IMS Teacher

Shaila Catherine

Listen to a Featured Talk

Commitment to Enlightenment

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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

Ignatius House
Atlanta, Georgia

This will be a small retreat. Please review the precautions Shaila and Ignatius House  are taking to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus.

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: Now —Sep 27, 2020
COURSE: Sep 30 — Dec 30, 2020

Many kinds of thoughts can distract us from being mindful and disrupt our concentration: obsessive planning, worrying, lustful thoughts, judging, memories, and internal commentaries, to name a few. This course will explore a sequence of practical strategies for dealing with obstructive mental patterns derived from two discourses taught by the Buddha (MN 19 and 20).

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.

REGISTER: Now —Oct 8, 2020
COURSE: Oct 9 — 11, 2020

This at-home online weekend retreat will include precise instructions and ample support for exploring the body as composed of the Four Great Elements. These practices are included in the first establishment of mindfulness presented in the Satipatthana Sutta. The four elements meditation practices are a traditional method for examining the body, the nature of matter, and all material experiences.

Please join us as we deepen our practice together through a program of live video conferences with Shaila Catherine. The online meetings will include guided meditations, Dharma talks, question and answer sessions, and small group discussions. More information and a link to join the video conferences will be emailed after registering.

For move information see the course description.

Redwood Glen Conference and Retreat Center
Loma Mar, California

We are planning to hold this retreat and take preventative measures regarding COVID-19. If you are interested in attending, please register now. Closer to the time of the retreat we will send participants guidelines for reducing the spread of the coronavirus which will include limiting attendance, wearing masks indoors, increasing ventilation, social distancing, daily temperature checks, self-scheduled and solitary practice periods along with other guidelines.

Mental restlessness is an insidious and pervasive hindrance that most practitioners struggle to overcome. We can refine our skills for working with the modes of thinking that distract us from being mindful: critical thoughts, planning, worrying, lustful thoughts, judging, memories, internal commentaries, to name a few. The teachings on this retreat will present a sequence of strategies for dealing with obstructive mental patterns; these progressive instructions are found in two discourses in the Middle Length Discourses (suttas 19 and 20). Practitioners will be encouraged to develop a mindfulness-based meditation practice, while exploring these strategies. The practice can free the mind from habitual distractions, nurture calm, concentration, and jhana, and incline toward a liberating understanding of emptiness.

This retreat is suitable for practitioners of any level, providing you have attended at least one prior silent residential retreat.

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