Is a long-time practitioner of insight meditation, lived in a Buddhist monastery for over eight years. He has a PhD in Philosophy and Religion with a specialization in Buddhist Studies, and now directs Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs in six Bay Area medical centers. Bob studied with the renowned Burmese masters Taungpulu Kaba-Aye Sayadaw, Hlaing Tet Sayadaw, Dr. Rina Sircar and Pokokhu Sayadaw, and has experience with 32 parts of the body, 4 elements and charnel ground meditations.
Bob has completed training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and is a certified mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher having been certified by UMass Medical Center.
Bonnie met the Dharma in 1982 at Kopan Monastery and in Bodh Gaya India. Since then she has practiced long and short retreats with Joseph Goldstein and other eastern and western monastics and lay teachers. She is a graduate of the IMS/SRMC teacher training programs and is also involved with Indigenous ceremonies and practices. She is currently a core teacher of the IMS teacher training program and the SRMC Dedicated Practitioners Program. Dr. Duran is a Professor of Social Work and Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Brian Lesage has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1988 and has taught meditation since 2000. He has studied in the Zen, Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. He was ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1996. His training in Vipassana Meditation includes doing extended meditation retreats in Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, and India as well as numerous retreats in the U.S. He leads retreats and teaches meditation courses nationwide.
Cara Lai started meditating over ten years ago, and began sitting long retreats regularly in 2011. Most of her practice has been in the IMS/Spirit Rock tradition, although she has walked many other avenues of self-discovery. She seeks to find freedom through her own intuitive process, however that may vary from the ways we normally think about Buddhism, and to help others do the same. Nature, intuition, and the body are all integral to her teaching. She teaches for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and works as a mindfulness-based psychotherapist, artist, and occasional wilderness guide. She has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Vermont; and in the past has worked in a therapeutic high school, an adoption agency, and various outdoor education settings. In her spare time she enjoys walking and watching plants grow.
Carol Cano, M.A., began her practice over 30 years ago at Wat Kow Tahm in Thailand and has actively engaged in building communities and teaching Dharma internationally. She is a graduate of the 2017-2020 Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Teacher Training program and a teacher at Spirit Rock often. She is a core teacher and a former board member of East Bay Meditation Center. Carol co-founded Philippine Insight Meditation Community in Philippines. Her unique teachings are deeply grounded in Basque, Native American and Buddhist influences that braid the Dharma along indigenous wisdom and Earth-based practices. Her psychology background gives her a unique view into the human condition, which helps her hold community in a compassionate and confident manner. Carol reminds us to keep grounded in our hearts as we uphold spiritual ideals and encourages us to remain balanced within the demands of modern life.
What I most love in my teaching practice is seeing students become dedicated to their own liberation. As their spiritual practice matures, people light up from within when they begin to understand that personal freedom is possible. This commitment to freedom on the part of the student inspires me to find ways to express my deepest understanding and enthusiasm for liberation.
The mindfulness teachings of the Buddha are among the more direct, practical meditation techiques that we can cultivate. My focus is on sharing these practices in an accessable, down-to-earth way. How can we disengage from our habits of responding to the world through veils of confusion, greed, and hatred?
Mindfulness practice helps us recognize when we are responding to the world from the mental and emotional habits that obscure our true home, our radiant nature, which manifests as compassion and love. The Buddha's teachings show us that we are not isolated individuals who need to live defensive lives. Rather, we can learn to trust and live from our full potential as compassionate members of a connected planet.
Caroline Jones, a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council, has been practicing meditation for 25 years and teaching since 2009. In teaching, she encourages students to discover and deepen ways of engaging with the Dharma to bring healing and liberation.