Learning and unlearning led Anthony Vitaliano Zampella, MSOL, MS, CCP, to found Bhavana Learning Group in 2000. His firm works with coaches, learning professionals, and executives to bring wisdom to leadership.

As a wisdom coach, teacher, and strategist, Tony blends disparate paradigms of Buddhist psychology with Ontological inquiry to develop a contemplative pedagogy for adult learners. As a communications specialist, his work cultivates generative communications and deep listening. An author and researcher, Tony also works as a curriculum designer to consult on contemplative learning and practices.

From early in life, Tony was drawn to activism and learning. Struggling with his own sexual orientation, he dropped out of high school in 1981. After coming out, he became an LGBTQ and AIDS activist (1984-97), published an LGBTQ weekly newspaper (1986-94), and served as a Human Relations Commissioner (1993-97) for the city of San Diego.

In 1993, he was shot in the neck in a gang-related incident. With this “wake-up call,” he earned a B.A. in Sociology (UCSD), an M.S. in Journalism (Columbia University), an M.S. in Organizational Leadership (Mercy College), and more recently graduated from Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Science with a certificate in Contemplative Psychotherapy (CP).


As a researcher and academic, Tony has served on the editorial board for two Journals.

As a leadership specialist, Tony designs leadership development programs for coaches, educators, and learning professionals.

Education and Studies

Tony’s experience combines Western learning models with 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 approaches include the work of Martin Heidegger employing ontological inquiries and phenomenological analysis.
  • As Integral Theorists, the work of Ken Wilber, Peter Senge, and Otto Scharmer integrates meta-theories to cultivate systems thinking.
  • As a practitioner, the study of Buddhist psychology supports integrating contemplative practices.
  • As a designer, our Contemplative Learning model with 12 Practices brings contemplative learning to listening and leadership.
  • Creating “Practice Fields” in personal mastery brings mindfulness practice to everyday life.

See this personal reflection on Tony’s introduction to 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. He 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,”).

Tony redesigned the “Master of Science in Organizational Leadership” (MSOL) program at Mercy College at its five campuses. 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 and published two news magazines serving the LGBTQ community in San Diego (the San Diego Scene, and Bravo! Newsmagazine). He authored columns and essays on culture and leadership, published in Update Newspaper, The San Diego Reader, Ten Percent Magazine, and The San Diego Tribune (1994-97).


From 1984 to 1997, Tony served as an LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ civil rights organization. From 1993 to 1997, he served as Commissioner of the San Diego Human Relations Commission.


2018: ACTO Conference: Listening as a Field of Being. Tony worked with coach trainers to experience 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 coach trainers to develop unlearning of worldviews and systemic bias.

Tony has served on the Board of ACTO (Association of Coach Training Organization) to support bringing anti-racism learning and practices to coach training.

Connect with Tony

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How to Work with

Tony V. Zampella

Tony works with coaches and leaders who are deeply committed to learning and unlearning.

His research, original IP, structures, and practices:

Support leaders and leadership teams in expanding capacity to generate and align commitments.

Support coaches and coaching teams in cultivating coaching presence, and establishing an effective business profile.

Contact Tony for information about studying Buddhist Psychology.

Click button for Tony’s Buddhist studies.

Click below to Schedule a Call with Tony:

Discovery Session. Explore prospective client needs, and possible services.

Coaching Session. For individual coaching or mentoring sessions.

Consulting Session. For consultations, group work, team learning, research, design or development.

Teaching Session. For students enrolled in current courses of study.

View these writings by Tony Zampella.

The following booklist has informed Tony Zampella’s work.

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

Tony Zampella’s work has been recognized in Marquis Who’s Who for 2023. Click the Badge below to read the press release.

Tony Zampella enjoys professional association and accreditation in good standing through the following memberships, certifications, and organizations:

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