International Foundation for Spiritual Unfoldment Inc

Live, Love, Laugh

aka IFSU Inc.   |   Briarcliff Manor, NY   |  https://meditationtechniques.org/

Mission

To edit, publish and disseminate the work of the poet, philosopher and master of meditation and mindfulness, Gururaj Ananda Yogi; to train education and mental health professionals and society in general in the specific techniques and understandings of his teachings; and to promote collaboration and increased unity among the many spiritual and wisdom traditions in the world.

Notes from the nonprofit

Our organization is focused on bringing to society a new paradigm about the educational process, personal and human well-being and the ultimate purpose of life, which will serve to restore the balance lost by the globalized society in which we live by providing bridges of understanding between all cultures and races through that which unites us. The underlying subjective experience that every human being has of existence.

Ruling year info

2020

President

Merrill Harmin

Secretary General and CEO

Ramon Leonato

Main address

130 Marlborough Rd 28

Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510 USA

Show more addresses

EIN

84-2007892

NTEE code info

Other Mental Health, Crisis Intervention N.E.C. (F99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There is a self-destructive tendency that affects today's global civilization. We are in the midst of a crucial period in which humanity must decide how to avert this tendency. This self-destructive tendency is manifested by the problems we face, amongst them: Climate Change, the Post-Truth information era, the radicalization of specific population sectors, and unstable geopolitical balances that could lead to the destructive use of suppressed technologies. This tendency has, in essence, a highly technological society and a sophisticated mind-centered world in which we have forgotten the heart and compassion that make life a livable experience. With COVID 19 pandemic this essential inner unbalance of society has become more obvious. Our organization creates and maintains programs to change this tendency, one person after another, through an individualized approach and a set of meditation techniques and cognitive practices, and a practical philosophy based on Universal Principles.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Friendly Circles

A Friendly Circle has about a dozen people, who could be anyplace in the world.

We meet via the internet, usually for one hour weekly, for warm, supportive conversations and provocative, uplifting discussions. It’s a place both to meet new friends and unfold our whole, true selves.

Few of us realize how magnificent we really are. Fact is, we’re each stronger, freer and better than we now know. Circles make that clear.

HOW?
By helping us get to know ourselves better. And how do that? By reflecting on old experiences, exploring new ways, considering new ideas and meeting new people.

Consider visiting a Friendly Circle. You can then get a sense of it for yourself. You will be welcomed. No charge and no obligation to attend every meeting or to speak at a meeting. A group facilitator will keep the conversations kindly and thoughtful, open and easy.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Family relationships
Religious groups

IFSU maintains since 1976 a training program for teachers of meditation and mindfulness that consists of various modules that are carried out over a period of between 18 and 36 months depending on the previous experience of our students and that provide the necessary skills to teach meditation and mindfulness in various environments and all kinds of sectors of the population.

The degree and certification we offer is recognized in the USA, UK, Belgium, Denmark, Israel, South Africa, Ireland, Spain and Canada.

IFSU certified teachers are trained in the various trends and protocols currently being taught, including the MBSR protocol, Non-Dualism, Buddhist traditions, Christian contemplative tradition, Raja Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Sufism and Hinduism. Our training goes to the essence of these practices over the cultural differences between them and is taught from a non-denominational point of view.

Population(s) Served

We are living a transformation of society that will confront our siblings to new problems and challenges that today we cannot even imagine, internet, misinformation through social networks, hyperactivity, artificial intelligence, etc. We need an empathetic, compassionate and resilient society capable of adapting to change with tolerance to frustration and creativity.
The program introduces in the educational system a program of holistic training of the individual that combines, working in a transversal way, meditation techniques, mindfulness practices, cognitive practices and interpersonal communication skills; within a scientific conceptual framework and non-denominational universal principles and values, in order to facilitate the integrated development of the child who tomorrow will be the adult of the society to come.
This project aims to provide the best tool to develop the essential skills of students:
concentration, resilience, introspection, visualization skills, relaxation skills, emotional education and development of the various types of intelligence. In Mindfulness Schools we believe it is essential to develop emotional intelligence from the first years of life. it will help them to better understand themselves and others. Promoting success at school and in life.
Our goals are:
To train teachers of primary, middle and high schools and educators in general in our Integrated Development Program.
To implement the program in schools, from Early Years to High School, in a concerted action of the school community (parents, students and teachers).
To develop programs for families of the same school community.

