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About the Teachers

Meet the Retreat Teachers:Gaia House teachers 2009

Gaia House Teacher Council:

Gaia House Meditation teachers lead retreats here and also provide guidance for the organisation in the form of a Teacher Council.

Caroline JonesJenny WilksRob Burbea
Catherine McGeeKirsten KratzStephen Batchelor
Christina FeldmanMartine BatchelorYanai Postelnik

Gaia House Visiting Teachers:

Visiting teachers come from all over the world to lead retreats at Gaia House, offering a range of Buddhist Dharma teachings.
Talks from Gaia House teachers can be heard on Dharma Seed. (Please try the ‘Talks on Dharma Seed’ link if a talk doesn’t play on this page.)

Akincano M. WeberGregory KramerLaura Bridgman (Kovida)Ruth King
Alan LewisHelen StephensonLeela SartiSayadaw U Tejaniya
Anushka FernandopulleJake DartingtonLeigh BrasingtonSimon Child
Bhante BodhidhammaJake LyneMartin AylwardSuvaco
Brad RichecoeurJaya Karen RudgardNorman FeldmanThanissara
Chris CullenJean WilkinsPatricia Genoud-FeldmanZohar Lavie
Fiona NuttallJohn PeacockPaul Burrows
Gail AylwardKittisaroPhyllis Hicks

AKINCANO M. WEBER is a Swiss Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist. A meditator since 1982, he has practised for 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 Dhamma and meditation internationally. Website:

Listen to one of Akincano's Talks given at Gaia House on 05.10.2013: Hindrances and Similies  (Duration 64:57)

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ALAN LEWIS has been engaging in spiritual inquiry and meditation practice since the 1970s. He spent 17 years as a Theravadin Buddhist monk and disrobed in December 2000. He now runs an IT business in Devon with his wife Vanessa, with whom he built and maintains the Gaia House website and

Listen to one of Alan Lewis's Talks given at Gaia House on 12.09.2012: It's OK To Be Who You Are (Duration 40:10)

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ANUSHKA FERNANDOPULLE has trained in Buddhist meditation for over 25 years, lives in San Francisco and teaches meditation around the globe. Her teaching is informed by nature, creative arts, political engagement, and modern urban life. She holds a BA from Harvard and MBA from Yale. For more info visit:

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BHANTE BODHIDHAMMA started training in Soto Zen in 1977, then in the Mahasi Theravada Tradition with Sayadaws U Rewata Dhamma, U Janaka and U Pandita. In 1986 he ordained, subsequently spending eight years at Kanduboda Mahasi Meditation Centre in Sri Lanka. He has been teaching in England, Ireland and internationally since 1998. From 2001- 2005, he was the Resident Teacher at Gaia House. He founded the Satipanya Buddhist Retreat in Wales, a meditation centre devoted to the Mahasi tradition.

Listen to one of Bhante Bodhidhamma's Talks: Mae Chee Kaew: Awakened! (Duration 41:40)
More talks on Dharma Seed. and Satipanya.

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BRAD RICHECOEUR has been practising 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 tutor on the Craniosacral Therapy training at the Karuna Institute, Devon, UK.

Listen to one of Brad Richecoeur's Talks given at Gaia House on 13.12.2015: Ignition of the Three Energy Centres (Duration 58:27)

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CAROLINE JONES has been practising meditation since 1989. She started teaching in 2006, and now teaches at Gaia House and internationally. She also spends time as a resident teacher at Gaia House. Caroline will be resident teacher at the Forest Refuge, Barre, Massachusetts. from December 2015.

Listen to one of Caroline Jones's Talks given at Gaia House on 18.12.2013: The Gifts of Practice (Duration 50:22)

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CATHERINE McGEE has been teaching Insight Meditation at Gaia House and internationally since 1997. Her teaching emphasises embodiment and working with whatever hinders us from living our deepest knowing in the world. She is an advisor to One Earth Sangha and a long term student of the Diamond Approach.

Listen to one of Catherine McGee's Talks given at Gaia House on 09.08.2010: Intimacy and Non Attachment (Duration 51:37)

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CHRIS CULLEN has practised and studied BuddhaDharma since 1994 and has been teaching Insight Meditation retreats since 2008. He is on the staff at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and teaches mindfulness courses for MPs in Parliament. He has a psychotherapy practice in Oxford.

