Henry Emmons is a psychiatrist who integrates mind-body and natural therapies, mindfulness and Buddhist teachings, and compassion and insight into his clinical work. Henry developed the Resilience Training Program, which is currently offered at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing. This unique program is based upon the ideas developed in his books, The Chemistry of Joy and The Chemistry of Calm. In addition to Resilience Training, Henry has developed “A Year of Living Mindfully” and “The Inner Life of Healers: Programs of Renewal for Health Professionals” offered through the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing. He is also a founding board member of the International Network for Integrative Mental Health.
I try to convey that the wisdom and compassion we are looking for is already inside of us. I see practice as learning how to purify our mind and heart so we can hear the Buddha inside. In doing so, we naturally embody the dharma and help awaken that understanding and love in others we meet.
I try to use the formal teachings as a doorway for people to see the truth in themselves. I feel I'm doing my job when people look into themselves to come to their own deep understandings of the truth, access their own inner wisdom and trust in their "Buddha-knowing," as Ajahn Chah called it, which is different from their intellectual knowing.
The Buddha-knowing is a deeper place, underneath the concepts, which is in touch with the truth, with our seed of awakening. I want practitioners to have more and more confidence in, and familiarity with, that deeper place of knowing. It is accessing this dimension of our being that becomes the guide to cutting through the confusion caused by greed and fear. We have everything we need inside ourselves. We do not need to look to a teacher when we remember who we really are.
Jean Haley has been studying and practicing Buddhism since 1998. She completed the Community Dharma Leader’s training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2012 and has been a guest teacher at Common Ground and elsewhere since then. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in private practice and also teaches at the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota.
Byakuren (White Lotus) Judith Ragir is the Senior Dharma Teacher at Clouds in Water Zen Center. She studied with Dainin Katagiri Roshi from 1973-1990 at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis. Following his death in 1990, Judith was instrumental in founding the Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul where she was a senior teacher for nine years. In December 2007, Joen Snyder-O’Neal, of Compassionate Ocean Dharma Center, bestowed on Judith Dharma Transmission, the authorization to teach. This transmission is in Katagiri Roshi’s lineage.
Kaia Svien is an instructor, author, and counselor with 20 years experience teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and related courses. She became interested in mindfulness-based techniques after finding herself struggling with depression. She has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and other mindfulness related courses at Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of MN, and the Holistic Health Studies program at St. Catherine University as well as local hospitals, women’s prisons, and venues throughout the Twin Cities. Kaia has studied with Joanna Macy and is passionate about applying the principles of buddhism to our understanding of climate change and other social issues that are based in the delusion of separation.
Kaia is a lover of wilderness, myth and metaphor and has authored To Follow the Moon, a novel following three friends seeking to gain wisdom by following the Moon through its cycles. She is also co-founder of the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project and the Elda Reading & Math Center. She is a lead teacher of Open Hearted Resiliency, a specialist in Learning Differences (SLBP), and holds a M.S. in Education and B.A. Art History.
It has long been important for me to offer the purity of the teachings of the Buddha in a way that connects with our common sense and compassion as human beings, which allows for the natural blossoming of wisdom.
Kevin Griffin is the author of the seminal 2004 book "One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps" and the recent "A Burning Desire: Dharma God and the Path of Recovery". He has been practicing Buddhist meditation for three decades and been in recovery since 1985. He’s been a meditation teacher for almost fifteen years. His teacher training was at Spirit Rock Meditation Center where he currently leads Dharma and Recovery classes.