IMS Teacher

Shaila Catherine

Listen to a Featured Talk

Commitment to Enlightenment

Listen to more talks

IMS Teacher

Shaila Catherine

Listen to a Featured Talk

Commitment to Enlightenment

Listen to more talks

Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a center for mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom in Silicon Valley, California.

Shaila began meditating in 1980, and has accumulated more than nine years of silent retreat experience. She has practiced with Western and Asian teachers, and devoted several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal, and Thailand. Shaila completed a one-year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana using the breath as the primary object, and has dedicated seven retreat months to developing Brahma Viharas. From 2006-2014 Shaila trained in both samadhi and vipassana under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw of Myanmar.

Shaila began teaching in 1996 at the invitation of Christopher Titmuss. She leads retreats worldwide, and offers online courses. Her teachings reflect her love of the Discourses of the Buddha, deep commitment to retreat practice, confidence in the liberating goal, appreciation of meditative techniques, and a pervasive curiosity about the functioning of mind.

Shaila Catherine - Concentration and Jhana

Outside Events

Redwood Glen Conference and Retreat Center
Loma Mar, California

This ten-day residential retreat will utilize mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati) and loving-kindness (metta) to cultivate concentration. The instructions will emphasize developing five factors that intensify focused attention and characterize the blissful states of meditative absorption known as jhana. The five factors are applied attention, sustained attention, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness of mind.

Daily group instructions will explore mindfulness with breathing (anapanasati) and loving-kindness (metta). Group and one-to-one guidance will tailor the practices to meet the needs and interests of individual students.

For more information, visit the event webpage.

REGISTER: Nov 15, 2019 — Feb 29, 2020
COURSE: Mar 4 — May 3, 2020

This online course offers an in-depth exploration of Mettā—the quality of loving kindness, goodwill, and friendliness toward all beings. Both study and practice will be encouraged. We will study selections from the early discourses of the Buddha to consider the contexts in which, and the purposes for which, the Buddha taught mettā.

This online course includes: recorded lectures,reading assignments, sutta study, guided meditations, peer led discussion forums and optional audio conferences with Shaila Catherine.

For move information see the course description.

Saratoga Springs Retreat Center
Upper Lake, California

This retreat will utilize the breath as the primary meditation object and will encourage the development of meditative skills that lead to deep concentration (samadhi) and insight (vipassana). Daily group instructions will focus on the sixteen steps in the Anapanasati Sutta as a route to jhana and/or liberating insight. Meetings with the teacher in small groups and one-on-one dialogs will tailor the practices to meet the needs and interests of individual students. Some students may choose to emphasize concentration practice throughout the retreat; others may emphasize vipassana; and some may practice both concentration and insight inconjunction with mindfulness of breathing.

For more information, visit the event webpage.

REGISTER: May 1 — Aug 24, 2020
COURSE: Aug 28 — Nov 15, 2020

This course will focus on cultivation of the five jhāna factors — directed and sustained attention, joy, happiness, and one-pointed attention. These factors develop in the natural course of concentration. The jhāna factors overpower hindrances, develop powerful mental skills, strengthen the stability of mind, and enhance deep happiness as the mind prepares for jhāna absorption. This course is suitable for students with previous mindfulness-based meditation experience.

For more information, see the course description.

Ignatius House
Atlanta, Georgia

This retreat will utilize the breath as the primary meditation object and will encourage the development of meditative skills that lead to deep concentration (samadhi) and insight (vipassana). Daily group instructions will focus on the sixteen steps in the Anapanasati Sutta as a route to jhana and/or liberating insight. Meetings with the teacher in small groups and one-on-one dialogs will tailor the practices to meet the needs and interests of individual students. Some students may choose to emphasize concentration practice throughout the retreat; others may emphasize vipassana; and some may practice both concentration and insight inconjunction with mindfulness of breathing.

For more information, visit the event webpage.

For more retreats with Shaila, see her retreat schedule at Insight Meditation South Bay. For Shaila’s online classes see the courses page at BodhiCourses.org.

Featured Books

Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm and Clarity
Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana

By understanding that the problem lies in the clinging, we learn to let go.

Shaila Catherine