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Teacher Profiles 2014 & 2015
Sally Armstrong worked at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in several roles in the 1990s, including executive director. She began teaching insight meditation in 1996. Now a guiding teacher at Spirit Rock, she also leads its Dedicated Practitioners Program.
Listen to one of Sally's talks: What is Mindfulness? given at IMS on September 12, 2011 – 57 minutes, 39.6 MB (Download, Stream)
Steve Armstrong, a co-founding teacher at the Vipassana Metta Foundation's dhamma sanctuary on Maui shares the Buddha's teachings on human development and liberation of mind. Out of compassion for future generations he plants trees and directs the Burma Schools Project.
Listen to one of Steve's talks: Four Noble Truths given at IMS on August 13, 2009 – 66 minutes, 45.1 MB (Download, Stream)
Rebecca Bradshaw is the guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley, MA. She leads vipassana retreats, including Spanish language courses, emphasizing embodied clarity and kindness. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology.
Listen to one of Rebecca's talks: Happiness of Equanimity given at IMS on June 10, 2009 – 57 minutes, 38.5 MB (Download, Stream)
Sky Dawson has practiced vipassana meditation since 1981, and also has extensive experience in hospice and palliative care in Western Australia. She has taught at IMS for several years and is now the Teacher-in-Residence at the Forest Refuge.
Listen to one of Sky's talks: Equanimity - Finding Balance of Mind given at IMS on June 13, 2011 – 54 minutes, 37.1 MB (Download, Stream)
Chas DiCapua, a graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training, has offered meditation since 2001. He is interested in how all aspects of life can be used towards awakening. Currently the IMS Resident Teacher, he teaches throughout the US.
Listen to one of Chas's talks: The Illusion of Not Good Enough given at IMS on October 8, 2011 – 67 minutes, 45.8 MB (Download, Stream)
Christina Feldman is an IMS guiding teacher and co-founder of Gaia House in England. She has been teaching insight meditation retreats since 1976 and has recently been involved in the dialogue between cognitive therapies and Buddhist practice. Her books include Compassion and The Buddhist Path to Simplicity.
Listen to one of Christina's talks: The Wisdom of Disappointment given at IMS on March 11, 2007 – 44 minutes, 10.1 MB (Download, Stream)
Joseph Goldstein has taught Buddhist meditation worldwide since 1974. A co-founder and guiding teacher of IMS, he also helped envision and establish BCBS and IMS's Forest Refuge center. The author of One Dharma, his latest title is Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening.
Listen to one of Joseph's talks: Liberation Through Non-Clinging given at IMS on November 19, 2008 – 61 minutes, 28.2 MB (Download, Stream)
Michael Grady has practiced insight meditation since 1973. He also trained with the late Master Sheng Yen in the Chan tradition which emphasizes that each moment of your life is a practice opportunity. He is currently a guiding teacher at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center.
Listen to one of Michael's talks: Not Self: We Are Included in Nature given at IMS on August 25, 2009 – 52 minutes, 35.3 MB (Download, Stream)
Narayan Helen Liebenson
Narayan Helen Liebenson is a guiding teacher of IMS and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and a regular contributor to Buddhadharma magazine. Her training includes over 30 years in the Theravada tradition as well as in Chan with the late Master Sheng Yen.
Listen to one of Narayan's talks: Compassion given at IMS on August 23, 2007 – 45 minutes, 8 MB (Download, Stream)
Michele McDonald has taught insight meditation around the world for 31 years, helping individuals to find their own natural entry points into stillness and deep liberation. She is a co-founder of Vipassana Hawai'i as well as a leader of retreats for youth and Burma relief projects.
Annie Nugent has practiced since 1979 and was an IMS Resident Teacher, 1999-2003. Her teaching style aims to reveal how all aspects of our lives can help us come to a clear and direct understanding of the Truth.
Listen to one of Annie's talks: Trust in the Unfolding Process of the Dharma given at IMS on February 28, 2008 – 55 minutes, 23.2 MB (Download, Stream)
Yanai Postelnik has been teaching insight meditation retreats internationally since 1992. His teaching is inspired by the Forest tradition of Thailand and the natural world. He lives in England and is a guiding teacher of Gaia House.
Listen to one of Yanai's talks: Vulnerability, Not Knowing and Openness given at IMS on July 13, 2011 – 54 minutes, 37.6 MB (Download, Stream)
Larry Rosenberg studied with J. Krishnamurti and practiced Zen for ten years before coming to vipassana meditation. The founding teacher of Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, his latest book is Three Steps to Awakening: The Practice of Bringing Mindfulness to Life.