Listen to one of Chris Cullen's Talks given at Insight Meditation Society Retreat Center on 29.01.2015: Compassion (Duration 63:02)

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CHRISTINA FELDMAN is a co-founder of Gaia House. She has been leading Insight Meditation retreats worldwide since 1976. She is a Guiding Teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the author of a number of books including Woman Awake, Way of Meditation, and co-author of Soul Food. Recent books include Silence and The Buddhist Path to Simplicity.

Listen to one of Christina Feldman's Talks given at Gaia House on 24.09.2013: Swimming Against the Tide (Duration 61:35)

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FIONA NUTTALL trained with the late Dr John Crook and with Dr Simon Child since the 1990's. She has been leading retreats for the Western Chan Fellowship since 2007, and in 2015 received Dharma Transmission to become the first Dharma Heir of Simon Child.

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GAIL AYLWARD attended her first retreat in Bodh Gaya in 1994. Since then she has lived and worked continuously in meditation centres, as well as bringing up her 2 children. In 2005 Gail became co-founder and director of Moulin de Chaves Meditation Centre in S.W. France. Alongside assisting Martin Aylward on some retreats, Gail is a qualified yoga teacher, offering yoga classes at Le Moulin and locally, emphasizing embodied awareness. She has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 2005.

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GREGORY KRAMER has been teaching meditation since 1980. He developed the practice of Insight Dialogue and is the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Metta Programs, offering retreats worldwide. He is author of several books including Insight Dialogue - The Interpersonal Path to Freedom and Dharma Contemplation: Meditating Together with Wisdom Texts.

Listen to one of Gregory Kramer's Talks given at Gaia House on 04.10.2010: Retreat is Part of Life: What Now? (42:02)

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HELEN STEPHENSON has practised Hatha Yoga and Insight Meditation since 1979. Initially she was taught by the late Robert van Heeckeren and in 1981 she began to study classical yoga with the Indian Yoga teacher Sri S Rajagopalan. She is a certified pilates teacher and lives with her family in an interfaith community in Milton Keynes. Helen is also the director of mindfulness:mk and runs courses and retreats in Milton Keynes and other locations. For more information please see

Listen to one of Helen Stephenson's Talks given at Gaia House on 01.05.2012: The Texture of Being (Duration 37:59)

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JAKE DARTINGTON has practised Buddhist meditation since 1995. After training as a Dharma teacher with Christina Feldman, he started teaching in 2007. He has a background in Philosophy and Buddhist Studies and has trained as a teacher of MBSR/MBCT. Jake lives in Nottingham where he teaches mindfulness and Insight Meditation.

Listen to one of Jake Dartington's Talks given at Gaia House on 01.01.2016: Four Noble Truths (Duration 53:55)

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JAKE LYNE lives in Devon. He is a retired Clinical Psychologist, and has practiced Chan meditation for many years as a student of Dr John Crook and Master Sheng-Yen. He is a former Chair of the Western Chan Fellowship (WCF) and leads Chan Retreats at Bala Brook on Dartmoor and at the WCF retreat centre in Wales.

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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.

Listen to one of Jaya Karen Rudgard's Talks at Spirit Rock Meditation Center on 24.11.2015: Seeing Through the Net of Illusion (Duration 47:55)

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JEAN WILKINS began her Dharma practice in 1980 with teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, over the intervening years she has also studied with teachers from Gaia House. Between 2003 and 2009 she lived and worked at Upaya Zen Centre, a student of Roshi Joan Halifax, she worked with Roshi establishing an end of life care support program both within the centre and in the community of Santa Fe. During those years she was the co-ordinator of the professional end of life care training program for health care professionals; Compassionate End of Life Care, as well as being a member of the teaching team. For many years Jean offered mindfulness practice in her work in the field of Mental Health. Jean offers mindfulness programs at a local hospice in Devon for patients/carers, staff and those living with bereavement.

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JENNY WILKS has practised in various Buddhist traditions since the late 1980s, and has an MA in Indian Religions. She has taught for several years at Gaia House, the Barn Retreat near Totnes in Devon UK, and local meditation classes. She trained in clinical psychology and works as an MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) therapist and trainer at Exeter University.

