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Teacher Profiles – Retreat Center 2015
Guy Armstrong has practiced insight meditation for over 40 years, including training as a Buddhist monk in Thailand with Ajahn Buddhadasa. He began teaching in 1984 and has led retreats worldwide. He is an IMS guiding teacher and a governing teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Listen to one of Guy's talks: Working with Difficult Emotions given at IMS on October 2, 2009 – 62 minutes, 42.5 MB (Download, Stream)
Sally Armstrong began practicing vipassana meditation in India in 1981, and started teaching in 1996. She is a co-guiding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and has also led Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program for 12 years.
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)
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 internationally with all curious people. Photo: © salva magaz/www.magaz.com
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)
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 holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, and also serves as an IMS guiding teacher.
Listen to one of Rebecca's talks: Happiness of Equanimity given at IMS on June 10, 2009 – 57 minutes, 38.5 MB (Download, Stream)
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.
Listen to one of Howard's talks: Happiness of a Buddha given at IMS on on January 31, 2013 – 62 minutes, 42.7 MB (Download, Stream)
Chas DiCapua 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)
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.
Listen to one of Andrea's talks: Dependant Origination given at IMS on October 10, 2013 – 61 minutes, 43.2 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 been a guiding teacher for more than 20 years at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. He has practiced insight meditation since 1974 and also trained with the late Master Sheng Yen. He encourages including all of life as an opportunity for awakening.
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)
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)
Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in Asia. He is a co-founder of IMS and Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and has taught meditation internationally since 1974. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of a number of books, including The Wise Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.
Listen to one of Jack's talks: The Garden of the Heart given at IMS on May 5, 2007 – 58 minutes, 26.6 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)
Kamala Masters, an IMS guiding teacher, began practicing in 1975. Trained by Anagarika Munindra and Sayadaw U Pandita, she offers the dharma in the US and abroad. She is also a co-founder and guiding teacher of the Vipassana Metta Foundation on Maui.
Listen to one of Kamala's talks: Three Pillars of the Dharma given at IMS on August 14, 2009 – 56 minutes, 38.3 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 taking part in Burma relief projects.
Winnie Nazarko started dharma practice 30 years ago, asking, "Why does there have to be suffering in the world?" 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)
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)
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)
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)
Gina Sharpe has studied and practiced the dharma for many years. She 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)
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)
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)
Ayya Anandabodhi has trained as a Buddhist nun since 1992. Her practice and teaching are guided by early Buddhist scriptures, and the Dharma that nature provides. She is co-founder of Aloka Vihara, a Theravada Forest Monastery in the Sierra Foothills, CA, where she currently resides.
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 and is a dharma leader at the Seattle Insight Meditation Society. An associate professor of public health, she directs the University of Washington’s Center for Indigenous Health Research.
Max Erdstein, a current participant in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training, has practiced meditation since 1999. Mentored by Gil Fronsdal, he teaches at the Insight Meditation Center and the Insight Retreat Center in CA. He is a husband and father of two girls.
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.
Anushka Fernandopulle is on the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and also works as a leadership coach and management consultant. Her teaching is informed by arts, nature, politics, social justice 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)
Trudy Goodman has practiced Zen and vipassana with Asian and Western teachers since 1974. She founded InsightLA in Los Angeles, co-founded the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy in Boston, and serves both as guiding teacher.
JoAnna Harper is a participant in the current IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and a lead teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society.
Madeline Klyne has loved the dharma since 1986. A co-founder of South Shore Insight Meditation Center, she teaches there and at the 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)
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 teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. He is the resident teacher for Vipassana Hawai’i and longtime student of Michele McDonald.
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.
George Mumford has taught meditation since 1986 in a range of environments, from prisons to Harvard Medical School. He is the author of The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance, published in 2015.
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 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.
Ayya Santacitta has practiced meditation since 1988 and has trained as a nun in both the East and West since 1993, primarily in the lineage of Ajahn Chah. She is co-founder of Aloka Vihara, a training monestary for women near Placerville, CA, and received bhikkhuni ordination in 2011.