Listen to one of Larry's talks: Dogen's Instructions to the Cook - Part 1 given at IMS on July 10, 2010 – 47 minutes, 32.6 MB (Download, Stream)
Sharon Salzberg, a co-founder of IMS and BCBS, has practiced meditation since 1971 and has been teaching worldwide since 1974. She is an IMS guiding teacher and author of Real Happiness, Faith, Lovingkindness and other publications.
Listen to one of Sharon's talks: Three Personality Types given at IMS on March 23, 2004 – 48 minutes, 11.1 MB (Download)
Gina Sharpe has studied and practiced the dharma for many years in Asia and the US. She has been teaching since 1994 and is the guiding teacher of New York Insight Meditation Center, which she co-founded in 1997.
Listen to one of Gina's talks: Compassion - When Love Meets Suffering given at IMS on August 30, 2011 – 57 minutes, 39.1 MB (Download, Stream)
Rodney Smith, an IMS guiding teacher, has taught insight meditation since 1984. He is a former Buddhist monk and worked in hospice care for 17 years. The author of Stepping Out of Self-Deception and Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart, he founded and guides Seattle Insight Meditation Society.
Listen to one of Rodney's talks: Radical Accountability given at IMS on December 29, 2006 – 47 minutes, 10.8 MB (Download, Stream)
Carol Wilson, an IMS guiding teacher, has practiced insight meditation since 1971 with a variety of teachers, including Sayadaw U Pandita and Ashin U Tejaniya, as well as spending a year as a nun in Thailand. She has offered retreats worldwide since 1986, including the annual IMS Three-Month course.
Listen to one of Carol's talks: Perception of Impermanence given at IMS on October 22, 2006 – 60 minutes, 13.9 MB (Download, Stream)
Akincano is a Swiss Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist. A former monk, he practiced for 20 years in European and Thai Forest monasteries. Particular interests are suttas, stillness and contemplative psychology. He lives in Cologne, Germany, and teaches internationally.
Listen to one of Akincano's talks: A Good Friend given at Gaia House on June 26, 2010 – 56 minutes, 51 MB (Download, Stream)
Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia
Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia is a student of the Western forest sangha and a Lay Buddhist Minister in association with Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in CA. She has been a dhamma teacher since 1990, served as IMS Resident Teacher in the 1990s, and is a core faculty member at BCBS.
Bhikkhu Anālayo is a German scholar-monk, teacher and author of Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization. He studies Buddhist texts in Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan, with a special interest in Buddhist meditation and the role of women in Buddhism.
Pascal Auclair has been immersed in the dharma since 1997, studying with revered Asian monastic and lay Western teachers. A co-founder of True North Insight Meditation Centre in Canada, he enjoys sharing the Buddha's teachings with all curious people.
Listen to one of Pascal's talks: Four Ways We Get Too Tight given at IMS on August 2, 2011 – 64 minutes, 44.3 MB (Download, Stream)
Ariya B. Baumann
Ariya B. Baumann was a Buddhist nun for 21 years in Burma where she practiced under the guidance of Sayadaw U Janaka. Now she is based in Switzerland and teaches metta and vipassana meditation retreats worldwide.
Bhante Buddharakkhita was born in Uganda. Meditating since 1993, he was ordained as a Theravada Buddhist monk in 2002 and teaches worldwide. Founder of the Uganda Buddhist Centre, he is also the spiritual advisor of Flowering Lotus in Mississippi, and author of Planting Dhamma Seeds.
Howard Cohn has been leading vipassana retreats internationally since 1985. A psychotherapist and an original member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council, he brings joy and passion to his teaching with an emphasis on reawakening our natural freedom.
Mark Coleman has taught retreats since 1997, following extensive training in several Buddhist traditions. He leads Wilderness Meditation courses, mindfulness teacher trainings, has a private practice in counseling and coaching, and is the author of Awake in the Wild.
Chris Cullen trained as a dharma teacher with Christina Feldman. He teaches mindfulness courses through the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre, including on-going courses for MPs in Parliament in London. Chris co-founded the UK-based Mindfulness in Schools Project .
Matthew Daniell has practiced Buddhism since 1985. He is a founder and the guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport, MA, and a member of the religious services department at Phillips Exeter Academy. He teaches nationally.
Bonnie Duran, Dr.P.H., began Buddhist meditation practice 30 years ago. She is currently participating in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program. An associate professor of public health, she conducts research in partnership with US tribal organizations.
Jean Esther has trained in meditation since 1975. She teaches at Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley, MA, Smith College and nationally. She also integrates the Buddha's teachings on love and wisdom within her psychotherapy practice in Western MA.
