Anthony V. Zampella is an educator, activist, leadership coach, writer, researcher and learning designer, focusing on Leadership, Listening, and Learning. He is the founder of Bhavana Learning Group, rebranded in 2018 from Zampella Group (founded in 2000). He sees this change as necessary “for seeding learning cultures for developing conscious leaders to cope with the human side of change.”

Tony directs the development of the firm’s intellectual property and specializes in the integration of Eastern wisdom practices and Buddhist psychology with Western learning methods into a Contemplative Learning Model. Employing an ontological learning lens into being human, his perspective and practice deepen connections between listening and learning to cultivate wisdom.


Since 1999, Tony has worked as an academic and leadership specialist, designing custom leadership development programs for coaches, consultants, first-time CEOs, and learning and development (L&D) professionals. Tony facilitates fundamental shifts in unlearning and relearning to expand leadership capacity at the individual and organizational levels.

Tony writes a regular blog, Unlearning Curve, for learning and development professionals, and served on the Board of ACTO (Association of Coach Training Organization) to bring DEI learning to coach education and training. He also contributed to the textbook: Complex Situations in Coaching: A critical Case-Based Approach, published by Routledge, (2019).

Speaking AND Conferences

2018: ACTO Conference: Listening as a Field of Being. Tony worked with experienced coach trainers to expand perceptions and experience of Deep Listening. (ACTO = Association of Coach Training Organization.)

2019: Gay Coaches Alliance: Workshop on Deep Listening. Tony worked with experienced coaches to cultivate Deep Listening.

2019: ACTO Conference: Unlearning: The challenge of cultivating deeper understanding, presence, and openness. Tony worked with experienced coach trainers to cultivate unlearning worldviews and systemic bias to deepen equity consciousness.

Education and Studies

Tony’s experience presents an eclectic fusion of Western business models, generative learning methods, language-action practices, and Eastern wisdom traditions.


  • MS in Journalism from Columbia University
  • MS in Business with Organizational Leadership, Mercy College
  • BA in Sociology from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).

Philosophical INQUIRIES

  • Philosophical approaches include ontological inquiries and phenomenological examination, with meta-theories, systems thinking, and language-action theory.
  • As an Integral theorist, interests include the work of Martin Heidegger, Ken Wilber, Peter Senge, integrating Buddhist psychology and practices.


  • Tony has designed a Contemplative Learning model with 12 Practices to bring contemplative learning to listening and leadership.
  • He has created and led “Practice Fields” in personal mastery to bring mindfulness practice to everyday life.
  • His research and work include Tibetan and Zen studies and Buddhist psychology.


Tony is certified in these areas of adult learning and human development:



As a learning specialist, Tony has instructed undergrad and graduate students; researched and delivered learning methods at various universities, including Rutgers University Business School, Newark (“Executive Leadership”), and Fordham University’s MBA Program (“Leadership, Language, and Trust,”). He redesigned the “Master of Science in Organizational Leadership” (MSOL) at Mercy College, which involved developing faculty teams to deliver programs on campus and at the corporate headquarters of Con Edison in Manhattan.

Tony currently serves as faculty at Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Science, where he founded the “Practice Field” in its Contemplative Psychotherapy Program.


From 1985 to 1993, Tony founded, published, and operated two news magazines serving the LGBT community in San Diego (the San Diego Scene, and Bravo! Newsmagazine). He authored columns and essays on diversity, leadership, and human rights; published in Update Newspaper, San Diego; The San Diego Reader, Ten Percent Magazine, and The San Diego Tribune (1994-97).


From 1984 to 1997 Zampella served as an LGBT and human rights activist: as Chair of San Diego’s gay pride organization; board member of the County’s AIDS organizations; advisor of the Board of Trustees to San Diego City College; and, on advisory boards to Mayors Maureen O’Connor and Susan Golding.

Tony also served on the Board of Governors at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization. From 1993 to 1997, he served as Commissioner on the San Diego Human Relations Commission.

