We invite meditation teachers who are trained in how to teach meditation and follow the teacher’s code of ethics. Most of them are from the Insight (Vipassana) tradition although a few come from other traditions.
See below for teachers who are on this year’s programme:
Ajahn Amaro was born 1956 in England; he went to London University and graduated with a joint honours degree in psychology & physiology. He was ordained as a monk by Ven. Ajahn Chah in April 1979. He trained in England from 1979 to 1995 under Ven. Ajahn Sumedho and started going to the USA to teach in 1990; in June 1996 he opened Abhayagiri Monastery, in Redwood Valley, California. He was co-abbot there, with Ajahn Pasanno, until 2010 when, on Ajahn Sumedho’s retirement, he took up the role of abbot at Amaravati Monastery, in Hertfordshire. He has authored or co-authored about 20 books on Buddhist themes. In 2015 he was honoured by the King of Thailand with the title Chao Khun Videsabuddhiguna.
Ajahn Sucitto was one of the original group who founded Chithurst Monastery (Cittaviveka) in West Sussex in 1979 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 for commercial distribution, as well as several books for free distribution. Many free books, podcasts, audio files and CDs are available from the websites below.
Ayya Canda began meditating in 1996 in the Goenka tradition. She spent the next 7 years meditating and giving voluntary service on numerous retreats throughout India, Nepal and Europe. In 2006, after graduating in Ayurvedic medicine, she ordained with Sayadaw U Pannyajota at Thephyu Tawya monastery, Burma and trained there for the next four years. In 2010 she contacted the teachings of Ajahn Brahm, which compelled her to leave Burma. She has been living in Australia since 2012 where she joined the nuns community of Dhammasara monastery, Perth. Ven Canda took Bhikkhuni ordination in 2014, and has recently been asked by her teacher Ajahn Brahm to establish a monastery for nuns in the UK. Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project was established for this purpose. (www.anukampaproject.org).
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.
Catherine McGee is LIM’s advisory teacher and 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.
Christina Feldman is a co-founder of Gaia House and a member 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. Her most recent book Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology, is written with Willem Kuyken.
Chris Cullen has practised and studied the Buddha’s teachings since 1994 and has been teaching Insight Meditation retreats in the UK and internationally since 2011. He is also on the teaching team of the University of Oxford’s Mindfulness Centre, teaching Buddhist psychology on the Masters course in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and running the mindfulness programme in the UK Parliament. He has a psychotherapy practice in Oxford.
Jake Dartington has practised Buddhist meditation since 1995 and trained as a teacher with Christina Feldman. He began to teach retreats and meditation courses in 2007. As well as leading retreats at Gaia House, Jake teaches with organisations including Yoga London, Bahia Yoga, Sheffield Insight and Oxford Gaia House Retreats. He has also completed Mindfulness teacher training courses with Bangor University and regularly teaches eight-week courses in Nottingham.
Visit Jake’s website here
Visit Jake’s YouTube channel here
Jaya Karen Rudgard began meditating in the 1980s and practised for eight years as a nun in the Thai Forest tradition in England with Ven. Ajahn Sumedho as her teacher. She is a graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and teaches Insight Meditation and mindfulness in the UK and internationally.
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.
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.
John Teasdale was one of the co-developers of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, and has co-authored three books on that subject. For 30 years he worked for the Medical Research Council as a research clinical psychologist in Oxford and Cambridge. After retiring, he trained as a teacher with Christina Feldman and taught retreats internationally with her. He is currently exploring ways to understand mindfulness and inner awakening from a cognitive evolutionary perspective.