Andrea Fella has practiced insight meditation since 1996, studying with both Western and Asian teachers. With an emphasis on clarity and practicality, she teaches at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA, and nationally.
Anushka Fernandopulle is on the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and works as a leadership coach and management consultant. Her teaching is informed by creative arts, nature, political engagement and modern urban life.
Listen to one of Anushka's talks: Metta: Digging a Good Trench in the Heart given at IMS on August 1, 2009 – 54 minutes, 37.6 MB (Download, Stream)
Patricia Genoud-Feldman has been practicing Buddhist meditation (vipassana and Dzogchen) in Asia and the West since 1984 and teaching vipassana internationally since 1997. She is a co-founder and guiding teacher of the Meditation Centre Vimalakirti in Geneva, Switzerland.
Listen to one of Patricia's talks: Purifying the Mind and Heart given at IMS on November 13, 2008 – 66 minutes, 30.3 MB (Download, Stream)
JoAnna Harper is a participant in the current IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program. Her main focus is on working with youth through children's and teen sanghas, teen retreats, and involvement in the juvenile justice system. She is the mother of two children – her main inspirations.
Ven U Jagara
Ven U Jagara ordained in 1979 in Burma. He then spent 15 years meditating and studying in Sri Lanka. Since 1995, he has trained under Burmese master Pa Auk Sayadaw, who is renowned as a guide for jhana and vipassana practices.
Ajahn Jayanto entered the monastic community in 1989, training under Ajahn Sumedho and others in the Ajahn Chah forest monasteries in the UK and Thailand. Normally at Amaravati in England, he is also involved in exploring the prospects for a branch forest monastery in New England.
Caroline Jones, a member of the Gaia House teacher council, has been practicing meditation for 25 years and teaching since 2009. She is especially interested in exploring ways to bring the Buddha's teachings into our daily lives.
Ofosu Jones-Quartey has been practicing vipassana meditation since 2000. He is a member of the Bhavana Society community and a student of Bhante Buddharakkhita. He is also a solo artist, making both pop and Buddhist-inspired music.
Bhante Khippapanno, ordained a Buddhist monk in 1949, practiced vipassana in India and Burma with Dipa Ma, Mahasi Sayadaw and Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw. He founded Jetavana Vihara, Washington, DC, 1982, and Sakyamuni Meditation Center, CA, 1988. He helped establish Phuoc Son Meditation Center, Vietnam, 1994.
Kittisaro, a Rhodes Scholar, spent 15 years as a monk in the Forest sangha of Ajahn Chah. A director of Dharmagiri in South Africa, he has completed two year-long self retreats and teaches worldwide.
Listen to one of Kittisaro's talks: Ice to Water as Dukkha to Peace given at IMS on March 9, 2011 – 33 minutes, 22.7 MB (Download, Stream)
Madeline Klyne has loved the dharma since 1986. She is a co-founder of South Shore Insight Meditation Center, and teaches there and at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. Madeline also leads retreats for LGBTIQ communities at other meditation centers.
Listen to one of Madeline's talks: Life is Fleeting given at IMS on September 15, 2007 – 47 minutes, 21.5 MB (Download, Stream)
Dori Langevin, Psy.D., began teaching in 2003. She is especially interested in the sacred feminine and how Buddhist teachings can inform our relationships through embodied presence. She also values the interaction between mindfulness, addiction recovery and emotional healing.
Brian Lesage has studied in the Zen, Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism since 1988. He has taught meditation across the US since 2000 and currently teaches in the vipassana tradition. He also has a private Somatic Experiencing® practice.
Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey
Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey's meditation teaching aims to inspire the faith, determination and skill necessary to realize the deepest human freedom.
Listen to one of Jesse's talks: Rooting Our Faith in the Deepest Truth given at IMS on June 11, 2011 – 55 minutes, 38.2 MB (Download, Stream)
Catherine McGee has practiced and studied Buddhist meditation since 1992, and has taught at Gaia House in England and internationally since 1997. She is also a student of the Diamond Approach of A.H. Almaas.
Ajahn Metta, born in Germany, received ordination as a siladhara (10-precept nun) in 1996 at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK. She is currently a senior nun at Cittaviveka Monastery , also in the UK.
Winnie Nazarko started dharma practice 30 years ago, asking, 'Why does there have to be suffering in the world?’ A graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program, she teaches to help individuals realize their full potential for clarity, balance, kindness and wisdom.