Listen to one of Jenny Wilks' Talks at Gaia House on 19.09.2011: The Ending of Suffering (Duration 51:38)

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JOHN PEACOCK is both an academic and a Buddhist practitioner of nearly forty years. He was initially trained in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition in India and subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada. He has lectured in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, and at present he is Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and teaches on the Master of Studies programme in MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) at Oxford University. He has been teaching meditation for over twenty five years and is a Gaia House guiding teacher.

Listen to one of John Peacock's Talks given at Gaia House on 12.09.2015: The Skill of Remembering(61:58)

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KIRSTEN KRATZ has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time; she supports those on personal retreat in Gaia House, is co-initiator of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement: DANCE and teaches retreats with SanghaSeva combining Dharma practice and Service.

Listen to one of Kirsten Kratz's Talks given at Gaia House on 23.03.2013: Calm and Kindness (Duration 38:57)

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KITTISARO - an Oxford Rhodes Scholar, trained as a Buddhist monk in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah. He has practised Chinese Zen and Pure Land for 30 years, and undertook two year-long retreats. Kittisaro teaches internationally, and is co-founder of Dharmagiri Insight Centre, South Africa, and Chattanooga Insight USA.

Listen to one of Kittisaro's Talks given at Dharmagiri, South Africa on 25.12.15: Born of the Sacred (Duration 33:15)

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LAURA BRIDGMAN (KOVIDA) ordained with Ajahn Sumedho and practised within the monastic setting for eighteen years until moving out to live as a solitary nun.

In 2015 she left the monastic tradition in order to continue her Vipassana practice in lay life and pursue the Diamond Heart (Ridhwan) spiritual path.

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LEELA SARTI has been a student of the Buddha's teachings and practices since she was 16 years old. She lives with her family in Sweden and in addition to teaching Insight Meditation retreats internationally works individually with students in her psychotherapy practice in Stockholm. She is a long term student of the Diamond Approach and part of a teacher training program in that tradition.

Listen to one of Leela Sarti's Talks at Gaia House. 19.10.2015: Bowing to Instinct and Embracing Desire (Duration 51:54)

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LEIGH BRASINGTON has been practising meditation since 1985 and is the senior American student of the late Ven. Ayya Khema. Leigh began assisting Ven. Ayya Khemma in 1994, and was authorized to teach in 1997. He teaches in Europe and North America. He is the author of the forthcoming book Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas. Find more about Leigh’s teaching and schedule at

Listen to one of Leigh Brasington's Talks given at Gaia House on 19.10.2013: Nibbana (and Q&A) (Duration 69:11)

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MARTIN AYLWARD began practising Dharma aged 19, spending several years in Asian Buddhist monasteries and with Himalayan hermits. He is co-founder and resident teacher at Moulin de Chaves Retreat Centre in France, and of online Dharma platform Martin directs teacher training at Mindfulness Training Institute and leads retreats worldwide. For information on his teachings and schedule visit

Listen to one of Martin Aylward's Talks at Gaia House on 21.6.2016: The The 3 Facets of Practice, in Meditation and in Life (Duration 45:38)

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Martine BatchelorMARTINE BATCHELOR lived in Korea as a Zen nun under the guidance of Master Kusan 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 Gaia House guiding teacher. She teaches meditation retreats worldwide and lives in South West France. Her latest work is The Spirit of the Buddha.

Listen to one of Martine Batchelor's Talks at Gaia House on 23.07.2015: Instructions - What is This? Questioning. The Way of Korean Seon and it's connection with Vipassana (Duration 34:08)

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NORMAN FELDMAN has been practising Vipassana Meditation since 1971. Since 1986 he has been leading Insight Meditation retreats internationally, leading sutta study classes, and guiding pilgrimages to Buddhist sites in India. Norman is a co-founder of True North Insight Retreat Centre in Canada. Full bio at

Listen to one of Norman Feldman's Talks given at Gaia House on 25.3.2016: Baseball and Cricket (Duration 46:54)

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PATRICIA GENOUD-FELDMAN has been practising Buddhist meditation (Vipassana and Dzogchen) in Asia and the West since 1984 and teaching Vipassana internationally since 1997. More recently she has also become an Insight Dialogue teacher trained by Gregory Kramer. Patricia is a co-founder and guiding teacher of the Vimalakirti Meditation Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

