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Community Dharma Leaders Training Programme

In May 2015 the Gaia House Teacher Council launched a Community Dharma Leaders (CDL) training programme in the UK.

Interest in Insight Meditation and Dharma practice has grown steadily over the three decades since we began running retreats at Gaia House. For a number of years, many local groups have regularly run sitting days and other activities around the country and we have been hearing regularly from many practitioners of their real desire and need for more locally-based support for practice in their daily lives. In response to this we have begun training a number of senior Dharma students to enable them to offer service to their local sangha or community.

Participants 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 will support these senior students to share their love and knowledge of the Dharma with new and existing practitioners, in communities (geographic or otherwise) where they are connected and involved in an ongoing way, and to provide facilitation and leadership functions within those sanghas, if needed.

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.

Each participant is being mentored by an established Gaia House teacher. When that teacher feels they are ready, the trainee will be encouraged to begin offering some form of introductory meditation courses, as part of completing the requirements for their training and development, under the supervision of that teacher.

On completing the training programme, CDLs will be authorised by the Gaia House Teacher Council to offer basic instruction in meditation and guidance in the Dharma teachings, including classes and day-long retreats, in their locality or community, on a dana basis.

After graduation, we envision that CDLs will continue to have a connection with their mentor, however, the Gaia House Teacher Council will hold overall responsibility for CDLs and will be the point of reference if any concerns arise concerning a participant or graduate of the programme.

We are confident that their service will be a valuable support for ongoing and deepening Dharma practice outside of retreats, and where access to Dharma teachers is limited.

Catherine, Yanai and Jenny,
The CDL organising group, on behalf of the Gaia House Teacher Council

CDL Code of Ethics

Graduates

We are delighted to confirm the current list of graduates from our CDL programme:

Bernat Font of Barcelona

Clare Brunt of London

Juha Penttila of Finland

Sari Markkanen of Finland

Sampo Koistinen of Finland

Walter Young of Whitley Bay

Gary Born of London

River Wolton of Sheffield

Brigid Avison of Oxford

Ramiro Ortega of Totnes

James Blake of London

Julia Wallond of Machynlleth, Wales

Ella Titman Tamari of Llanwrtyd, Wales

Chris Carter of Norwich

Jiva Masheder of Brighton

Gilles de Obaldia of Paris, France

Andy Wimbush of London

Gareth Fysh-Foskett of Machynlleth, Wales

These graduates have completed their training and are authorised by the Gaia House Teacher Council to offer instruction in meditation and guidance in the Dharma teachings, including classes and day-long retreats, in their locality or community, on a Dana basis.

With our blessings,The CDL team

May this CDL programme be of service to our Dharma communities,
and be for the benefit of all beings.