Listen to one of Winnie's talks: Seeing the Good given at IMS on November 11, 2011 – 55 minutes, 37.8 MB (Download, Stream)
Mark Nunberg began his Buddhist practice in 1982 and has been teaching meditation since 1990. He co-founded Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis, MN in 1993 and continues to serve as the center’s guiding teacher.
Susan O'Brien has been practicing vipassana meditation since 1980 and has studied with a variety of Western and Asian teachers. She began teaching in 1996 and coordinates the Insight Meditation correspondence course.
Listen to one of Susan's talks: Refuge given at IMS on July 13, 2010 – 51 minutes, 35.1 MB (Download, Stream)
John Peacock has taught meditation for almost 30 years. He currently teaches Buddhist Psychology at Oxford University in the MBCT masters program. He is also Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and is a member of Gaia House's Teacher Council.
Listen to one of John's talks: Embodying Your Intention given at IMS on July 15, 2012 - 48 minutes, 33 MB (Download, Stream)
Doug Phillips has taught insight meditation since 1995. The guiding teacher of Empty Sky Vipassana Sangha in West Cornwall, CT, he has been deeply influenced by Vimala Thakar and J. Krishnamurti, and is authorized to teach Koan Zen.
Deborah Ratner Helzer
Deborah Ratner Helzer has practiced with Western and Asian teachers in the Theravada tradition since 1995, including a year as a nun in Burma. She has been teaching in the Washington, DC, area and around the country since 2001.
Marcia Rose has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1970. She is the guiding teacher for The Mountain Hermitage in Taos, NM and was IMS Resident Teacher, 1991-1995. Her international teaching is rooted in the Mahasi and Pa Auk Forest Monastery lineages.
Listen to one of Marcia's talks: Kamma given at IMS on October 22, 2009 – 53 minutes, 33.4 MB (Download, Stream)
Greg Scharf has practiced with Western and Asian teachers in the Theravada tradition since 1992, and has been teaching residential retreats since 2007. His teaching emphasizes the confluence of love and wisdom on the path to liberation.
Listen to one of Greg's talks: Renunciation given at IMS on April 8, 2011 – 54 minutes, 37.6 MB (Download, Stream)
Tempel Smith spent a year ordained as a monk in Burma and teaches Buddhist psychology in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently part of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and co-leads the Dedicated Practitioner Program.
Ajahn Sucitto became a bhikkhu in Thailand in 1976. He has been closely associated with Ajahn Sumedho for over 30 years, and is currently abbot of Cittaviveka Buddhist Monastery in Chithurst, England. He has taught at IMS since 1989.
Sayadaw U Tejaniya
Sayadaw U Tejaniya trained under the late meditation master Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw. After a career in business and life as a householder, he became a monk in 1996. He is now the meditation teacher of the Shwe Oo Min meditation center in Yangon, Burma. The author of Dhamma Everywhere, he also teaches worldwide.
Thanissara, a practitioner since 1975, was a Buddhist nun for 12 years and teaches internationally. She is a director of Dharmagiri in South Africa and has an M.A. in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice.
Listen to one of Thanissara's talks: Without Walls of the Mind given at IMS on March 10, 2011 – 39 minutes, 27 MB (Download, Stream)
Sayadaw U Vivekananda
Sayadaw U Vivekananda has trained under Ven. Sayadaw U Pandita since 1988. He has taught internationally since 1998, guiding meditators in English, Burmese, German and French. He is the resident teacher at Panditarama Lumbini International Vipassana Meditation Center in Nepal.
Spring Washam, a founding teacher of the East Bay Meditation Center teaches Vipassana and metta retreats nationally. She is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and is a pioneer in bringing mindfulness based teachings to inner city communities.
Listen to one of Spring's talks: Freedom Through Letting Go given at IMS on September 24, 2011 – 60 minutes, 41.7 MB (Download, Stream)
Lila Kate Wheeler
Lila Kate Wheeler began practicing vipassana in 1977. Her practice honors a variety of Buddhist lineages. In addition to teaching meditation, she writes fiction, travel journalism and spiritual essays. She lives in Somerville, MA, with her husband, an anthropologist.
Listen to one of Lila's talks: Unconditional Mindfulness given at IMS on January 28, 2011 – 60 minutes, 41.1 MB (Download, Stream)
Larry Yang has taught meditation since 1999. He is a Spirit Rock Meditation Center teacher and a core teacher of the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA and the guiding teacher of the Insight Community of the Desert in Palm Springs, CA
Listen to a Sangha News interview with Larry & Gina Sharpe: Diverse World, Diverse Sangha, June 2010 – 12 minutes, 8.5 MB (Download)