Elizabeth Rabia Roberts
ELIZABETH RABIA ROBERTS is an independent citizen activist and spiritual teacher in the Buddhist and Sufi nondual traditions. She began her work for social and environmental justice, non-violence, and women’s rights when she left university in 1965 to travel to Selma, Alabama, where she worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for 2 years.
Over the next half century Rabia has travelled and taught all over the world — including Burma, Indonesia, Brazil, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, and Israel/Palestine. She focuses primarily on training grassroots leaders, peace workers, and religious leaders from all traditions. Following in the footsteps of her teachers — Catholic priest Father Thomas Berry and Buddhist teacher Joanna Macy — she teaches the New Story, linking Eastern spiritual insights, feminine wisdom, and Western scientific findings to social change and decision making.
In 1999, Rabia and her husband, Sufi teacher Elias Amidon, sold their home and entered together on an international pilgrimage of direct service and teaching. Since that time, Rabia has travelled where she is invited or sent by others, or called by her own intuition. She has found herself at home in modest bamboo huts in rural Thailand, a 10th century Catholic monastery in the Syrian desert, the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, a New Mexican Zen Center, and the spare rooms of dear friends in Europe, U.S., and Canada. Her home base is now in Boulder, Colorado.
Most recently her work has taken her to Pakistan and Afghanistan. On her last visit to Kabul, Rabia was called a “global grandmother” — a title she values above all others she has been given.
She received her MA from Marquette University and her doctorate from Harvard University. She co-founded with Elias the Institute for Deep Ecology, and with Right Livelihood Award winner, Achaan Sulak Sivaraksa, they helped develop the Spirit in Education Movement in Thailand, an innovative college training activists throughout Southeast Asia in spirituality and social change work. Rabia was founding faculty for the MA in Environmental Leadership at Naropa University.
In 1994, she co-founded with Elias the Boulder Institute for Nature and the Human Spirit, and currently directs its new project on “Women’s Wisdom and Global Transformation” (www.) and its international program “The Path of the Friend.” She is co-editor of the anthologies Earth Prayers, Life Prayers, and Prayers for a Thousand Years. Rabia and Elias’s forthcoming book, Love and Dust, Bearing Witness from Selma to Kabul, is a personal account of their activist lives and lessons learned on the road.