Board of Trustees

Praseela Feltenstein

Board Member

I have been a wife, mother and special education teacher, and now I enjoy being a retired grandmother. I began using AMS’s practices in 1979 and teaching meditation in 1980, experiencing Gururaj’s teachings directly. Meditation has been the key to coping with all of life’s challenges as well as to unlocking life’s joy. It has awakened the spiritual side of myself and brought depth, beauty and awareness of the divine to my everyday experience. I enjoy teaching meditation because it deepens my own practice, and I want to share the gift of meditation with others.

Sutriya Johnson

Board Member

I became a teacher and healer in the the early 1980’s, and was fortunate enough to travel with and learn from Gururaj up to his last day with us.  His teachings and practices have formed the bedrock of my life.

Maria DeAngelis

Board Member

As an experienced meditator for several years, I have come to rely on the inner sense of peace and empowerment I have experienced as a result of the practices. As a certified meditation teacher with American Meditation Society, I love sharing these practices with students who are looking for more peace and joy and less fear and guilt in their lives, knowing that they are being offered a lifetime opportunity to experience their true whole selves through a series of very simple yet very profound practices.

Emma Woods

Board Member

I took my first class with the American Meditation Society in 2003, having studied disciplines aligned with meditative practice (Chinese Kung Fu and Tai Chi) for several years. Once incorporating a daily meditation practice into my life I was immediately ‘hooked’, noticing a more balanced, peaceful yet alert state of mind.  I also experienced direct benefits with my martial arts practice.  This led me to complete the teacher-training course so I could share this powerful gift with others. I love witnessing the impact that meditation brings to people’s lives, and the opportunity it provides to experience a direct connection with our Universal Self.


Doreena Durbin, M.Ed.


Doreena is a native of Chicago and has taught meditation techniques for over 40 years including medical students and doctors at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), College of Medicine, where she earned her Master of Educational Studies degree.

Often known as “The Bridge” due to her ability to see the commonality of people from various ethnic backgrounds and/or religious affiliations, Doreena served on the Dialogue Committee for the 1993, 100th year anniversary meeting of the Council on a Parliament of the World’s Religions, where religious leaders around the globe (including the Dalai Lama) came to Chicago to celebrate. Doreena focuses on the similarities of people rather than their differences.

Doreena draws upon her intuition and inner wisdom as she attunes to the needs of people who come to her for advice on how to maintain a sense of peace and calm in a chaotic world. Doreena promotes peace as she teaches profound ancient meditation techniques as taught by spiritual master Gururaj Ananda Yogi.

Joe Charsauga

Vice President

I am a retired Army veteran with 30 years of service. I was born in Panama but grew up in El Paso, TX. After retiring I became a middle school math teacher and a yoga instructor. A year before I retired from the Army I learned how to meditate through AMS and after my yoga certification I also became a certified AMS meditation teacher. It is the combination of the practice of yoga with meditation, and the teaching thereof of the two, that helps me realize my true nature as it unfolds in my life. I am also a Kirtan enthusiast and I practice chanting using my voice, guitar and harmonium. I feel very blessed to have learned how to meditate though AMS and I enjoy very much helping others learn to meditate as an AMS teacher.

Dr. Vidya Anderson

Former President & Board Member

I have been meditating for many years and teaching meditation for AMS for 47 years. I was blessed to have the opportunity to study and train with Gururaj for 11 years. Having retired from my work as a psychologist, I now devote my time to teaching and writing. I cannot imagine living my life without the aid of this powerful life practice which promotes balance and serenity.


Phil Bowers


I’ve been meditating twice a day since 1996 and actively teaching meditation since 2009.  I love sharing the invaluable gift of these practices and Gururaj’s teachings as they help to unfold the peace and joy that is our true nature.

Anna Blasucci


I am a long-time meditator and certified teacher of the American Meditation Society.  I have been on the spiritual path for some time and Gururaj’s teachings and meditation practices have brought me the clarity, peace and stillness that was necessary for me to connect with my true self and the divinity within.