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About the Teachers

Meet the Retreat Teachers:Gaia House teachers 2009

Click on a name below for more details.
While reasonable care is taken, Gaia House is not responsible for the content of external websites.

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 McGeeJohn PeacockStephen 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:

Ajahn SucittoHeather MartinLeigh BrasingtonRodney Smith
Akincano M. WeberHelen StephensonMark ColemanRev. Myo Denis Lahey
Alan LewisHilary RichardsMartin AylwardRuth King
Bhante BodhidhammaJake DartingtonMary AubrySayadaw U Tejaniya
Bhante GunaratanaJaya Karen RudgardMaura SillsSharda Rogell
Bhante SukhacittoJean WilkinsMax WeierSimon Child
Brad RichecoeurJoanna HarperMolly SwannSister Metta
Carol WilsonJohn TeasdaleNatthikoSuvaco Bhikkhu
Charles GenoudJon Kabat-ZinnNoah LevineTanto Meiya Wender
Chris CullenJoseph GoldsteinNorman FeldmanThanissara
David LoyKen JonesPatricia Genoud-FeldmanTsoknyi Rinpoche
Fiona NuttallKirsten KratzPaul BurrowsVinny Ferraro
Gail AylwardKittisaroPhyllis HicksYvonne Weier
Gregory KramerLeela SartiReb Anderson Tenshin RoshiZohar Lavie

AJAHN SUCITTO was born in London in 1949. He entered monastic life in Thailand in 1975; taking on the Bhikkhu training in 1976, but since 1978 has been based in Britain. He has been teaching Dhamma since 1980, both in meditation retreats and in talks given regularly in the monasteries. Since 1992 he has been Abbot of Cittaviveka in West Sussex.

Listen to one of Ajahn Sucitto's Talks given at Gaia House on 07-06-2012: Respecting Space (Duration 59:05)

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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: www.akincano.net

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 www.zenmoments.org.

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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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 given at Gaia House on 06-07-2012: Tendencies, Defilements and Hindrances (Duration 46:37)

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BHANTE GUNARATANA has been a Buddhist monk for over 50 years, and is the founder of Bhavana Society in rural West Virginia in the USA. He is the author of a number of books, including Mindfulness in Plain English and his autobiography Journey to Mindfulness.

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BHANTE 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 Dhammapala Monastery in Switzerland for six years and at Amaravati Monastery, UK for 4 years.

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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 03-19-2013: Talk on Qi Gong (Duration 31:19)

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CAROL WILSON began Insight Meditation in 1971. She has studied with a variety of teachers in Asia and the West and spent time as a Buddhist nun in Thailand. An Insight Meditation Society guiding teacher, she has been offering Vipassana and Metta retreats around the world since 1986, including the Insight Meditation Society's three-month course.

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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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CHARLES GENOUD has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism in the Gelugpa and then Nyingmapa tradition for over 30 years. He has also sat many Vipassana meditation retreats in Asia and in the West. He teaches meditation and leads workshops in Gesture of Awareness in the USA, Europe, Israel and Brazil.

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CHRIS CULLEN works as a mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist. He trained to teach Insight Meditation with Christina Feldman, and did the Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock. Chris co-founded the Mindfulness in Schools Project, and is on the teaching team at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre, teaching mindfulness courses for students and for MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament.

Listen to one of Chris Cullen's Talks given at Gaia House on 25-06-2013: Compassion (Duration 56:50)

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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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DAVID LOY is a Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan lineage. His books include Nonduality, Lack and Transcendence, A Buddhist History of the West, The Great Awakening, Money Sex War Karma, and The World Is Made of Stories.

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FIONA NUTTALL trained with the late Dr John Crook and with Dr Simon Child since the 1990's, and is a member of the Western Chan Fellowship committee. She has been leading retreats for the WCF since 2007.

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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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HEATHER MARTIN has been meditating for 40 years, in various traditions. Theravada has been her main practice since 1981 (with some exposure to Dzogchen in the Tibetan tradition, and the teachings of Burmese Sayadaw U Tejaniya more recently). She has been teaching retreats in North America since 2001, mostly in the south west of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest of the US. She was born and raised in Dorset, although she has lived in Canada (British Columbia) for her adult life. She loves to come to Gaia House to practice regularly. She is a retired midwife and childbirth educator.

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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 www.mindfulnessmk.com

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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HILARY RICHARDS has been practising in the Chan tradition for more than 20 years. She has trained with Chan Master Sheng-yen in the USA and also with the late Dr John Crook and with Dr Simon Child. She is a past Chair of the Western Chan Fellowship and leads retreats for the Fellowship at Maenllwyd in mid Wales.

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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 lives in Nottingham where he teaches Mindfulness, Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Listen to one of Jake Dartington's Talks given at Gaia House on 29-03-2013: Hindrances to Clear Seeing (Duration 46:49)

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JAYA KAREN RUDGARD began meditating in 1985. She spent eight years as a Theravadin nun in England and now teaches mindfulness in London and Oxford. She is currently in teacher training with Spirit Rock Meditation Center and IMS meditation centers in the USA.

