Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo

Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo

Zaya Benazzo is a filmmaker from Bulgaria with degrees in engineering, environmental science, and film. For many years, she worked as an environmental activist in Holland and Bulgaria, and later produced and directed several award-winning documentaries in Europe and the United States.

Maurizio Benazzo grew up in Italy, and in 1984 came to the United States on a ninety-eight-year-old sailing boat. He started working as an actor, model, and filmmaker, but his thirst for knowledge was only satisfied in 2001 upon encountering I Am That, the seminal work by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, while he was in India shooting the award-winning documentary Short Cut to Nirvana.

Maurizio and Zaya merged their lifelong passions for science and mysticism when they met in 2007, and their first project together was filming the documentary Rays of the Absolute on the life and teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. This project sparked their next level of creation and collaboration: Science and Nonduality (SAND), a global community. The mission of SAND is to forge a new paradigm in spirituality, one that is not dictated by religious dogma, but that is rather based on timeless wisdom traditions of the world, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience.

They live, work and play on the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo, in Sebastopol, California.

The Art of Life | a Documentary

Mixed Media

As a rising star in the field of abstract mathematics, Michael discovered that he could see beauty and pattern where others could not. But his path was not to be inside academia, or even inside society. He went on a grand adventure to unify his Buddhism with his ability to see an expanded view of reality. He created beauty in a place where nobody else would, and made his friends amongst dolphins.