Listen to one of Patricia Genoud-Feldman's Talks IMS Forest Refuge on 11.7.2013: Contemplating Desire and Aversion (56:46)

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PAUL BURROWS is a student in the Insight Meditation tradition. He trained as a teacher with Christina Feldman, co-founder of Gaia House retreat centre and he now leads courses internationally. His exploring has led him through the monasteries and retreat centres of the Kathmandu Valley, India and the UK and through periods of intensive retreat practice in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He is now making a home in North London. Awakening

Listen to one of Paul Burrows' Talks at Gaia House on 22.12.2015: What's With All This Meditation Then? (Duration 48:30)

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PHYLLIS HICKS, teaches Insight Dialogue internationally. A student of life and meditation, she has worked as a psychotherapist for twenty-eight years. She is a co-developer of the Interpersonal Mindfulness Program, teaches MBSR at an integrative medical centre, and is a guiding teacher for her local sangha.

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ROB BURBEA has been practising and studying the Dharma since 1985. He has been teaching since 2004. He is a co-founder of SanghaSeva, an organisation dedicated to exploring the Dharma through service work internationally, and also a co-initiator of DANCE (Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement). He is the author of Seeing That Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising.

Listen to one of Rob Burbea's Talks at Gaia House on 31.12.2011: This Matter of Emptiness (Duration 50:33)

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RUTH KING, a practitioner since 1992, is a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Washington, affiliate teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and founder of Mindful Members Practice Community in Charlotte, NC. Mentored by Jack Kornfield in the Theravada tradition, and influenced by the Tibetan traditions of Buddhism, Ruth teaches nationwide and is a core teacher in Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner Program. Ruth developed the "Mindful of Race – A Stimulus for Social Healing and Leadership” training program, and the "Mindfulness Practices for Living Well" eight-week course. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and is the author of The Emotional Wisdom Cards and Healing Rage – Women Making Inner Peace Possible. More information can be found at Ruth's website.

Listen to one of Ruth King's Talks at Gaia House on 30.12.2015: Nature of Awareness (Duration 54:22)

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SAYADAW U TEJANIYA was born in 1962 and began practising meditation as a teenager, training under the late meditation master Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw. He ordained in 1996 and is the meditation teacher at Shwe Oo Min Meditation Centre in Yangon, Burma. He is the author of several books and teaches worldwide.

Listen to one of Sayadaw U Tejaniya's Talks at Gaia House on 05.06.2014: Morning Guided Meditation, Intro to Talking Meditation (Duration 21:26)

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SIMON CHILD is a retired medical doctor who has trained for over twenty-five years with the late Dr John Crook and Chan Master Sheng-yen. He is a Dharma heir of Chan Master Sheng-yen since 2000. He is Teacher of the Western Chan Fellowship and leads retreats for the Fellowship at their retreat centre in Wales, and also in Europe and the USA.

Listen to one of Simon Child's Talks at Gaia House on 12.04.2014: Introduction to Koans (Duration 1:12:43)

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STEPHEN BATCHELOR trained as a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions. He is the author of several books, including the bestselling Buddhism without Beliefs. His most recent publication is After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age. A co-founder of Bodhi College, he teaches worldwide and lives in South West France.

Listen to one of Stephen Batchelor's Talks at Gaia House on 24.07.2015: Instructions - Behold the Ceasing (Duration 34:23)

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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.

Listen to one of Suvaco's Talks at Gaia House on 15.06.2015: Evening Talk from Touching the Earth Retreat (Duration 47:09)

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THANISSARA trained in the Burmese Vipassana School, and Forest School of Ajahn Chah. She has taught meditation retreats since the 1980's, and is co-founder of Dharmagiri Insight Centre, South Africa, and has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice. Thanissara is co-author of Listening to the Heart, and author of Time To Stand Up.

Listen to one of Thanissara's Talks at Dharmagiri, South Africa on 26.12.15: The Evolutionary Journey of Love (Duration 42:04)

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YANAI POSTELNIK has practiced 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. Yanai is a Core Faculty member of Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts, and he lives with his wife Catherine McGee in Devon, England.

Listen to one of Yanai Postelnik's Talks given at Gaia House on 02.09.2013: The Art of Unknowing (Duration 61:05)

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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.

Listen to one of Zohar Lavie's Talks at Gaia House on 28.06.2015: The Power of Joy (Duration 44:27)

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