are together. I am always here and always there. My Love is always here and always there. Light is everywhere. We are part of everything. I am part of you. I wish to just be, in peace…no drama, no illusions, no fighting… just being. That is what I wish today. Let’s see what comes tomorrow. ”