Gaia House Teachers

Gaia House teachers 2009 Meet the retreat teachers:


Gaia House Patrons:

After many years of serving on the Gaia House Teacher Council, we are deeply grateful for the continued support of Christina Feldman and Stephen Batchelor as patrons of Gaia House.

Gaia House Teacher Council:

The Gaia House Teacher Council provides guidance for the organisation spanning many different areas. Each teacher member leads regular retreats at Gaia House.

Caroline JonesJaya RudgardLaura BridgmanYanai Postelnik
Catherine McGeeKirsten KratzMartine Batchelor

Visiting teachers:

Visiting teachers come from all over the world to lead retreats at Gaia House, offering a range of Buddhist Dharma teachings.

Ajahn BrahmGail AylwardKittisaroRob Burbea
Ajahn JutindharoGavin MilneLama Rod OwensSari Markkanen
Ajahn SucittoGina SharpeLaura BridgmanSister Santacitta
Alan LewisGregory KramerLeela SartiStephen Batchelor
Anushka FernandopulleHelen StephensonLeigh BrasingtonSumedha Hannah Bagshaw
Ayya AnopamaIngen BreenMartin AylwardThanissara
Bernat Font-ClosJake DartingtonMat SchencksTony O'Connor
Bhante BodhidhammaJanet SurreyNathan GlydeVen Canda
Bonnie DuranJenny WilksNoirin SheahanYahel Avigur
Carl FooksJohn PeacockPhyllis HicksYuka Nakamura
Christina FeldmanJuha PenttiläRamiro OrtegaZohar Lavie
Chris CullenKatrin Auf der HeydeRiver WoltonZoketsu Norman Fischer


Teacher bios:

AJAHN BRAHM was born in London in 1951 and earned a degree in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University. He became a monk in 1974 under Ajahn Chah and is today the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery near Perth and a revered spiritual guide, regularly attracting thousands to his inventive and insightful talks. Ajahn Brahm has also been a pioneer for the full bhikkhuni ordination of women in the Theravada tradition, and is working with Ven. Canda to develop a Bhikkhuni Monastery in England.
Back to Top
AJAHN JUTINDHARO began his meditation practice in 1982 and since 1989 has been a monk in the Thai forest lineage of Ajhan Chah and Ajahn Sumedho, living primarily in the UK. For the last ten years he has been the Abbot at Hartridge Monastery in Devon.

Back to Top
AJAHN SUCITTO was born in London, England in 1949 and became a bhikkhu in Thailand in 1976. He returned to Britain in 1978 and trained under Ajahn Sumedho at Cittaviveka and Amaravati Monasteries. He was abbot of Cittaviveka 1992-2014, and he still resides there. His website has links to his free-distribution books, articles and talks as well as news of upcoming teaching engagements.

Listen to one of Ajahn Sucitto's Talks given at Gaia House on 07.06.2012: Respecting Space (Duration 59:05)
Back to Top
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 Zen

Listen to one of Alan Lewis's Talks given at Gaia House on 18.01.2019: Investigation and Release (Duration 51:05)
Back to Top
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:

Back to Top
Photo of teacherAYYA ANOPAMA has practiced meditation for over two decades and spent extensive time in solitary retreat in Burma where she ordained with the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw. After her monastic training and intensive practice with various Burmese teachers her path led her to live and share across continents where she also had the opportunity to study with Bhikkhu Analayo and Ajahn Brahm as well as Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Mingyur Rinpoche. Her approach to meditation focuses on wakefulness and compassion and integrates the relational practice of Insight Dialogue. She is affiliated with Tilorien Monastery in Belgium, Sarana Vihara in Spain and the Insight Dialogue Community and is a guiding teacher for Bodhicharya Caribbean.

Back to Top
BERNAT FONT-CLOS met the dharma at a very young age and has practiced in Europe, India and Myanmar, gradually putting aside his artistic career. He completed his dharma teacher training with the Bodhi College in 2022, mentored by Stephen Batchelor, and is doing a PhD in Buddhist Studies. He guides a small sangha in his native Barcelona and teaches in English, Catalan and Spanish.
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 are available on Dharma Seed and Satipanya.

Back to Top
BONNIE DURAN met the Dharma in 1982 and learned Vipassana in Bodh Gaya India. Since then, she has taken teachings from many western teachers including Joseph Goldstein and Ajahn Sucitto, as well as Tibetan teachers. Bonnie is a graduate of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS)/Spirit Rock Meditation Center (SRMC) retreat teacher-training program. Bonnie teaches long and short retreats and advanced programs at IMS and Spirit Rock and is on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. Bonnie is also involved in Native American spiritual practices and traditions. Dr Duran is a Professor in the Schools of Social Work and Public Health at the University of Washington and is also faculty at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute.

