Teachers

Lotus

Berget Jelane

Berget is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders Program at Spirit Rock and also the chaplaincy training through Sati Center. She coordinates the San Jose Sangha and regularly teaches there and at IMC. She is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Jose. Begert was ordained a Lay Buddhist Minister in January 2010.

Kim Allen

Kim Allen has practiced vipassana meditation since 2003, including intensive retreats up to 3 months in length. She also studies the suttas and applies her practice through volunteering in a hospice. Interested in both natural systems and human communities, she works as a sustainability consultant, and practices and teaches tai chi and qi gong.

Angie Boissevain

A student of Kobun Chino Otokawa Roshi, Angie has studied Zen in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 35 years. She was one of the founders of Jikoji, a retreat center in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where she served as student teacher and director for twelve years. Currently she leads the Floating Zendo, centered in San Jose, CA, which meets weekly and sponsors local retreats and study groups. She also leads sesshins at Jikoji, Arcada and Willits in California; Taos NM and Boulder, CO; Austria and Switzerland.

Carla Brennan

Carla has been practicing mindfulness meditation in the Vipassana, Zen, and Tibetan traditions for over 30 years. She teaches with Vipassana Santa Cruz and offers retreats in wild nature. She also teaches Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz.

Jim Bronson

Jim Bronson began working with the inner life and spiritual traditions as a student of Krishnamurti in a meditation course in 1968. As Director of Community Outreach and Education for Kara, Jim focuses on expressing his meditation practice in the world by providing crisis support and training for people and groups dealing with tragedy and loss. He has worked with the San Francisco Zen Center as a facilitator of their coming of age program for teens and has provided organizational development support for the staff and executives at the San Francisco Zen Hospice Project. In addition to talks, classes, officiating weddings, and giving meditation instruction at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, Jim offers retreats in beautiful natural settings.

Shaila Catherine

Shaila Catherine is the founder and principal teacher of Insight Meditation South Bay. She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has taught since 1996 in the USA, India, Israel, England, and New Zealand. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditatorís Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, (Wisdom Publications, 2008). She has extensive experience with the practice of metta, including seven months exploring metta as the meditation subject in retreats. In recent years, Shaila had continued her study of jhana and insight with the guidance of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw of Burma. Her second book, a comprehensive manual on jhana and vipassana, is forthcoming from Wisdom Publications in 2011.

Robert Cusick

Robert Cusick is a long time student of Gil Fronsdal. He was a Buddhist monk in Burma, trained by the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw. He also trained in the Soto Zen tradition at Tassajara Zen Center in 2001. He participated in the Diamond Heart program with Hameed Ali (A.H. Almaas), in the Sati Center's Buddhist Chaplaincy training and completed the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP) at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2003, where he served as Retreats Program Manager. Robert is a certified Kripalu Yoga instructor, and sits on the board of directors at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies.

Andrea Fella

Andrea Fella has been practicing Insight Meditation since 1996, and began teaching meditation classes in 2003. She is particularly drawn to intensive retreat practice, and has done a number of long retreats, both in the United States and in Burma. During one long practice period in Burma, she ordained as a nun with Sayadaw U Janeka. Andrea is also inspired by the service aspect of practice, and loves her work as a retreat manager, both at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and at the Kyaswa Monastery in Burma.

Ines Freedman

Ines Freedman first became interested in meditation through her yoga practice in 1970. She has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1985, with Gil Fronsdal being her primary teacher since 1995. She is currently participating in the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader Program. She is Managing Director of Insight Meditation Center. She is a retired chiropractor.

Margaret Gainer

Margaret began Buddhist meditation practice in 1995 after taking John Kabat-. Zinnís MBSR class. She practices weekly with San Jose Insight Meditation and attends events at IMC. She has completed Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy Training. Since 2005 she has been teaching a weekly meditation class for women inmates at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. She has taught at San Jose Insight Meditation, Insight Meditation South Bay, and Insight Meditation Center, Redwood City. Margaret is a member of First Congregational Church of San Jose and brings together Buddhist and Christian teachings there.

Misha Merrill

Misha Merrill was ordained a Zen priest in 1988 by Les Kaye Roshi in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi of the San Francisco Zen Center. She received Dharma Transmission from him in 1998 and has been leading a meditation group in Redwood City since 1993. She also teaches young children at the Peninsula School of Menlo Park. She lives in the hills above Stanford with her husband and joyfully cultivates a large garden.

Richard Shankman

Richard has been a meditator since 1970 and has a master's degree in Buddhist Studies. He teaches regularly at dharma centers and groups throughout the Bay Area. Richard actively brings meditation and dharma to prisons, and is a co-founder of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies.

Bob Stahl

Bob Stahl is a long-time practitioner of insight meditation who lived in a Buddhist monastery for over eight years. He now directs Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs in Bay Area medical centers. Bob is also a husband and a father of two sons.

Ayya Sobhana

Ayya Sobhana has meditated and trained with Bhante Henepola Gunaratana since 1989. She ordained in 2003 and obtained full Bhikkhuni ordination in 2006. Last year, Ayya Sobhana moved from the Bhavana Society in West Virginia to become the Prioress of Aranya Bodhi - Awakening Forest Hermitage, on the Sonoma Coast of California. Her primary practice is the Eightfold Noble Path, that is, integration of meditation with ethical living and compassionate relationships, for the sake of liberation.

Ayya Tathaaloka

Ayya Tathaaloka Bhikkhuni is an American-born member of the Buddhist Monastic Sangha with a background in Zen and Theravadan Buddhism. Venerable Tathaaloka began her journey into monastic life more than twenty years ago, and was granted Higher Ordination by an multi-ethnic gathering of the Bhikkhu & Bhikkhuni Sanghas in Southern California in early 1997. In 2005 she co-founded the first Theravadan Buddhist women's monastery in the Western United States here in the San Francisco East Bay. Following in the late Ayya Khema's footsteps, in 2009 Ayya Tathaaloka became the second Western woman to be appointed a Preceptor in Theravadan Buddhism. Inspired by the Forest traditions in Buddhism, she is currently involved in founding a rustic off-the-grid women's monastic retreat on the Sonoma Coast named Aranya Bodhi: Awakening Forest Hermitage, while sharing her time with the hermitage's "in the Bay" annex in Fremont: The Bodhi House.



Last Updated: 01/05/2011