Ed Bastian is President and Founder of the Spiritual Paths Foundation. The Foundation provides both public programs on the world’s great spiritual traditions, and an Institute offering a graduate program in InterSpiritual Studies and Contemplative. Spiritual Paths programs focus on how spiritual knowledge, values, and experiences can help solve the critical challenges of the 21st century.
Bastian has taught courses and moderated discussions on religion for the Smithsonian Institution on Buddhism and world religions. He also has taught and lectured at a variety of educational venues and presented scholarly papers and films at academic conferences in the U.S., England, Japan and India. Bastian was a program director for the Smithsonian Institution where he directed programs on BioDiversity and Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century. Most notably, he co-directed the 1988 National Forum on BioDiversity, a partnership between the Smithsonian and the National Academy of Sciences that introduced the term “biodiversity” to the world.
Bastian was the executive producer for a series of six award-winning television programs on religion in India, Bhutan and Japan for the BBC and produced a series of three films on Tibetan Buddhism with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Office of Education and the Smithsonian Institution. These films were produced in close association with indigenous spiritual scholars and exemplars and they have generally been recognized for their sensitivity, accuracy, depth and authenticity. He was the founder and president of Aspen Interactive Media (including aspen.com) that was sold in 1999.
Bastian has directed several non-profit organizations, and has been a business executive, scholar, teacher, filmmaker, athlete, sailor, and amateur musician. He has been a political organizer for presidential, congressional, and local political campaigns and issues. Bastian has been a consultant to spiritual institutions and media organizations and sits on various non-profit and public interest boards. He has two children, Jonathan and Alexandra. Currently, he divides his time between Santa Barbara and Aspen where the Spiritual Paths Foundation has its offices.