Contact Tony at

How to Work with

Tony V. Zampella

Coaching: Supporting limited clients who’ve developed a coaching/ learner’s mindset to cultivate conscious leadership and wisdom.

Mentoring: Offering guidance and practice in deep listening to cultivate wisdom practices for supporting new levels of clarity.

Consulting: Offering research, original IP, and practices to design learning programs and develop learning cultures for conscious leadership.

Learning Dialogues: Facilitating intentional team conversations around different learning paradigms, Buddhist psychology, and vision or direction.

Listening Certificate: Our deep listening program for experienced listeners (and coaches) involves an immersive learning experience. I recommend this program for any prospective clients that may wish to work with me.

The following booklist has informed Tony Zampella’s work.

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Tony Zampella discusses “Unlearning” at Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science.

Transformation finds us open to a state of newness, previously unavailable to us.

It is not a better version of that state. Rather, it is a courageous choice to abandon what’s known for the possibility of the unknown.

We do not change our view; we become the possibility of a new view.


Click here for White Papers in our Learning Center, which detail the research and ideas on our thinking. 

The following posts develop specific topics critical to the work of our firm. 

eBook: Basics of Generative Language: Transforming Leadership Through Speech-ActsThis ebook introduces specific linguistic acts and practices, made available to support learners in practicing the applied research by Anthony V. Zampella, which explores the ontology of language. Mr. Zampella’s work is dedicated to unlocking the hidden generative (creative) properties in language that can assist individuals and organizations in shifting how they perceive and interpret environments and their lives.

Four Papers on Leadership Intelligences: Awareness, Trust/Integrity, Authenticity, and Commitment

Leadership Intelligence #1: Awareness is the most elemental capacity for developing leaders.  The term “awareness” is often used as a vague and general proxy for paying attention to external realities and focusing on tasks and results. Awareness includes external and internal awareness through observation, reflection, and introspection. Any leadership program designed to develop (not study) leaders must begin with awareness as the basis of the journey. Awareness requires several layers. This paper details the evolution of awareness within our work and practice.

Leadership Intelligence #2: Trust based on integrity develops our word and offers reliability. Consider that trust is the foundation of human development. How we generate trust determines how we relate, live, and coordinate action with others. Without trust, inaction prevails, relationships falter, and we become a victim of circumstances. Often, we measure trust by how we feel, not what we see. This paper distinguishes the conditions of Trust we can assess to be effective, build relationships, and lead change in uncertain times.

Leadership Intelligence #3: Authenticity is the possibility of being fully human. We have reduced authenticity to glib notions of “real” or “fake,” as if humans were fixed, one-dimensional objects like art or gems to evaluate. This view excludes our being: our perceptions, interpretations, and insights, which are dynamic, constantly developing, expanding, and integrating our beliefs, knowledge, and experiences. This paper explores being authentic as a practice to assess and discover the self-deception that keeps us from owning and 1) accepting our choices, 2) honoring our uniqueness to live our purpose, and 3) appreciating and integrating our whole self.

Leadership Intelligence #4: Commitment calls us to stand for something bigger than ourselves. This paper presents a different view of commitment as standing for something bigger than ourselves. We can be more than our individual desires or narrow concerns about survival. As a leader, I am responsible for generating both my own commitment and, eventually, a shared commitment that contextualizes situations, relationships, and work.

Upgrading Conversations Beyond Idle Talk: not all conversations are the same. Beyond their content is the meaning they convey. Whenever we chat, talk, or discuss with someone, we are entering a minefield of meaning that can engage, enrich, inform, drain, or depress us. Let that sink in. Are you aware of your conversational diet and types?

In the Power of PresencePresence is the possibility of being open and available in each moment. Such openness brings to each moment our whole being: our body and its senses; our mind, perceptions, and attitudes; and our intentions and aspiration.

Sources: The following reading List has informed Tony Zampella’s work.  Our research is informed through exploration in the field of human development in Eastern philosophy and Buddhist psychology; Western learning, Integral theory, systems thinking, and extended work in ontological learning by scholars and philosophers: