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
Born in Norway in 1964, Ajahn Brahmali felt a strong calling to Buddhism and meditation in his early 20’s after a visit to Japan. Having completed master degrees in engineering and finance, he began his monastic training in England before moving to Australia. He took full ordination as a bhikkhu at Bodhinyana Monastery in 1996, with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor.
A renowned Buddhist teacher and scholar, Ajahn Brahmali brings the Buddha’s teachings alive through his joyful demeanor, deep understanding of meditation and lucidly inspiring talks. Ajahn Brahmali also played an instrumental role in the full ordination of women in the Theravada Forest Tradition and was recently awarded an honorary PhD from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, for his translation of the monastic discipline
Ajahn Nandiyo is a German monk who was ordained 2006 in Wat Pah Pong, Thailand. He has spend the last years in different monasteries across Asia and Europe. Currently he lives in Amaravati Monastery in Hertfordshire.
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. Web: https://ajahnsucitto.org. Blog: http://sucitto.blogspot.com.
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 the resident teacher in residence at Gaia House. He founded Satipanya Buddhist Retreat (https://www.satipanya.
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.
Esther is a black Londoner, mother of two, meditation/mindfulness practitioner and teacher. She is also a psychotherapist with special interest in trauma, self-esteem, belonging (identity, equality and inclusion) and dynamics of wellbeing (including health inequalities). She trained to teach at Oxford university (Mst in MBCT). She has been teaching in the community (voluntary and private sector) and within the NHS (staff and patients).
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. You can find Jake’s website here.
James has practised insight meditation for over 20 years, principally with the guidance of teachers from Gaia House. He is a Community Dharma Leader authorised by the Gaia House Teachers Council. He was Director of London Insight meditation 2011-14.
Jaya 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. She has practised qigong with various teachers, is a qualified Holden Qigong instructor, and offers regular online classes (qi-mindful.com).
Jill Shepherd began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at several meditation centres and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand. She spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, where she participated in several long retreats and Buddhist study programmes, as well as offering weekly meditation classes at a nearby prison. She is a graduate of the IMS / Spirit Rock teacher training program in the US, under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein and Gil Fronsdal.
Currently, she divides her time mostly between the USA, Australia and New Zealand, teaching insight / vipassanā and brahmavihāra retreats and offering ongoing study and practice groups focused on bringing the dharma into daily life. She also leads courses and non-residential workshops exploring the relational practice of Insight Dialogue, as developed by Gregory Kramer and colleagues.
John Peacock is a retired academic and practitioner for over fifty years. He studied initially with the Tibetan community in India and subsequently in Sri Lanka. His academic career consisted in teaching philosophy, Buddhist studies and finally Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at Oxford. He was one of the founding members of Bodhi College and is committed to making Buddhist teaching relevant in the contemporary era.
Kirsten has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006 and since 2015 she has been ‘teacher in residence’ supporting those on personal retreat at Gaia House. Her love and understanding of Dharma has been strongly influenced by, among others, the teachings of her friend and teacher colleague, Rob Burbea. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time, and Kirsten sees her involvement in activism as an important expression of her practice. Kirsten is co-initiator of the “Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement” and supporting teacher of Freely Given Retreats.
Martin Aylward began dharma practice and study aged 19, spending several years in Asian monasteries and with Himalayan hermits. Teaching worldwide since 1999, Martin co-founded Moulin de Chaves, the retreat center where he lives and teaches in SW France; the Mindfulness Training Institute and the online dharma community Sangha Live. He is married with two adult children, and integrates dharma into daily life with programs like Work Sex Money Dharma. His latest book is Awake Where You Are (2021).
Mimi Kuo-Deemer, MA, is the author of Qigong and the Tai Chi Axis: Nourishing Practices for Body, Mind and Spirit and Xiu Yang: The Ancient Chinese Art of Self-Cultivation. She teaches qigong, internal martial arts (6th generation lineage holder in Baguazhang) and meditation (studies dharma under Martin Aylward), and once travelled the world as a photojournalist.
Born in the United States, she lived and worked in China for over 13 years before settling in the British countryside with her husband and their dog, three cats, 6 chickens and 60,000 bees. She champions the balance of playfulness and precision as the best way forward in life, and never underestimates how sitting, breathing, and conscious movement grant the clearest and most compassionate perspective on the joyful yet mysterious, messy, and unpredictable job of being human.
For more about Mimi, visit her website at www.mkdeemer.com
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 see the Karuna Institute’s website
Nicola Redfern is an Insight Dialogue Retreat Teacher with an extensive background in both Zen and Vipassana meditation. With a strong belief that awakening is not a solo endeavour, Nic is particularly interested in getting meditation off the cushion and fully integrated into life, work, social justice and relationships.
She is currently co-teaching the ‘Heart of Freedom,’ a program for experienced dharma practitioners offered jointly by the Insight Meditation Society and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. She has taught multiple courses on climate emergency, unlearning racism, and Nonviolent Communication, as well as programs for LGBTQIA+. Nicola is originally from the UK and now lives near Santa Fe, NM.
River Wolton is co-founder of Sheffield Insight Meditation, a graduate of the Gaia House Community Dharma Leadership programme, and is completing teacher training with Bodhi College. She is co-founder of Out Aloud Sheffield’s LGBT choir and has a background in LGBTQ+ activism.el.
Rosalie Dores, MA is an Insight Dialogue Retreat Teacher. She has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1992. Her dharma roots are within the Vipassana tradition of S.N. Goenka, Theravada, Insight Meditation and Insight Dialogue. Rosalie is dedicated to offering teachings that engage at the interface between ancient wisdom and the challenges of our modern world. Rosalie is director of Optimal Living CIC, offering MBSR and Interpersonal Mindfulness Programmes to the general public, and private sector, in London. She is an associate at The Mindfulness Network CIC. She is a founding member of the London & Beyond Online Insight Dialogue group where she offers ID teachings on a regular basis.
Spring Washam is a teacher, author, and visionary leader based in Oakland, California. She is the author of A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage and Wisdom in Any Moment and her newest book, The Spirit of Harriet Tubman: Awakening from the Underground.
Spring is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based meditation practices to diverse communities. She is one of the founding teachers at the East Bay Meditation Center, located in downtown Oakland, CA. She has practiced and studied Buddhist philosophy in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism since 1999. She is a member of the teacher’s council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California where she was trained for over a decade.
In addition to being a teacher, she is also a shamanic practitioner and has studied indigenous healing practices since 2008. She is the founder of Lotus Vine Journeys, a one-of-a-kind organization that blends indigenous healing practices with Buddhist wisdom in South America. Her writings and dharma teachings have appeared in many online journals and publications. She currently teaches meditation retreats and leads workshops, and classes worldwide.
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.