Population(s) Served

A program to teach an individualized meditation and mindfulness discipline into the life of ordinary working people with responsibilities, family, and that live a normal life but that are overwhelmed by the highly demanding

Population(s) Served

A program that teaches the direct relation between the arts and Spirituality. Poetry, Literature, Painting and Music is used as a therapeutic intervention and as a means to unfold the opening of the heart of human beings.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults
Children and youth
Families
Adults
Children and youth
Families
Adults
Children and youth
Families

We maintain two ashrams, one in Spain and another one in New York where we receive our beneficiaries that go through a process of inner cleansing and in depth immersion into their own True Selves.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of teachers trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric shows how many teachers we train each year in the Path of Unfoldment method of Self Discovery and Self Integration.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of Students registered in our online teaching platform

Hours of support group services offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents

Related Program

Friendly Circles

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the number of hours weekly dedicated to our program Friendly Circles

Average length of stay (in days)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the average stay in days in our Ashrams. In 2020 due to the pandemic we had no stays in the Ashram

Number of mentors recruited

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Friendly Circles

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of Facilitators recruited for our program Friendly Circles

Number of training events conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Certified Teacher Training

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of Teacher Training Programs ongoing in our online platform every year

Number of support groups offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Chronically ill people, Substance abusers, Secular groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of ongoing support groups offered in every program we are engaged.

Hours of tutoring administered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number shows the number of hours dedicated by our teachers, voluntary workers, mentors and facilitators in the effective tutoring to others administered each year through the online platform

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We keep track of hours of voluntary workers offering their time pro bono to fulfil our goals

Total number of classes offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of classes offered both online and residential each year.

Total number of free performances given

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Open Access performances to actors and musicians that contribute with their acting and music to our goals.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In the medical field, distress or negative stress is a state of distress or suffering in which a person or animal is unable to adapt fully to threatening factors or increased demands, in other words, it is the "inadequate psychophysiological activation leading to failure. Dr Hans Slye, who discovered all physiological mechanisms of distress, when asked about how we can cure distress, his answer was: become lovable to your neighbor. Love heals. Science and Spiritual traditions meet in this simple therapy. Love thy neighbor as thyself.

The purpose of our foundation is to open, through meditational and spiritual practices the latent goodness that is in humanity, so that it can permeate the mind and direct these mental energies to a constructive purpose rather than a destructive one. Technology can be dangerous if it is not combined with the quality of the heart. The purpose of our organization is to open the heart of humanity; to open up the love that is within us, and spread and share it with our fellow human beings. In the natural expansion of awareness, the emphasis should not be placed solely on technology and mind, but on the heart, expressed through the quality of love.

We strongly believe that the only way to make a better society is one individual at a time. If you become a better person, your environment also becomes a better environment, and the sum totality of each environment in which each individual is placed composes our community and society.

We are a non-denominational organization and we encourage all spiritual disciplines and wisdom traditions. We base our interventions in scientifically designed methods and practices inspired in the traditional practices of contemplative traditions throughout the world. We bring together the gap between Science and Spiritual Traditions by an approach based on experience and an understanding to discern between the poetic language common of spiritual knowledge and the mathematical language of science and technology.

We provide spaces, online and physical, to help strangers connect comfortably with others and with themselves, more particularly, with their whole, true selves. Workmates who do not always get along well together. Far-flung cousins, aunts and uncles who too-rarely see one another. Police officers and community members who need to better appreciate one another. Former classmates and friends now out of touch. Neighbors who might enjoy deeper connections or profit from more mutual respect. Strangers who share a common interest or a common concern and who might support one another.

With our expanded mental awareness directed too much towards a mundane materiality, the quality of love between human beings is pushed into the background and is forgotten. What we are trying to do is to bring that love into the foreground.

Education
As Confucius said, if your plan is for 1 year plant rice, if it is for 10 years, plant trees and if your plan is for 100 years educate the children.
Our organization has its sights set on the long term and on achieving a better world by changing people for the better one person at a time, therefore it is necessarily long term. As an essential strategy to our objectives, therefore, is to act in education with the aim of introducing a new educational paradigm in the educational process. Education in the subjective experience of existence. Therefore our interventions at the educational level and coordinating and complementing ourselves with other organizations with the same objectives is one of our essential strategies.

Ashrams
Likewise, having physical places to hold meditation retreats and being able to host our teachers in different parts of the world is another of our strategies. Opening ashrams in different parts of the world. We currently operate two ashrams, one 100% owned by us in Spain and the other in New York in a residence that we have been given the use of.

Online Teaching
We have decided to use online teaching and interaction with our beneficiaries in order to access in the easiest and larger way to as much population as possible. We will engage in training mentors, teachers and facilitators that can introduce our methods, system and programs to as many individuals, education centers and families as possible. Also we have created the IFSU Resource Finder which will contain once finished its development the totality of the recorded teachings of Gururaj Ananda Yogi, which contain within them meditation techniques, practical everyday tools for wellness, and other in depth philosophical discussions about existence, the act of being human, Love, Grace and Devotion and the concept of God throughout times, cultures and ages that constitute one of the most comprehensive expositions of what life is all about.