Back to Top
Carl FooksCARL FOOKS has been practising in Mahāyāna and Theravāda traditions since the late 1980’s, starting with Rinzai Zen before settling on the Mahasi tradition in 2007. He has been leading groups since 2011 and teaching retreats at Satipanya and Gaia House since 2014. He has an MA in Buddhist Studies.
Back to Top
CAROLINE JONES has been practising meditation since 1989. She started teaching in 2006, and now teaches at Gaia House and internationally. She also has spent time as a resident teacher at Gaia House. Caroline has been resident teacher at the Forest Refuge, Barre, Massachusetts since December 2015.

Listen to one of Caroline Jones's talks given at the Insight Meditation Center in December 2020: Contemplating Impermanence, Part 1. December 2020 (Duration 20:54)

Back to Top
CATHERINE McGEE has been teaching Insight Meditation at Gaia House and internationally since 1997. Her teaching emphasises working with perceptions of the body on the path of awakening and in the healing of the individual and collective crises of our times. She is an advisor to One Earth Sangha . Between 2014 and 2020 Catherine collaborated with Rob Burbea in shaping and teaching a Soulmaking Dharma.

Here is a link to Catherine’s reflection on the third foundation of mindfulness - mindfulness of mind, on day five of a meditation retreat.

Third foundation of mindfulness – mindfulness of mind (Duration 51:21).

Back to Top
CHRIS CULLEN has practised and studied the Buddha's teachings since 1994 and has been teaching insight meditation retreats since 2010. He also teaches for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and 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) {/sc}
Back to Top
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)
Back to Top
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.
Back to Top
GAVIN MILNE has been practicing the Dharma since 2004 and teaching since 2015. He is especially interested in the role and relevance of these teachings towards the individual, relational and societal transformations being called for in this era. And as such embracing and exploring practice in all areas of our life.

Back to Top
GINA SHARPE , co-founder of New York Insight Meditation Center, has practiced the Dharma for 40 years and has taught workshops and retreats since 1995. A retired lawyer, she taught for several years in a maximum security prison for women. She is a leader in the work of diversity at Buddhist Retreat and Community Centers. She is a member of Spirit Rock’s Teachers Council.
Back to Top
GREGORY KRAMER teaches meditation, writes, and is the founding teacher of the Insight Dialogue Community. His most recent book is Whole-Life Path: A Lay Buddhist’s Guide to Crafting a Dhamma-Infused Life. He is also the author of Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom, Dharma Contemplation: Meditating Together with Wisdom Texts, Seeding the Heart: Practicing Lovingkindness with Children, and other books and articles. His primary focuses are sharing a relational understanding of the Dhamma and teaching Insight Dialogue, an interpersonal form of Buddhist insight meditation. He has been teaching worldwide since 1980. For more, visit

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)
Back to Top
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 Yogateacher Sri. S. Rajagopalan. Her movement work is influenced by the work of the late Moshe Feldenkrais "awareness through movement" and her training in body centred therapy with the late Ron Kurtz. Having lived most of her life in a communal setting she and her husband are now part time wardens at a busy Quaker centre in Milton Keynes.

Listen to one of Helen Stephenson's Talks given at Gaia House on 01.05.2012: The Texture of Being (Duration 37:59)
Back to Top
INGEN BREEN lives in Tuamgraney, Co Clare. He is a Zen priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind) and has been leading Zen retreats for twenty years in Ireland, California, Moscow and the U.K. Since the first Covid lockdown Ingen has also been teaching online to an international attendance. Ingen studied massage therapy in California upon leaving San Francisco Zen Center. Through the years Ingen has practiced Aikido, T'ai Chi and Chi Kung (Qi Qong) and from these disciplines has created a set of flow exercises which he calls Zen in Motion. To find out more visit
Back to Top
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 trained to teach MBSR and MBCT at Bangor University. Jake lives in Nottingham and regularly teaches for Bodhi College and the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

Listen to one of Jake Dartington's Talks given at Gaia House on 20.08.2017: Wisdom, wellbeing and awakening (Duration 47:08)
Back to Top
JANET SURREYJANET SURREY is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. She teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide and leads a monthly practice group in the Boston area. Her primary meditation teacher was Vimala Thakar, and she has studied with many Vipassana teachers for over 25 years and has trained with Gregory Kramer since 2008. She is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock. Jan is a practicing clinical psychologist and founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She is on the faculty and board of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. She is the author of recently published book, The Buddha’s Wife: The Path of Awakening Together.

