Science And Nonduality (SAND) Conferences: A Fertile Dialogue with Maurizio & Zaya Benazzo

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It has been said that the true spirit of science and of spiritually is best supported by an open mind, a non-dogmatic inquiry. Science seeks to understand our external reality and spiritual seekers look to understand our inner, personal experience of consciousness, but adherents to these seemingly different disciplines rarely come together in open dialogue. Intrinsic to both of these modes of thought is the concept of nonduality. Since 2009 scientists and spiritual seekers have been gathering from all over the planet to participate in an open inquiry by attending the Science and Nonduality (SAND) Conferences. Participants are introduced to one another and encouraged to dialogue in a respectful manner where differences have a safe place to be explored. It is not a place where conclusions need to manifest. Rather, it’s a place where questions can remain open-ended and where the beauty of life can be celebrated. Zaya Benazzo says, Science helps us realize that seeking has evolutionary function. We are seekers by nature and that’s how we have evolved to be where we are today…Seeking is a process.” And yet, ultimately, there is nothing really to find out there. This is the conundrum of nonduality. (hosted by Glen Sebera)


Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo are the husband and wife team responsible for organizing the Science and Nonduality Conference held twice a year in both Europe and North America. When first meeting, they discovered a mutual love for spiritual teacher, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and decided immediately to create something of service in the world. One year later, in 2009, the first Science and Nonduality Conference was held. Maurizio was brought up in Italy where he created social centers and wrote about education and pedagogy. From an early age he explored the practices of Zen, TM, Catholicism and philosophy. His 2001 film, Shortcut to Nirvana, won the top award for best documentary at both the Sedona and Tiburon International Film Festivals. Zaya hails from Bulgaria and holds degrees in Engineering and Environmental Science. She has produced and directed several award-winning documentaries.

To find out more about the work of Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Who was Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • What is nonduality
  • How the Science and Nonduality Conference came about (SAND)
  • What is the purpose of bringing scientists and teachers of nonduality together in a conference
  • Why scientists are reluctant to speak in public when they detect an agenda
  • How spiritual leaders are evolving into spiritual facilitators rather than being gurus
  • Why the spirit of celebration has been added into the conference agenda

Host: Glen Sebera      Interview Date: 5/13/2013      Program Number: 3471

Music Playlist

Album: Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar
Artist: Matthew Montfort
2008 Ancient-Future #AF 2008

Opening Essay: Track 05 "Celtic Raga"
Music Break 1 Track 04: "Michelle's Star"
Music Break 2 Track 03, "Soul Serenade"
Music Break 3 Track 05 "Celtic Raga" (reprise)