We invite only the best teachers to lead our events.
This means meditation teachers who:
• are highly experienced meditators
• have successfully completed an in-depth training in how to teach meditation
• follow the insight meditation teachers’ code of ethics when leading our events
For events which are not primarily about meditation, such as dialogues and communication workshops, the criteria we use to select teachers may be slightly different. We always however seek out the best and most experienced teachers, and ensure they are happy to follow the same code of ethics.
All our teachers have – or are rapidly gaining – international reputations for the quality of their work. Many are based at Gaia House or at other leading insight meditation centres overseas.
Teachers receive no payment from London Insight beyond their travel expenses. However you are invited to make a voluntary contribution to their livelihood at events.
Akincano is a Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist. A meditator since
1982, he has practised 20 years as a monastic in the forest monasteries of Thailand
and Europe and is interested in early Buddhist texts, contemplative psychology and
stillness. He lives in Cologne and teaches internationally.
Martin Aylward began dharma practice in 1990 aged 19. He spent several years living in monasteries and hermitages in Asia, before co-founding the Moulin retreat centre in south-west France where he lives as resident teacher. Martin leads retreats and offers teachings worldwide, emphasising a creative and all-inclusive dharma practice that we can bring to wherever and however we are. Martin has been influenced by different streams of Buddhist teachings, plus the several years he spent living with Himalayan hermits, and the teachings of the Diamond Approach of A.H. Almaas.
James Baraz has been teaching meditation since 1978 and the Awakening Joy course since 2003. He leads retreats, workshops and classes in the U.S. and abroad and is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. James is co-author with Shoshana Alexander of Awakening joy, a new book based on the course. In addition, James is on the international advisory board of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He lives with his wife in the Bay area and has two sons and three grandchildren.
Jane Baraz is a life coach, founding Board Member of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Awakening Joy teacher.
Martine lived in Korea as a Zen nun for ten years. She is the author of Meditation for life, The path of compassion, Women in Korean Zen, and Let go: a Buddhist guide to breaking free of habits. She is a member of the Gaia House teacher council. She teaches worldwide and lives in south-west France. Martine’s most recent publication is The spirit of the Buddha.
Stephen studied for eight years under the guidance of Tibetan lamas and completed a three-year Zen training in Korea. A former Buddhist monk, he is the author of Alone with others, The faith to doubt, The awakening of the West, Buddhism without beliefs, and Living with the Devil. His most recent publication is Confession of a Buddhist atheist. Stephen is a member of the Gaia House teacher council and teaches retreats and seminars worldwide. He lives in south-west France with his wife Martine.
Bhante Bodhidhamma began his meditation in the Soto Zen tradition in 1978 and has practised widely in the Theravada tradition, centring on the Mahasi tradition. In 1986, he ordained and subsequently spent eight years at Kanduboda Meditation Centre in Sri Lanka. From June 2001-2005, he was teacher in residence at Gaia House. He founded Satipanya Buddhist Retreat, dedicated to the Mahasi tradition, on the borders of Wales in 2007.
Leigh Brasington has been practicing since 1985 and is the senior American student of the late Ven. Ayya Khema. She confirmed Leigh's practice and requested that he begin teaching. Leigh assisted Venerable Ayya Khema starting in 1994 and began teaching retreats in 1997. He continues to teach in Europe and North America.
Beginning with The Tassajara bread book in 1970, Edward Espe Brown has been inspiring cooks and bakers to wake up and realize their capacity to nourish themselves and others with their labors in the kitchen.
Ordained as a Zen priest by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1971, he has been leading meditation retreats and cooking classes for more than 25 years. His edited talks by Suzuki Roshi, Not always so, was published in 2001.
The subject of a documentary movie How to cook your life, directed by Doris Doerrie, his Complete Tassajara cookbook came out in 2009.
Rob Burbea has been practising and studying Buddhist meditation and dharma since 1985 with teachers in England and the USA. He has been teaching since 2004 and is currently resident teacher at Gaia House and a teacher council member. He is a co-founder of SanghaSeva, an organisation dedicated to exploring the Dharma through service work internationally, and also a co-initiator of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE).
Paul Burrows has been a student of both Asian and senior western dharma teachers since 2000. He has practiced in ashrams, Buddhist monasteries and retreat centres in the UK, India and Nepal and began leading retreats in the insight meditation tradition in 2007. His teachings and practice emphasise connecting with others, and awakening to how we create and are created by the world around us.
Mark Coleman has practised Buddhist meditation since 1984. He is a Spirit Rock meditation teacher and has been teaching insight meditation retreats since 1997. He also leads wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru, integrating mindfulness meditation with nature. He is author of Awake in the wild: mindfulness in nature as a path of self-discovery. Mark is a psychotherapist, life-coach and mindfulness consultant to corporations. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast and passionate about combining the forces of meditation, silence and nature.
