Salt Spring Insight Meditation

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Heather Martin

mail-2Heather 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, in Western Canada and the West Coast of the United States. She guides the Salt Spring Island Vipassana Community, where she has lived for 37 years.

She is a retired midwife and childbirth educator.

She emphasizes the practical application of these perennially brilliant teachings, with warm-heartedness, clarity and accessibility.

Steve Armstrong

has studied the dhamma and practiced insight meditation since 1975. As a layman he was active for many years at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre Massachusetts as Executive Director and board member. As a monk for five years in Burma under the guidance of Sayadaw U Pandita at the Mahasi Meditation Center in Rangoon, he undertook intensive, silent practice of Vipassana (insight) and Metta (lovingkindness) meditations. He studied the Buddhist psychology (abhidhamma) with Sayadaw U Zagara in Australia and presents it in practical and easily understood terms.

Returning to the US in 1990, after disrobing to become a layman, he has led meditation retreats, including the annual 3-month retreat at IMS for 18 years. Since 2004, he has been practicing “mindfulness of mind” with Sayadaw U Tejaniya and now integrates the teachings of these two awareness and insight traditions. He has taught mindfulness, insight and abhidhamma retreats in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US since 1991.

Pascal Auclair

has been immersed in the Dharma since 1997, sitting retreats in Thailand, India and America with revered monastics and lay teachers. In 2006 he was invited by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield to join the teacher training program at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. He is now enjoying teaching retreats at these two centers, as well as for True North Insight and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Pascal works with families, teens, young adults, and yogis sitting short and long retreats.

Howard Cohn

has practiced meditation since 1972 and has taught Vipassana meditation since 1985. He is a senior Dharma teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California and leads ongoing classes in San Francisco and Marin. He has studied with many Asian and Western teachers of several traditions including Theravada, Zen, Tibetan and Advaita Vedanta and incorporates a non-dual perspective in his teaching. He is a Ph.D. candidate in East/West psychology and has a private practice in counselling.

Gil Fronsdal

gil_fronsdal-242x300is the primary teacher for the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California; he has been teaching since 1990. He has practiced Zen and Vipassana in the U.S. and Asia since 1975. He was a Theravada monk in Burma in 1985, and in 1989 began training with Jack Kornfield to be a Vipassana teacher. Gil teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center where he is part of its Teachers Council.

Adrianne Ross

has been involved with meditation and healing since 1978, practicing Vipassana since 1984. She is influenced by Dzogchen and other contemplative practices. Trained by Jack Kornfield, she leads meditation classes and retreats in Canada, at Spirit Rock and IMS. She has enjoyed offering women’s retreats over the past 4 years. She has recently retired from practicing Family Medicine in Vancouver, BC, and teaches mindfulness-based stress reduction to people with chronic pain and illness.

Kate Dresher

kate-dresherhas been practicing meditation since 1998 and began teaching in 2010 at the request of her root teacher, Michele McDonald. She has studied with both Asian and Western meditation masters, most notably Venerables Chanmyay Myaing Sayadaw and Sayadaw U Vivekananda, and practiced as a nun in Burma.  She has also trained to offer spiritual care, as a Buddhist chaplain, for those facing difficulty or loss. Kate is involved in teaching metta and vipassana retreats primarily in the Northwest U.S. and British Columbia, where she resides. She emphasizes practicing right where we are as a doorway to the natural unfolding of wisdom and love.

Robert Cusick

Robert-Cusik-268x300currently training at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, is a former Buddhist monk who has practiced insight meditation since 1997.  Trained in 1998 by Frank Ostaseski, as a Zen Hospice Project EOL (end-of-life) volunteer caregiver, he has worked at the bedside of the dying and with their families, loved ones, co-workers and companions.  In 2009 he trained and currently serves as a bereavement counsellor at Kara, where he provides one-on-one grief support for adults and lead men’s grief groups.  He has studied in the Soto Zen tradition at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, in the Ridhwan School’s Diamond Approach with A.H. Almaas (Hameed Ali) and in Spirit Rock’s multi-year Dedicated Practioner’s Program.  He ordained in Burma under the world renowned Burmese Meditation Master, Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, and studied there with him for a number of years.  His practice is focused on recognizing and cultivating compassion through the application of mindfulness.

Venerable Dr. Pannavati Bhikkhuni

a yogini, former Christian pastor, founding Co-Abbot of Embracing Simplicity Hermitage, and a founding director of Sisters of Compassionate Wisdom (a 21st century  trans-lineage Buddhist order), ordained in Theravada and Chan Schools. A Zen Dharma Holder and Vajrayana practitioner as well, Pannavati’s insight is rich with compassion, wit and humor.  Known for her ordination of Thai and Cambodian nuns, work with homeless youth in Appalachia, and ministry to the “untouchables” in India, she is the recipient of multiple Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards, and received a special commendation from HRH Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand for humanitarian service towards women and children. She was a guest speaker at Buddhafest in Washington DC in 2012, and again in 2013. She also guest teaches at many communities including Insight NY and Spirit Rock’s CDL program.Venerable Pannavati has realized many other accomplishments.  Yet, larger than all these put together, is her simple concern for and connection to all sentient beings. She is, in a word, approachable.

Tempel Smith

teaches Mindfulness, Insight and Metta meditation with an emphasis on Buddhist psychology and mind-body awareness. He spent a year as a monk in Burma with Sayadaw U Pandita and Pa Auk Sayadaw. Tempel organizes the Dedicated Practitioner Program (DPP) and Living Dharma retreats for Spirit Rock and teaches classes in the East Bay.

Arinna Weismann

Arinna2-296x300has studied insight meditation since 1979 and has been teaching since 1989. Her root teacher is Ruth Denison who was empowered by the great teacher U Bha Khin. She is the founding teacher of Insight Meditation Center of the Pioneer Valley. She is co-author of the book, A Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation and a contributor to Women Practicing Buddhism; American Experiences, edited by Peter Gregory and Susanne Mrozik.Her dharma practice and teaching have been infused with her political and environmental activism. She was the first out queer teacher with Eric Kolvig to lead insight meditation retreats for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Queer community. She also leads ‘Uncovering the Heart Retreats’ integrating the practice of awareness of the social dynamics of inequity with the dharma practice of liberation.

Celeste Mallet-Jason (Retreat Yoga Teacher)

Celeste’s teaching experience spans more than 30 years. She holds certificates in Iyengar, Sivanada and Ashtanga Yoga and has studied with many popular North American and European teachers. She has lost count of the number of students who have attended her classes and the ones whom she assisted in training to become Teachers themselves. Her integrative style is based on strong alignment principles, no longer specified by one school or another, but on the practical applications of grace and ease of movement and peace of mind. Celeste is particularly interested in Yoga Therapy and offers Private Sessions with this as a focus. Nature inspires her, as do the rigours of Life… which keep one both curious and humble.