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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's Talks at Gaia House on 19-09-2011: The Ending of Suffering (Duration 51:38)

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JOANNA HARPER has been exploring and practicing multiple traditions since 1999. In 2005, her focus landed on Buddhism and Vipassana meditation, which is the premise for most of her current teaching. Although her main focus is on working with youth through her bi-weekly children’s and teen sanghas, teen day long retreats, residential retreats and work in the juvenile justice system, she is also co-teaching adult residential retreats as well as leading a 'Year to Live' practice and teaching one-on-one sessions. Her favorite teaching tools are working in Council and relational mindfulness. She is a graduate of Noah Levine’s teacher training program and is trained through the Ojai Foundation as a Council facilitator. She is the grateful mother of CJ and Harris - her main inspirations.

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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 23-08-2013: How Often Are You Human In A Day? (49:37)

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JOHN TEASDALE is a co-developer of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, and taught mindfullness worldwide for more than a decade. He is the co-author of The Mindful Way through Depression and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression. He teaches Insight Meditation Retreats internationally.

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JON KABAT-ZINN PH.D. is a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founding Executive Director of the Centre of Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society and founder and former Director of its world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic. Among many other books, he is author of Coming to our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World through Mindfulness,.

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JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN is a co-founder and guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society's Retreat Centre and Forest Refuge programmes. He has been teaching Vipassana and Metta Retreats worldwide since 1974 and in 1989 helped establish the Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies. He is the author of A Heart Full of Peace, One Dharma, The Experience of Insight and Insight Meditation.

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KEN JONES is a Zen practitioner of thirty years' standing who has led numerous workshops and retreats. He has helped pioneer a socially engaged Buddhism and is an established haiku poet.

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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 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 was a Theravada Buddhist monk for 15 years in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah and also has practiced Chinese Chan and Pure Land for 30 years. He has completed two year-long silent retreats and is co-director of Dharmagiri Hermitage and Outreach in South Africa. He teaches internationally.

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LEELA SARTI has been a student of the Buddha's teachings and practices since she was a teenager. In addition to teaching Insight Meditation retreats she also works as a psychotherapist. She lives with her family in Luxembourg and Sweden. She is a student of the Diamond Approach and has also been inspired by the non-dual teachings of Advaita Vedanta.

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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 leighb.com

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MARK COLEMAN has been practising Buddhist meditation since 1984, primarily within the Vipassana tradition. He has also been influenced by Advaita and Dzogchen teachings. He has taught Vipassana retreats since the late 90s in the USA, UK and India and is now based at SSpirit Rock Meditation Center in California. Mark is also a therapist and wilderness meditation teacher.

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MARTIN AYLWARD began practising Dharma at the age of 19, spending several years in Asian Buddhist monasteries and with Himalayan hermits. Martin is Co-Founder and Resident Teacher of Moulin de Chaves Meditation Centre in South West France, and reflecting his interest in engaged Dharma practice, is offering retreats called Work Sex Money Dharma. He has been teaching internationally since 1999.

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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.

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MARY AUBRY has been practicing meditation since 1993, and teaching since 2009. In 2012, Mary became a teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC. She is in training with Leigh Brasington to become a teacher of the jhanas. Her email address is moc.liamgnull@yrbua.yram.

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MAURA SILLS is the Founding Director of the Karuna Institute which offers an MA in Core Process Psychotherapy. She became involved in Buddhism in the early seventies and has studied with teachers from the Chan, Tibetan and Theravadin Traditions. Her teacher was Taungpulu Kaba Aye Sayadaw of Upper Burma.


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MAX WEIER been practicing Chi Kung and different types of Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West for over twenty years. He leads workshops and retreats in Europe and Southern Africa where he also teaches in prisons.

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MOLLY SWAN has been engaging in spiritual inquiry and meditation practice since the 1980s in Asia and the West. Her path has been primarily the teachings and practice of the Buddha. Since 1997 Molly has been teaching Insight Meditation retreats, as well as supporting Dharma groups and individuals. She is a co-founder and guiding teacher of True North Insight Retreat Centre in Canada.

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NATTHIKO LINDEBLAD was a Buddhist monk in the Thai forest tradition 1992-2008. He has been teaching internationally since 2001. He is much influenced by the teachings of Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Sucitto and Adyashanti.

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NOAH LEVINE is a Buddhist meditation teacher, author and counsellor. He was trained to teach by Jack Kornfield of Spirit Rock Meditation Center. His most recent book is Heart of the Revolution.

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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 and guiding teacher of True North Insight Retreat Centre in Canada.

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PABLO DAS is empowered to teach Vipassana meditation and Buddha Dharma by the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society founder Noah Levine. He teaches regularly at A.T.S. centers in Los Angeles and the US. Professionally, he works as a mindfulness based wellness, nutrition and recovery coach integrating mindfulness practices and Buddhist principles in his counseling work. Pablo is a Buddhism inspired indie-folk (antifolk) musician who tours the US and can be found transforming monotonous Buddhist chants into indie rock retreat hits.

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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. She is co-founder of the Meditation Center Vimilakirti in Geneva, Switzerland.

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PAUL BURROWS has been a student of both Asian and senior western Dharma teachers since 2000. He has practised 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.

