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. CDL (Community Dharma Leaders) lead/co-lead some of our events – see more information below.
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.
Anushka Fernandopulle lives in San Francisco and is on the Teacher’s Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She has trained for over 25 years in the Theravada Buddhist tradition in the U.S., India and Sri Lanka and teaches retreats and workshops around the globe. She also works as a leadership coach and management consultant, influenced by a BA in anthropology and religion from Harvard and an MBA from Yale School of Management. Her teaching is informed by nature, creative arts, political engagement, innovation and modern urban life. For more information, visit www.anushkaf.org.
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.
Chris Cullen works as a mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist. He trained to teach Insight Meditation with Christina Feldman, and also did the Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. Chris co-founded the Mindfulness in Schools Project, and is on the teaching team at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre. He teaches mindfulness courses for students at Oxford University and for MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament.
Gregory Kramer is the Founding 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. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thero, Achan Sobin Namto, and Ven. Punnaji Maha Thero. Gregory is the author of : Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom (Shambhala), Seeding the Heart: Practicing Lovingkindness with Children, Meditating Together, Speaking from Silence: the Practice of Insight Dialogue, and Dharma Contemplation: Meditating Together with Wisdom
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
James is a founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre in the San Francisco Bay Area and leads retreats and workshops internationally. He is the co-author of *Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness* and *Awakening Joy for Kids*. He’s been leading the popular Awakening Joy online course since 2003.
Jane Baraz has been a mindfulness practitioner since 1976 and was on the Spirit Rock Board of Directors for 8 years. Jane teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of California San Francisco and Mindful Self-Compassion at Spirit Rock.
Jaya Karen Rudgard
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.
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.
Lama Rod Owens
Lama Rod Owens is considered one of the emerging leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. An author, activist, and formally authorized Buddhist teacher in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, he is a co-author of Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. He can be reached at www.lamarod.com.
Mary Aubry began attending insight meditation retreats in 1993. She became a dharma teacher in 2012 after graduating from the Community Dharma Leadership program co-sponsored by the Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Society. Tara Brach authorized her to teach insight retreats in 2014, and Leigh Brasington authorized her to teach jhana retreats in 2016. Other than Tara and Leigh, her primary teachers have included Joseph Goldstein, Bhikkhu Analayo, and Rodney Smith. Mary teaches meditation retreats internationally on insight, the jhanas, and the brahma viharas.
Mary Stancavage has practiced meditation, yoga, and cultivated a spiritual practice for over 30 years. She began studying with Noah Levine in 2005, and in 2009 was empowered to teach Buddhadharma. She worked at Against the Stream for several years. Mary teaches classes, retreats and does individual mentoring. She has taught at mindfulness at recovery centers, has co-facilitated Year-to-Live groups since 2008, and has had a weekly dharma class for ten years. She completed the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at the Sati Center and served as volunteer chaplain at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. She also served as Executive Director of the Mind Body Awareness Project from 2016 to 2018. Mary sits on the boards of the Buddhist Insight Network and CLUE-LA: Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Along with teaching she continues to investigate what it means to live with an undefended heart. Fun fact: Mary has a Masters Degree from UCLA, and worked as an archaeologist in the Middle East. More info can be found at her website, marystancavage.org
Martine lived in Korea as a Zen nun for ten years. She is a member of the Gaia House teacher council, teaches worldwide, and lives in south-west France. Martine’s most recent publication is The spirit of the Buddha, and her other books include Meditation for life, Women in Korean Zen, and Let go: a Buddhist guide to breaking free of habits.
Martin Aylward began dharma practice in 1990, aged 19. He spent several years in Asian monasteries and with Himalayan hermits before co-founding the Moulin retreat centre in south-west France where has been resident teacher for the last 20 years. Martin gives retreats and teachings worldwide and online, emphasising a practice deeply integrated into contemporary life. He also leads yearlong Mindfulness Teacher trainings in Europe and the USA.
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.
Rosalie Dores, MA is an Insight Dialogue Teacher in Training. She has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1992. Her formative meditation practice was within the Vipassana tradition, of S.N. Goenka, and subsequently within the Theravadan and Insight Meditation traditions where she has studied with a variety of teachers. She has been practising Insight Dialogue since 2008. Rosalie is dedicated to offering Insight Dialogue as a practice of awakening through, and within, relationship.
Rosalie is director of Optimal Living CIC, offering MBSR and Interpersonal Mindfulness Programmes to the general public, and private sector, in London. She supervises mindfulness teachers for The Mindfulness Ntwork CIC. She is a founding member of the London Insight Dialogue facilitators group where she offers ID on a regular basis.
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.
Venerable Vimokkha Mendhino, Ph.D is the abbot of the Thai Forest Monastery Pipphalivanaram in the countryside of Rayong Province. He received training from some of Thailand’s most renowned Buddhist masters and has developed his own techniques through years of practice and exploration. Click here to see his website
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.
Community Dharma Leaders (CDL)
CDLs are nominated by Gaia House teachers who know them well, and who are confident that they can be of service in the role of leading Dharma practice in their community. The training includes a broad framework of Dharma study and training for Dharma service, and requires a minimum of 18 months mentoring and participation in at least one residential training week. For more information click here.
Clare has practised Buddhist meditation for over 20 years. She recently completed the Gaia House Teachers’ Council Community Dharma Leaders Programme under the guidance of Catherine McGee. She is a Dharma student of Rob Burbea. She has worked as a Psychotherapist for 35 years.
Gary has practised in the Insight tradition for more than 15 years. He has completed the Gaia House Teachers’ Council Community Dharma Leaders Programme, under the guidance of Jake Dartington, and recently taught a course on Insight Meditation in Daily Life. He is also a graduate of the Committed Dharma Practitioners’ Programme of Bodhi College. Gary also teaches eight-week mindfulness courses and supervises other Mindfulness teachers.