Back to Top
JAYA 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. She also studies and teaches qigong.

Listen to one of Jaya Rudgard's Talks at Spirit Rock Meditation Center on 24.11.2015: Seeing Through the Net of Illusion (Duration 47:55)
Back to Top
JENNY WILKS has practised in various Buddhist traditions since the late 1980s and has an MA in Indian religions. She has taught at Gaia House since 2008, as well as at the Barn Retreat in Devon, and for the Mindfulness Network. She trained in clinical psychology and has taught mindfulness-based approaches in healthcare settings. In recent years her practice has included exploration of deep ecology and nature-based approaches to psychosocial and spiritual well-being.

Listen to one of Jenny Wilks' Talks at Gaia House on 31.12.2016: The Five Recollections (Duration 52:50)
Back to Top
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)
Back to Top
Image of TeacherJUHA PENTTILÄ has been practicing meditation since 2002. He has spent extended periods of time on retreats and in monasteries in Asia and Europe and is one of the founding members of Nirodha, the Finnish Insight Meditation practice community. Juha completed his Insight Meditation teacher training in 2020. In addition to exploring meditation, Juha’s teaching is influenced by the current climate crisis and engaged perspectives into the Dharma.
Back to Top
KATRIN AUF DER HEYDE grew up in South Africa where she practiced in both Zen and Theravada traditions.

A physiotherapist and yoga teacher by training she is interested in an embodied practice that integrates sitting, walking and movement.

Katrin completed her Dharma teacher training under the guidance of Martine Batchelor and teaches in South Africa and in the UK.

Back to Top
Image of teacherKIRSTEN KRATZ 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” (DANCE) and supporting teacher of Freely Given Retreats.

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

Back to Top
KITTISARO, from Tennessee, was a Rhodes scholar before ordaining with Ajahn Chah in Thailand. He co-founded Chithurst and Devon monasteries, has taught internationally, and practices Chinese Mahayana and completed. Kittisaro is co-founder of Dharmagiri, South Africa and Sacred Mountain Sangha, U.S., and is co-author, with Thanissara, of Listening to the Heart. .

Listen to one of Kittisaro's Talks TathaGata - Emptiness is Wonderful Existence, Wonderful Existence is Empty (Duration 48:28)
Back to Top
LAMA ROD OWENSLAMA ROD OWENS a formally authorised teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He is a visiting teacher at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), a contributing teacher with Natural Dharma Fellowship, Daishin Zen Buddhist Temple and the Brooklyn Zen Center. Lama is also a guest faculty member at the Harvard School of Education’s programme Mindfulness for Educators. He completed his graduate studies at Harvard Divinity School and is the co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation.

Back to Top
LAURA BRIDGMAN began her Dhamma practice in her early teens, and eventually ordained as a nun with Ajahn Sumedho in 1995. She was resident at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries for eighteen years until moving out to live as a solitary nun in 2010. She has spent extended periods of time with the Burmese teacher Sayadaw U Tejaniya. In 2015 Laura left the monastic tradition to pursue the Diamond Heart (Ridhwan) spiritual path alongside her Vipassana practice. There is much over-lap as it incorporates Buddhist principles and practices.
Back to Top
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)
Back to Top
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 began teaching retreats on his own in 1997. He teaches in Europe and North America and is the author of the book Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas. Find more information 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)
Back to Top
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 New York Insight from May 2017.
Back to Top
Martine BatchelorMARTINE BATCHELOR lived in Korea as a Seon nun under the guidance of Master Kusan for ten years. She is the author of Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits. She teaches meditation retreats worldwide and is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council. Her latest works are What is this? Ancient Questions for Modern Minds and The Definition, Practice and Psychology of Vedana.

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)

Back to Top
MAT SCHENCKS has been practising Insight Meditation under the guidance of teachers at Gaia House since 2003. He has been leading day retreats and short courses since 2011 and trained as a Dharma teacher with Bodhi College. Mat is also a student of the Diamond Approach and works as a psychotherapist and coach in Milton Keynes.

