Community Dharma Leaders Training Programme

Background to the training programme

The first CDL training programme offered by the Gaia House Teacher Council was launched in 2015.

It was offered in response to the growth in local Insight Meditation groups, which regularly run sitting days and other activities around the UK and in some other countries. Organisers and practitioners in these sanghas had expressed a strong desire and need for more locally-based support for practice in their daily lives. In response to this, members of the Teacher Council have trained a number of senior Dharma students to enable them to offer service to their local sangha or community.

Participants were nominated and mentored by Gaia House teachers who knew them well, and were confident that they could be of service in this way. The training included a broad framework of Dharma study and training for Dharma service, and required a minimum of 18 months and participation in at least one residential training week.

On completion of their training, the Community Dharma Leaders are able 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 Gaia House Teacher Council holds overall responsibility for CDLs and is the point of reference if any concerns arise about a participant or graduate of the programme.

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

Update – July 2020:
At the present time, the CDL programme is not open to new applicants.
The current training is nearing its completion and at this point, another training has not been planned.
We will let you know if and when this changes.

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

CDL graduates who have also completed their Dharma teacher training:

Sari Markkanen
Juha Pentilla

CDL Code of Ethics


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:

Bernat Font-Clos of Barcelona

Clare Brunt of London

Juha Penttilä of Finland*

Sari Markkanen 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

Tim Blanch of Bridgend, Wales

With our blessings,The CDL team

* Graduated also from a teacher training programme

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