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."
I am a lifelong spiritual practitioner who has trained for over 20 years in the Theravada Buddhist tradition in the U.S., India and Sri Lanka. I live in an urban area and consider how the practices can translate for my fellow citizens with a busy modern life; I am most interested in bringing these ancient teachings to the contemporary world, informed by my love of creative arts, technology, politics and pop culture. I also have an MBA and am particularly interested in the practice as it relates to leadership development -- how we can each see through the things that hold us back from manifesting our unique gifts and talents in the world. I am on the Spirit Rock Teacher's Council and teach at other meditation centers, but also do a lot of teaching & coaching in tech companies, nonprofit organizations, and less overtly spiritual settings. For more information, please visit: www.anushkaf.org
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 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.
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.
Ordained as a dharma teacher by Zen master & peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, Cheri is also a private consultant and trainer. Cheri worked in the criminal justice profession for 25 years as a police officer, the Head of Probation & Parole, and an Assistant Attorney General in Wisconsin. She also has extensive experience as a community organizer and a social justice advocate. She has incorporated all these experiences into her understanding and teaching of the dharma and her practice of engaged Buddhism.
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.