Back to Top
NATHAN GLYDE has been practicing and studying meditation since 1997, and sharing teachings on retreats since 2007. In 2004 he co-founded SanghaSeva whose retreats emphasise wisdom and compassion in ecological and humanitarian service.

Listen to one of Nathan Glyde’s Talks given at Gaia House on 15.12.20: Anattā and Mettā (Duration 45:31)

Back to Top
NOIRIN SHEAHAN has been practising meditation under the guidance of Bhante Bodhidhamma for the past thirty years. She attended Gaia’s first Dharma Study Course in 2002-4 and she has been assisting Bhante Bodhidhamma since 2003. In July 2013 she lost her voice box due to throat cancer and now pioneers Dharma-teaching via an electro-larynx. She teaches regularly at Satipanya and offers on-line “Right Lifestyle” courses which help people to practise in everyday situations.
Back to Top
PHYLLIS HICKS has been practicing meditation since 1984. She trained with Gregory Kramer and offers Insight Dialogue retreats internationally. A psychotherapist for 32 years, she also teaches MBSR and is a guiding teacher for Triangle Insight . She is co-author and designer of the Interpersonal Mindfulness Program. Phyllis lives in North Carolina, USA.

Listen to one of Phyllis Hicks’ talks from the BCBS Finding Freedom: An Insight Dialogue Retreat held at the Barre Center in April 2019 -: Morning Session (Duration 32:37)
Back to Top
RAMIRO ORTEGA has practised Buddhist meditation since 2005 and completed his training as a Dharma teacher with Bodhi College. He also teaches mindfulness courses and retreats. Ramiro has a background in Western philosophy and is interested in exploring the parallels between Ancient Greek philosophy and the Dharma. He is also training to become a philosophical counsellor.
RIVER WOLTON attended her first Insight Meditation retreat in 2000, and subsequently helped to establish Sheffield Insight Meditation. She is a Community Dharma Leader authorised by Gaia House Teacher Council, and has completed Dharma Teacher Training with Bodhi College. A former Derbyshire Poet Laureate, she has led writing and arts projects for many years, and is an activist in the LGBTQI+ community.

To listen to some of River's previous talks and meditations please click here.
Photo of Teacher.ROB BURBEA (1965-2020) was Gaia House’s much-loved resident teacher for 10 years, from 2005 to 2015 when he had to leave after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

During his time at Gaia House, Rob wrote Seeing that Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising – an important and influential work that continues to shape and open the meditative exploration of many.

Based on his deep experiential understanding of emptiness, Rob dedicated much of his time and energy during the last years of his life to conceiving, developing and establishing a new body of teachings that he called ‘Soul-Making Dharma’ or ‘Imaginal Practices’.

Before his death, Rob initiated ‘The Hermes Amāra Foundation’ (HAF), a sangha-led organisation that is being set up to preserve and develop Rob's vast Dharma teaching legacy.

If you wish to participate in HAF's co-creation or just learn more about its work in future, please email to be added to the mailing list.

Many of Rob’s talks can be found here:

If you’d like to read how Rob is remembered by some of his friends and students, please click here.
Back to Top
Photo of teacher SARI MARKKANEN started to practise Insight meditation in 2005 after years of other meditative practices. Sari has practised meditation on long retreats at Gaia House, in Finland and in monasteries in Thailand. She completed an Insight Meditation teacher training in 2020 guided by her close teachers Rob Burbea, Martine Batchelor and Caroline Jones. Sari has been sharing Dharma for many years in Nirodha, the Finnish Insight Meditation community, earlier as a Community Dharma Leader trainee and graduate. Previously, Sari taught secular mindfulness (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and she was a pioneer in teaching mindfulness in schools in Finland. She has written two books about mindfulness, kindness and compassion practices for children. Nowadays she is committed to serving Dharma.

Back to Top
Photo of teacherSANTACITTA BHIKKHUNI was born in Austria and did her graduate studies in Cultural Anthropology in Vienna. In 1988 she met Ajahn Buddhadasa in southern Thailand, who sparked her interest in Buddhist monastic life. She trained as a nun in England and Asia from 1993 until 2009, primarily in the lineage of Ajahn Chah, and has practiced meditation for over 30 years. Since 2002, she has also received teachings in the lineage of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Ayya Santacitta co-founded Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery in 2009 and received Bhikkhuni Ordination in 2011. She is committed to Gaia as a living being and particularly interested in bringing wisdom traditions to the environmental movement. Since 2020 she also offers teachings in German, her mother tongue.
Back to Top
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 publications are After Buddhism , Secular Buddhism and What is this? Reflections from a Sŏn retreat. 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)
Back to Top

SUMEDHA HANNAH BAGSHAW became interested in spiritual practice in her teens and, after studying Comparative Religion at university, practiced as a nun in the Thai Forest Tradition in the UK. After disrobing in 2010 she co-founded Ekuthuleni retreat place in France with Noon Baldwin, bringing together ecology, simple living and meditation.