Chris Cullen works as a mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist. He trained to teach insight meditation with Christina Feldman, and teaches on retreats at Gaia House in Devon. Chris co-directs the Mindfulness in Schools Project, and runs mindfulness courses for musicians and actors at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He has recently completed a Master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at the University of Oxford, and teaches at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
Now retired, Don Cupitt was an Anglican priest for over 30 years, and taught philosophy of religion at Cambridge for a similar time. He has written extensively about his spiritual journey away from conventional Christianity towards an approach focused on this life and this world. He rejects any belief in the supernatural and sees religion as a human construct rather than revealed truth.
Jake Dartington has practised Buddhist meditation since 1995 and trained as a dharma teacher with Christina Feldman. He has been teaching meditation retreats at Gaia House and around the UK since 2007. Jake also teaches Religious Studies and Philosophy at Bilborough College in Nottingham.
Pablo Das is a member of the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society teacher counscil. He was trained and enpowered by Noah Levine and teaches regularly at ATS centres in Los Angeles, at various ATS groups, and at retreats internationally. Professionally, he works as a mindfulness-based wellness, nutrition and recovery coach integrating mindfulness practices and Buddhist principles in his private "in person" (and phone based) counselling work. Pablo is an advocate for a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and "other identified" voices in western Buddhism and runs an LGBTQ group at the ATS centre. He has worked in suicide prevention in the LGBTQ youth population. Finally, Pablo is an indie-folk (antifolk) musician who tours internationally, transforming monotonous Buddhist chants into indie rock retreat hits.
Locana (Elizabeth English) has been a practising Buddhist within the Triratna Buddhist Community (formerly Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) for 28 years. She received her Buddhist name, Locana, when she was ordained in 2002–the same year that her doctoral thesis on the tantric deity, Vajrayogini, was published by Wisdom Publications. In 2004, she became an internationally certified trainer in nonviolent communication™ (NVC), later in focusing. She has practised mindfulness and other meditations for over 30 years. She is currently working on a book about communication which combines and explores these approaches. For the past eight years, Locana has introduced these methods in professional and personal fields, working with communication issues and personal development in a wide range of environments, such as businesses, doctors, the police, as well as with people from many different Buddhist traditions.
Christina Feldman is a co-founder of Gaia House and amember of the Gaia House teacher council. She has been leading insight meditation retreats worldwide since 1976. She is a guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts. Her books include Woman awake, The way of meditation, Silence, Compassion and The Buddhist path to simplicity.
Vinny Ferraro has been practising meditation since 1993. He has studied with several renowned teachers including Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Sumedho and the Dalai Lama. In 1998, he spent a year sitting bedside with the dying through the San Francisco Zen Center hospice programme. Since 2000 Vinny has led workshops for youth in schools internationally for a non-profit organisation called Challenge Day, which led him to facilitate a group of teens and their families for the Oprah Show. He has taught meditation to incarcerated youth and adults and is currently training dharma teachers to do the same for MBA, the Mind Body Awareness Project. He is a Spirit Rock community dharma leader and has been teaching the weekly Friday night insight meditation group, Dharma Punx, in San Francisco since 2004.
Nathan has been actively practising and serving the dharma since 1999.
In addition to a great love of silent practice, he is involved in organising and facilitating retreats that encourage inner transformation and individual empowerment.
In addition to SanghaSeva programs, Nathan has assisted and taught meditation in India and Israel.
Having played a central role in bringing meditation to the West, Joseph Goldstein is one of the world's most respected Buddhist teachers. He has been teaching worldwide for over 35 years and in 1974 he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg and remains its guiding teacher. He is the author of One dharma: The emerging western Buddhism, Insight meditation: the practice of freedom, The experience of insight, and co-author of Seeking the heart of wisdom and Insight meditation: a correspondence course.
Kevin Griffin is the author of One breath at a time: Buddhism and the twelve steps and A burning desire: dharma, God and the path of recovery. He is a leader in the mindful recovery movement and a co-founder of the Buddhist Recovery Network. He teaches at treatment centres, spiritual centres, professional conferences, and colleges internationally. He trained as a community dharma leader at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, in Marin County, California.
Rick Hanson, PhD, is a neuropsychologist and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, he teaches at universities and meditation centres in Europe, Australia, and North America. His work has been featured on the BBC and in Consumer Reports Health, U.S. News and World Report, and other major magazines.
