Manaslu Gurung

Since graduating from CIE in 2004, I have been living in New York City. My first big project in NYC was working as an assistant editor for the documentary Sari Soldiers which was filmed during the height of the civil war in Nepal. When the civil war ended, I returned to Nepal, my childhood home, for a year and worked as a Child Protection Officer for the United Nations Mission in Nepal in 2007/2008.  Following a historic transition to a democratic republic in Nepal, I came back to New York, and worked for six years with a small non-profit that runs a high school student exchange program.


In the fall of 2014, my husband Chris Holme (also a UMass alum) and I took a year off from our work to travel. We were based in Kathmandu, and spent several months traveling and trekking in Nepal, India and Southeast Asia. After Nepal’s disastrous 2015 earthquake, we spent the next few months volunteering for earthquake relief and ended our year off with a ten-day meditation retreat at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu, which, in retrospect, marked a big shift in my life.


Upon returning to New York in the fall of 2015, instead of returning to my old job, I embarked on a new journey to study, practice and teach meditation. Today, I am a certified mindfulness meditation and a yoga teacher with Mindful Astoria, based in Astoria, Queens.  I am also on the faculty team of the Interdependence Project which offers a year-long mindfulness meditation teacher training program.  See the article Astoria Characters: The Woman Living a Mindful Life for a description of her life’s journey.


Currently, I am also working as a project manager at the Department of Family and Social Medicine at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, helping a small team of doctors with a special research project. When I am not working, teaching or meditating, you will find me either hiking in the hills near New York City or digging dirt in the community garden in my neighborhood. [3-21]




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CIE Graduate