Listen to one of Sumedha's talks given on the Nirodha meditation retreat in Finland, October 2019: Belonging, nonself and meeting suffering (Duration 35:11)

Back to Top
THANISSARA, from London, ordained after meeting Ajahn Chah for 12 years. She has facilitated meditation retreats for 35 years and has an MA in Core Process Psychotherapy from the Karuna Institute. Thanissara is co-founder of Dharmagiri, South Africa and Sacred Mountain Sangha, U.S. Her recent book is Time To Stand Up.

Listen to one of Thanissara’s Talks, Belonging (Duration 39:50)
Back to Top
Image of teacherTONY O'CONNOR has been practicing meditation since the mid 90's in both the Insight Meditation and Korean Seon traditions, trained under the guidance of Martine Batchelor and completed the Bodhi College Dharma Teacher Training Programme. He is interested in exploring how Dharma teachings can be integrated into our daily lives and inform the issues of our time.
Back to Top
VEN. CANDA began meditating in 1996 with S.N. Goenka and spent the next 7 years deepening her practice in India. She ordained as a Buddhist nun in Burma in 2006 and subsequently took full bhikkhuni ordination with Ajahn Brahm.

Her approach to meditation focuses on kindness and letting go as a means to deepening stillness and is increasingly informed by the Early Buddhist Suttas. Ven. Canda founded Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project with Ajahn Brahm - a UK charity aimed at establishing a nun's monastery in the UK.
Back to Top

YAHEL AVIGUR is a devoted meditator and Dharma teacher. In 2013, After practicing in Theravada and Insight Meditation traditions, he met the Dharma teacher Rob Burbea and became his student. He was encouraged by Rob to teach the path of Emptiness to its depth; his unique approach to the Jhana practice; and to train in teaching Soulmaking Dharma. Yahel is also trained in the Hakomi approach of assisted self study.

Back to Top
YANAI POSTELNIK first encountered the teachings of the Buddha while travelling in Asia in 1989, and has been teaching Insight Meditation and Buddhist practice internationally for 30 years. Yanai is much inspired by the Thai forest tradition, and the transformative power of the natural world. He is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council, and a Core Faculty member of Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts. Since 2018 Yanai has devoted a significant amount of his time to activism and nonviolent civil disobedience, calling for an appropriate response by government, to the climate, ecological and social justice emergency of our time. Having grown up in New Zealand, with parents of European and Asian heritage, Yanai 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)

Back to Top
YUKA NAKAMURA PH.D has been practicing in several Buddhist traditions (Vipassana, Dzogchen and Zen) since 1993 and has practiced for long periods in the US (IMS, Spirit Rock), in Burma and Japan. She was trained as a Dharmateacher by Fred von Allmen and has been teaching since 2014 in Europe and in the US. She is a trained psychologist and MBSR-teacher and trainer. She lives near Zurich in Switzerland. www.yuka‑

Listen to one of Yuka Nakamura Talks at the Insight Meditation Society retreat centre on 19.11.2016: Shaping our world through perception (Duration 51:05)
Back to Top
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 from the Meeting Uncertainty with Wisdom and Courage: Perennial Teachings for a Changing World retreat on 07.06/2021: Anicca Brings Possibilities (Duration 40:35)

Back to Top
Image of teacherZOKETSU NORMAN FISCHER is a poet and Zen Buddhist priest. For many years he has taught at the San Francisco Zen Center, the oldest and largest of the new Buddhist organizations in the West, where he served as Co-abbot from 1995-2000. He is presently a Senior Dharma Teacher there as well as the founder and spiritual director of the Everyday Zen Foundation, an organization dedicated to adapting Zen Buddhist teachings to Western culture.
Norman has written many books both as a poet and Zen Buddhist Priest: His latest poetry releases are; "Nature" (2021, Tuumba); "There was a clattering as..." (2021, Lavendar Ink) and "When You Greet Me I Bow: Notes and Reflections from a Life in Zen" (Shambhala, 2021).
Back to Top

*While all reasonable care is taken, Gaia House is not responsible for the content of external websites.