He most recent book is Buddha’s brain: the practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom, which has been published in twelve languages. An authority on self-directed neuroplasticity, he edits the Wise brain bulletin, has a weekly e-newsletter, "Just one thing", and his "Your wise brain" blog is on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites. He has several audio programmes with Sounds True, and his first book was Mother nurture: a mother’s guide to health in body, mind, and intimate relationships.
He is currently a trustee of Saybrook University, and a member of the board of the Tricycle Foundation. He also served on the board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center for nine years.
Phyllis K. Hicks, DMin, NCLPC, is a senior insight dialogue teacher and
serves on Metta Programs Teachers Council. Phyllis is a licensed
psychotherapist and minister. For twenty-five years she has brought
together eastern and western understandings of psychology and
> contemplative practice in a clinical setting. She has studied with a
variety of vipassana teachers and trained and taught with Gregory Kramer
since 2004. She is a guiding teacher for Triangle Insight and teaches
mindfulness-based stress reduction at Duke Integrative Medicine. She
directs the Pastoral Care and Counseling Institute of Durham, North
Carolina, a nonprofit centre for counseling and clinical education where
she also offers mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and courses in
Caroline Jones has been practising meditation for 20 years and teaching for the last four. She is especially interested in exploring ways of bringing the Buddha's teachings into the nitty gritty of our daily lives. She has led retreats at Gaia House and elsewhere. She has spent four three-month periods as resident teacher at Gaia House and is a member of the Gaia House teacher council.
Kirsten Kratz has practised Buddhist meditation with several teachers in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006 and since 2008 has taught at Gaia House. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate and compassionate responses to the challenges of our time. Kirsten also teaches retreats with SanghaSeva combining dharma practice and service, in the UK and abroad.
Kittisaro from Tennessee USA, was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford before going to Thailand to ordain with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He was a monk for 15 years and during that time helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the UK. He also taught extensively during this time and was involved in the training of monks. He disrobed in 1991 and since then has taught internationally, with his wife Thanissara, in the States, Europe, Africa, Canada and Israel. He has studied and practised Chan and Pure Land for 20 years, informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua. Kittisaro has completed two one-year long retreats and is currently writing in between continuing his teaching engagements.
Gregory Kramer, PhD, is the founder and guiding teacher of Metta Programs and has been teaching insight meditation since 1980. He developed the practice of insight dialogue and has been teaching it
since 1995, offering retreats in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. He has studied with esteemed teachers, including Anagarika Dhammadina, Ven. Ananda Maitreya, Achan Sobin Namto, and Ven. Punnaji Maha Thero. Gregory is the author of Insight dialogue: the interpersonal path to freedom; Seeding the heart: practicing lovingkindness with children; Meditating together, speaking from silence: the practice of insight dialogue; and Dharma contemplation: meditating together with wisdom texts.
Zohar fell in love with meditation in 2000 and has been following after her heart ever since. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love. She now spends most of her time dreaming up and facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world.
Her practice involves relaxing into life with love. In 2006 she began assisting with teaching on Opendharma's Israel retreat.
Noah Levine, author of Dharma punx and Against the stream, is a Buddhist teacher, author and counselor. He is the founding teacher of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, with a center in Los Angeles and over 20 affiliated groups around North America. Noah lives in Los Angeles.
Visit Noah's website (includes links to several other sites from Noah)
Catherine McGee has practised and studied Buddhist meditation since 1992. She has been teaching insight meditation at Gaia House and internationally since 1997. She is a member of the Gaia House teacher council. She is particularly interested in the integration and embodiment of insight into our personal lives, and the opening of our personal lives for a depth of insight. Her practice is more recently influenced by the Diamond Approach of A H Almaas.
Anne Michel has been practising vipassana meditation since 1973. Having brought up a family, as well as working professionally and maintaining her meditation practice, she has been teaching for 15 years. She deepened her path with many monastic and lay teachers, both in Theravada and the Tibetan tradition. Her main teachers have been Ajahn Sumedho and Jack Kornfield. Over the last few years she has trained to be an insight dialogue teacher with Gregory Kramer, which allows the extension of vipassana practise into inter-relational exercises.
John Peacock is both an academic and Buddhist practitioner for over forty years. He
initially trained in the Tibetan Gelukpa tradition. Subsequently, he studied
Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. At present he teaches Buddhist psychology on the
mindfulness-based cognitive therapy masters at Oxford University. He is also a
member of Gaia House's teacher council.
Yanai Postelnik has practised and studied insight meditation and Buddha-dharma in Asia and the West for many years. He has been teaching since 1992 and leads retreats world-wide. He lives in Devon, England and is a guiding teacher of Gaia House.
