Joshua Nelson, known as Acharya Giriisha, began meditation in 1971 after engaging in anti-Vietnam war protests in California, and continues to be an active Meditation Teacher since 1998. It was a happenstance occurrence when he came across a meditation retreat poster on a telephone poll, just as he was wondering “if I’m going to go into meditation, I’m going to go in fully.” From that retreat onward, he has become an astute meditator that believes meditation is an “inherent birthright of all people, which helps to calm and strengthen the mind.”
In his line of work as a neurologist, Giriisha has been fascinated by the link of the mind and brain and is repeatedly inspired in his practice of meditation to be a compassionate and empathetic doctor for his clients.
Acharya Giriisha currently holds the position of President on the Ananda Seva board. In this role, he devotes himself to apply the principles of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti through increasing social justice, and promoting ideas of economic democracy, Neohumanism, and PROUT. Giriisha believes that “you cannot truly do deep meditation without doing service work. When you engage with deep meditation, you become sensitive to the suffering around you, which brings a person to want to help relieve the suffering in the world.”
In the past, Acharya Giriisha has been involved within the meditation community as an ashram manager in Oakland, and Los Altos Hills, California; teaching yoga asanas since 1971; and trained as a Family Acharya in 1998. Currently, he and his wife, Susan, are retired in the Columbus, Ohio area, with two children who currently work as a researcher in virology and a trial lawyer.