Andrew Olendzki, PhD., is the Senior Scholar at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, which is dedicated to the integration of scholarly understanding and meditative insight. Trained in Buddhist Studies at Lancaster University in England, as well as at Harvard and the University of Sri Lanka, he has taught at various New England colleges (including Harvard, Brandeis and Smith) and is author of "Unlimiting Mind: The radically experiential psychology of Buddhism."
My teaching practice and my personal practice continually intertwine, each weaving a pattern in the larger tapestry of the Dharma. The theme that threads itself throughout my practice relates to the tremendous pain and suffering, the challenges and difficulties that so many beings face, and the possibility of awakening from this suffering. From this immediate calling I've woven the purpose of my life.
It is a deep honor for me to come together with others who feel a similar calling of connection to the Dharma to learn about the greatest gift of all: a happiness inside of us that is unconditional, and a depth of being that is infinite.
Together, our practice is dedicated to this effort of opening to our hearts' potential. To this I bring the flavor of my lineage--the continuation of the teachings of my root teachers, Ruth Denison and her teacher U Bha Khin; a commitment to learning how to live with each other in kindness; and my life as a lesbian in a long-term relationship.
Even though I have been involved in different traditions over the years, what I love about Buddhism is the simplicity of the practice; the fact that it isn't embodied by a lot of ritual, or special clothes, or the need for different props. I love the moment-to-moment calling of awareness to whatever one is doing. And vitally important, I appreciate the safety inherent in the teacher/student relationship, where the emphasis is on the practice itself and the teacher engages as a peer and spiritual friend.
Bonnie Duran, Dr.P.H., began Buddhist meditation practice 30 years ago. She is currently participating in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and is a dharma leader at the Seattle Insight Meditation Society. An associate professor of public health, she directs the University of Washington’s Center for Indigenous Health Research.
Chas DiCapua is currently the Insight Meditation Society's Resident Teacher, and has offered meditation since 1998. He is interested in how each person can fully and uniquely manifest the dharma. He teaches regularly at sitting groups and centers close to IMS.
Craig, a dedicated member of Common Ground Meditation Center community, died of pancreatic cancer on April 18 2014 at 76 years of age. He served on the initial Board of Directors, chaired the Ethics Committee and founded the Twelve Steps and Mindfulness group. He led workshops on anger and forgiveness for many years, and also conducted Twelve Steps and Mindfulness retreats. Common Ground was Craig's spiritual home, and many of his books have been donated to the Common Ground retreat center in Wisconsin.