Population sectors that suffer
Isolated People, people suffering from anxiety, victims of gender violence, chronic illness patients, etc., is a sector of the population we specially help. If in a theater group, the director works much more with those actors who play their role worse, then the group as a whole improves. If we work with those who play their role well, the group as such not only does not improve but gets worse. We see society as this theater group and we work especially with the most disadvantaged so that society as a whole improves.

Teachers, Mentors and Facilitators
Our intervention in society depends on teachers, facilitators and mentors who are trained beforehand in the specific disciplines necessary to transmit this message and achieve the opening of the heart that is at the core of our work in society. It takes three years to train a teacher, one year to train a facilitator and ten years to train a mentor. Increasing the number of them each year is a main strategy pursued by our organization.

Experience
Since 1976, prior to its incorporation in the USA, IFSU has created Meditation Societies in Spain, Ireland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, South Africa, Canada and the USA. Throughout this time we have trained thousands of people in our method and amongst them hundreds of teachers and mentors who are in different parts of the world. Following its incorporation in the USA in 2019 our goal is to integrate all these teachers, mentors and facilitators in a common effort and coordinated action under the IFSU umbrella.
Among our members we have outstanding academics from the world of education and psychology including Merrill Harmin Ph. D. Vidya Anderson Ph. D. Dr. Ramon Carballo M.D., Rosa Calvo Ph D., as well as 57 meditation and mindfulness teachers with more than 35 years of experience that constitute a sufficient starting point for our 5 year plan.

International Presence
IFSU has sister societies, all of them non-profit, in Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, USA, Ireland and Greece and the coordinated work of these societies allows us a combined action at international level in the occidental world, which is the target of our efforts, since it represents not only the dominant culture at global level but also the society that suffers the greatest imbalance and lack of an adequate education in the subjective experience of life.

Funding
We offer our services free of charge and only ask for the possible donation that beneficiaries are willing or able to make, therefore at the moment we depend on one-time donors who have made possible the work done since the incorporation of our organization in June 2019. We are therefore dependent on their continued support until the flow of small individual donations of individuals and people receiving our services can fund our operating costs.

In November 2018, after a call from a student of Gururaj's teachings, Ramon Leonato traveled to the USA with the mission to help create and replicate the model he had adopted in Spain. On that trip and with the collaboration of Merrill Harmin Ph. D., a student of Gururaj's teachings, a group of volunteers was created that, with the financial help of Lee Swanson, sought and obtained the acquisition of a property by Lee Swanson, who in turn ceded the use of it to start activities in the USA.

During the summer, the property was fitted out, and furniture, computers, a video recording system, and a live broadcasting system were acquired and prepared to develop the activities aimed at opening people's hearts. In October 2019, we inaugurated the Ashram. Gururaj Ananda Yogi's family attended the inauguration; meditation teachers came from Spain, New York, England, and Ireland. In all, about 45 people attended the week-long event. The following weekends we held retreats with new people learning the PoU method with us and were followed by an average of six people each weekend until December 17, when we closed the Ashram for the winter, to resume activities in the spring of 2020.

In March 2020, the COVID pandemic arrived in full force, and with it came the suspension of activities in the Ashram, which since then has been used exclusively for the zoom broadcasting of our programs.

In January 2020, we started developing an online platform to offer our programs, which were provided in our Ashrams through the network. Likewise, we created a system to make all the works of Gururaj and our senior teachers available on the web for all the teachers of our organization and the national meditation societies operating in different countries since 1976.

We are making these teachings available globally, empowering the teachers we have worldwide with the extensive work of its most prominent members on psychology, philosophy, spiritual traditions, and the great questions of life.

We are translating and adapting the school program developed in Spain during this time to implement it in the educational environment in the USA by providing programs for teachers, families and educational centers.

In the first half of the month of April we are releasing Version 1.0 of our newly created and developed platform that will bring the programs we have created for free to large segments of the population. This version will be shortly followed app by a mobile app to make our programs available through mobile telephones and tablets with a particular focus on the younger segment of the population.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

International Foundation for Spiritual Unfoldment Inc

Sign In or Create Account to view assets data

lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

International Foundation for Spiritual Unfoldment Inc

Board of directors
as of 4/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Merrill Harmin


Board co-chair

Ramon Leonato

Merrill Harmin

Ramon Leonato

Jordi Capdevila

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/03/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/28/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.