Martin Aylward went to India aged 19 and spent almost 5 years living in Asian monasteries, retreat centers, and with Himalayan hermits. He has been teaching dharma worldwide for 20 years and is guiding teacher of the retreat centre Moulin de Chaves in SW France, where he lives with his wife Gail, and where their (now adult) 2 children were raised. He is founding and guiding teacher of Worldwide Insight and co-founder and director of the Mindfulness Training Institute which has trained over 200 Mindfulness teachers in 25 countries. Martin takes groups of Dharma students to India and Bhutan, and in 2015 was invited by the Bhutanese government to speak at TEDx Thimphu. His teaching integrates a depth of experience in the Asian traditions in a contemporary context and language, and focusses on the inherent free-ness that is the ground of our human nature. Martin is the author of Ne te quittes pas: Le corps au coeur de la méditation, soon to be published in English as Living fully, dying freely: Meditative practices for embodied awakening
Maura Sills is the Founder of Core Process Psychotherapy which offers an innovative psycho-spiritual approach to therapy. The Karuna Institute integrates western psychotherapeutic models with Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practices. Drawing on over 30 years of experience, Core Process Psychotherapy offers a depth understanding of what helps and hinders healing insight and transformation.
Maura is an Honorary Fellow of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and Director of Training at the Karuna Institute which offers Master Degree Programmes in Buddhist Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy along with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Retreat. Click here to visit The Karuna Institute’s website.
Stephen Batchelor is a writer, teacher, collagist and photographer. He is a founding member of Bodhi College. Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World will be published by Yale University Press in spring 2017.
Dr. Stephen Fulder was born in London in 1946 and educated at Oxford. He has a Ph.D in molecular biology and was a lecturer at London University, and then worked in the field of herbal and complementary medicine about which he has had 14 books published. He is the founder and senior teacher of Tovana (the Israel Insight Society), the largest organisation in Israeli that brings mindfulness, Vipassana and dharma teachings to thousands of participants yearly. He has been involved in dharma practice since 1975, has spent years in India and has been guided by a variety of teachers from Burma, India and the West. Stephen has been teaching for 25 years, mostly in Israel but also abroad, and teaches a large number of retreats, courses and classes annually, especially to more advanced practitioners. He has been involved for many years in peace work in the Middle East and was a founder of the MiddleWay organisation. His latest book Daily Life Awakening’was 18 weeks number one bestseller of instructional books in Israel and will be published in the UK and US in January under the title: What’s Beyond Mindfulness: Waking Up to This Precious Life’.
Click here for articles and talks.
Suvaco is a former Buddhist monk and a passionate advocate for embodying life in all of its forms. He lives in the South West UK where he works as a psychotherapist and Tai Qi teacher.
Vince Cullen is an ex-alcoholic who has been associated with the Wat Thamkrabok monastery in Thailand and Buddhist-oriented drug and alcohol recovery since 1998. Vince founded and has facilitated Fifth Precept Sangha meditation-for-awakening Sit-and-Share meetings in England, Scotland, Ireland, India, Nepal, Thailand and the USA as part of his ongoing teaching of Hungry Ghost Retreats. He is a charter member of the Buddhist Recovery Network.
Vince has completed both the Committed Dharma Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner programmes offered by Gaia House in England. Vince has completed the Mindfulness Teachers Development Programme offered by Bodhi College in Switzerland and the UK. Vince has twice taken temporary ordination in the unique Buddhist tradition practised at Wat Thamkrabok monastery in Thailand. He has previously been a Buddhist Prison Chaplain in both male and female prisons in the UK.
Vince was an alcoholic for much of his adult life; often wanting to have his own pub but as he says “luckily, I never got one!”. Now 22+ years sober, he has acquired ‘The Hilltop’ pub in Carrigahorig, Tipperary with plans to turn it into a residential mindfulness meditation centre renamed ‘Nalagiri House‘; a pub with no beer serving mindfulness to those with a thirst for true happiness.
Yanai has practised and studied Insight Meditation and Buddhism since 1990 and has been teaching internationally for over 20 years. He is much inspired by the Thai forest tradition and the transformative power of the natural world. He lives with his wife in Devon, England.
Zohar Lavie has been practising meditation in different traditions since 1995. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love and in 2004 she co-founded SanghaSeva. She now spends most of her time facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world. Since 2006 she has been teaching on silent retreats and Dharma gatherings in India, Europe and Israel.