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PHYLLIS K. HICKS, teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide. She has trained and taught with Gregory Kramer and Metta Programs since 2004. 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. Phyllis lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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REB ANDERSON TENSHIN ROSHI is a lineage holder in the Soto Zen tradition. Ordained as a priest by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1970, he served as Abbot of San Francisco Zen Centre's three training centres from 1986 - 1995. He is the author of Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains and Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts. He lives at Green Gulch Farm Zen Centre in California where he is a Senior Dharma Teacher.

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REV MYFANWY MCCORRY was ordained as a monk in 1983, in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, which practices in the Soto Zen tradition. She is currently the resident monk at Dragon Bell Temple, Exeter, which runs as a neighbourhood temple, offering meditation instruction, retreats, spiritual counselling and a daily schedule of meditation.

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REV MYO DENIS LAHEY began Zen practice whilst still in high school in 1969, with a zazenkai started by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi in Los Altos, California. After thirteen years of lay practice during undergraduate and graduate university studies in Sanskrit, psychology, computer science and motor mechanics, he undertook full-time residential training at the San Francisco Zen Center's three campuses, receiving clergy ordination in 1986 from Rev. Tenshin Reb Anderson. He was shuso (head monk) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 1989, and again at Green Gulch Farm in 1990. He received Dharma Transmission from Rev. Anderson in 1999, and began a tenure as tanto (Prior) at Tassajara that same year. In 2002 he left Tassajara to be resident clergyperson at the Hartford Street Zen Center in San Francisco, where he is currently teaching.

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ROB BURBEA has been practising and studying the Dharma since 1985. He has been teaching since 2004 and is currently Resident Teacher of Gaia House. 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.

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RODNEY SMITH has been practising Insight Meditation for over 30 years including several years as a Buddhist monk in Asia. He worked in hospice care in a variety of roles for 16 years, is the founding and guiding teacher for the Seattle Insight Meditation Society, and author of the book, Lessons from the Dying and the forthcoming book, The Urban Buddhist: Awakening Where You Are.

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RUTH KING, mentored by Jack Kornfield, has been practicing Vipassana since 1992 and teaches internationally. Ruth is a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC, and founder of Mindful Members Practice Community in Charlotte, North Carolina. www.RuthKing.net

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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.

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SHARDA ROGELL is a member of the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California near her home. She began meditating in 1976 and teaching Insight Meditation in 1987 where she brings a strong emphasis to awakening heartfulness. She has also been influenced by the non-dual teachings of both Dzogchen in the Tibetan tradition and HWL Poonja during her many trips to India. She is currently a student of the Diamond Approach with A.H. Almaas.

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SIMON CHILD is a 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.

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SISTER METTA is a Theravadin Buddhist nun of 10 years standing. She took ordination at Amaravati Monastery in England, a community which has its roots in the Thai Forest Tradition. She has been based in England throughout her ordained years but is German by birth. Sister Metta experienced motherhood and family life prior to taking monastic vows.

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STEPHEN BATCHELOR 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 Verses from the Centre: a Buddhist Vision of the Sublime. He is a Gaia House guiding teacher and co-founder of Sharpham College. He teaches worldwide and lives in South West France. Stephen's Confession of a Buddhist Atheist is an account of his journey through Buddhism.

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SUVACO BHIKKHU is a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher, a psychotherapist and a passionate advocate for embodying life in all of its forms. He lives a very simple life in a hut in a monastery in the South West where the air is clean and there is time to listen. (Hartridge Monastery)

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TANTO MEIYA WENDER is Head of Practice at Green Gulch Farm Zen Centre, one of three temples comprising the San Francisco Zen Centre. She has practised there since 1972, was ordained as a priest in 1986, and received Dharma transmission in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2002. She has also trained in traditional Soto Zen forms at Zuioji in Shikoku and the traditional practice of sewing of Buddha's robes (rakusu and okesa).

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THANISSARA was a Buddhist nun for 12 years in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice. She is co-facilitator of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock Centre USA and co-director of Dharmagiri Hermitage and Outreach in South Africa. She teaches internationally.

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TSOKNYI RINPOCHE, son of the late Dzogchen master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, was born in Nepal in 1966. At the age of eight he was recognised by the Sixteenth Karmarpa as a reincarnation of Drubwang Tsoknyi, a renowned master of the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingma traditions. He was brought up by the great master Khamtrul Rinpoche at Tashi Jong monastery in India and now resides at Ngesdon Osel Ling monastery in Kathmandu. Rinpoche has been teaching students around the world since 1991 and is the author of Carefree Dignity.


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VINNY FERRARO has been practicing meditation since 1993. He has studied with several renowned spiritual 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 Program. Since 2000 Vinny has led workshops for youth in schools internationally for a non-profit organization 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.

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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. He lives with his wife 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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YVONNE WEIER is from Switzerland and has studied and practised Eastern spirituality, particularly Vipassana meditation since the early 80's. She has been facilitating meditation retreats in Europe and India for many years. Since 1994 she has been residing in India where she is serving her teacher Sri Sarath Babuji as an attendant.

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ZOHAR LAVIE has been practicing 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.

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