Brad Richecoeur has been practicing insight meditation and qigong for over 20 years. He is a senior student of Master Zhixing Wang, and brings a meditative inquiry into the nature of health, healing and embodied presence. He is the co-founder of Qigong Southwest and is also a craniosacral therapist and a senior tutor on the craniosacral therapy training at the Karuna Institute, Devon.
Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, USA. She has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. She teaches both intensive awareness practice (vipassana or insight meditation) and the profound
cultivation of lovingkindness and compassion.
Sharon's latest book in the UK is The power of meditation: a 28-day programme for real happiness (a New York Times best seller in the US).
Visit Sharon's website
Maura Sills S.R.O.T., U.K.C.P.reg. first qualified as an occupational therapist in 1971. She was senior lecturer in Applied Psychiatry and Group Psychotherapy at the London School of Occupational Therapy, and district head occupational therapist at the Middlesex Hospital, London. In America, she worked at Stanford University Medical Centre in the Department for Comprehensive Medicine, and studied at Esalen with Joan Fiore and Dick Price. On her return to Britain, Maura returned to her clinical practice and began offering trainings in core process psychotherapy. She and Franklyn co-founded the Karuna Institute in 1984. Maura was a founding member of the Association for Accredited Psychospiritual Psychotherapists, and a co-ordinator of the Spiritual Emergency Network UK. Maura offers teachings and retreats internationally.
Maura became involved in Buddhism in London in the early seventies. Her first seven years of Buddhist practice were in the Chan tradition. In the USA she studied Tibetan Buddhism as a Kum Nye student at the Nyingma Institute, Berkeley. She subsequently met Rina Sircar, a Theravadin teacher of the Burmese forest tradition, and soon after met her teacher, Taungpulu Kaba Aye Sayadaw.
Ajahn Sucitto was one of the original group who founded Chithurst Monastery (Cittaviveka) in West Sussex in 1979. He has also helped to establish other monasteries: Aruna Ratanagiriin Northumberland in 1981, and Amaravati near Hemel Hempstead in 1984. He has been teaching retreats in Britain and overseas since 1981, and has authored Rude awakenings and Turning the wheel of truth as well as several books for free distribution. Many free books, podcasts and CDs are available from the websites below.
Bhikkhu Sukhacitto is an insight dialogue teacher. He was born in Germany in 1963 and first came into contact with Buddhism in 1986 in Thailand by attending a meditation retreat, offered through Wat Suan Mokkh. He ordained there as a novice in 1989 and as a bhikkhu in 1990. He moved to the West in 1993. Since then he has lived at various monasteries in the West, including six years at Dhammapala Monastery in Switzerland and at Amaravati since April 2009.
John Teasdale has been practising insight meditation for more than a decade. Since 1992, he has been involved in the development and teaching of clinical applications of mindfulness meditation. He has trained with Christina Feldman and has run mindfulness workshops nationally and internationally. John is a co-author of a number of books, including Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression.
Thanissara started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975 and after meeting Ajahn Chah went on to ordain as a Buddhist nun for 12 years. She has facilitated retreats internationally for the last 20 years and was a guiding teacher at the Buddhist Retreat Centre, South Africa, for 7 years. With her husband Kittisaro, she established Dharmagiri Hermitage and Outreach, a centre on the border of Lesotho, of which she is currently a director. She is a co-facilitator of Spirit Rock community dharma leader programme in the US and has an MA in Buddhist psychotherapy practice from Karuna Institute and Middlesex University.
Dr Jill Broadbent has been a practising Buddhist within the Triratna Buddhist Community for 20 years; her Buddhist name within the order is Vajraghanta. She is an internationally certified trainer in nonviolent communication™. With her husband, Richard Broadbent, she founded the Centre for Compassionate Communication, which offers courses to support people in developing compassion within relationship.
Mark Williams is Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He has held previous posts at the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge and the University of Wales, Bangor. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Fellow of the British Academy.
His life’s work has been research on how and why people respond differently to stress and failure: some by trying harder, others by giving up. He is particularly interested in understanding how best to build resilience and mental fitness in order to prevent exhaustion, burn-out and depression.
Jenny Wilks has practised Buddhist meditation for many years and has an MA in Indian religions. She has taught on retreats and dharma gatherings since 2005, is a regular teacher at the Barn retreat centre at Sharpham in Devon, and has been teaching at Gaia House since 2008. Jenny trained as a clinical psychologist; she leads mindfulness-based therapy groups in healthcare settings and for the general public and teaches and supervises on the MBCT diploma course at Exeter University.
For some London Insight events, such as workshops, we don't have a teacher. In this case, the event is run by a facilitator or leader. As with our teachers, we always seek out the best and most experienced people for this role, and ensure they are happy to follow the same code of ethics as our teachers.