Arinna Weisman is a founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley, MA, and co-author of A Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation. She teaches in the lineage of Ruth Denison and U Bha Khin. Her practice and teaching have been infused with her life experiences as an environmental and political activist.
Lila Kate Wheeler
Lila Kate Wheeler attended her first IMS retreat in 1977. She teaches insight and lovingkindness practices from Theravada, Himalayan and Western Buddhist traditions. Her aim is to help people find ease, re-training the heart and mind. She is also a writer.
Listen to one of Lila's talks: Unconditional Mindfulness given at IMS on January 28, 2011 – 60 minutes, 41.1 MB (Download, Stream)
Mary Gates has practiced insight meditation since 1998. Prior to that, she taught in the Christian contemplative tradition for 20 years and currently teaches at Empty Sky Sangha, CT. She is also a psychotherapist in private practice.
Tim Geil began practicing insight meditation in 1996 and has taught since 2006 under the guidance of Rodney Smith in Seattle, WA. He is currently participating in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training.
Peggy Gillespie studied to be a community dharma leader at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She teaches at the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley, MA, and is co-Buddhist advisor at Mt. Holyoke College. She is a journalist and the co-director/founder of Family Diversity Projects.
Alex Haley leads a weekly meditation group at Yoga Sol in Minneapolis, MN, as well as teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness at Work through the University of Minnesota. He is currently participating in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training.
Ed Hauben, a long-term meditator and friend of IMS for over 30 years, has served on its Board of Directors and assisted with the teen and family retreats since the 1980s.
Emily Horn’s approach as a meditation teacher revolves around the interwoven nature of contemplation, personal unfolding and daily life. She currently serves in the leadership of Buddhist Geeks and is in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training.
Ruth King has practiced vipassana since 1992. Mentored by Jack Kornfield and a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners’ Program, Ruth teaches nationwide. She has a master's degree in Clinical Psychology, and founded the Mindful Members Practice Community in Charlotte, NC.
John Martin is in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training. He leads an insight meditation group in San Francisco, volunteers in hospice care and continues a long retreat practice. His primary teachers have been Sylvia Boorstein and Joseph Goldstein.
Yuka Nakamura has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1993 in the Theravada, Dzogchen and Zen traditions, and is currently being trained as a teacher by Fred von Allmen. Living in Switzerland, she works as a psychologist and teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
Milena Cardenas Ophuls
Milena Cardenas Ophuls has practiced vipassana since 1996. In her native Colombia, she was a licensed psychologist. Currently in training with Rebecca Bradshaw, she looks forward to teaching the dharma in English and Spanish.
Vance Pryor, Psy. D., began insight meditation in 1998. He spent time as a monk with Sayadaw U Tejaniya and continues to make regular practice trips to Myanmar. He is currently being trained as a teacher by Steve Armstrong and Kamala Masters.
Alexis Santos has practiced insight meditation since 2001. A longtime student of Sayadaw U Tejaniya, his teaching emphasizes knowing the mind through a natural and relaxed continuity. He brings a practical, intuitive and compassionate approach to the development of wisdom.
Sara Schedler has practiced insight meditation for 15 years, and has undergone long-term training in both Asia and the West. She has taught at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center for the past two years.
Jill Shepherd is a participant in the current IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training. She divides her time between the US, Australia and New Zealand, teaching insight meditation retreats and offering study and practice groups focused on bringing the dharma into daily life.
Oren J. Sofer
Oren J. Sofer has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1997, and is a longtime student of both Joseph Goldstein and Ven. Ajahn Sucitto. He is a current participant in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training, and also a Somatic Experiencing practitioner for healing trauma.
Erin Treat is a participant in the current IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and has been teaching meditation since 2005. She is also a student of the Diamond Approach of A.H. Almaas and has been a practicing bodyworker for 20 years.