Sally Clough Armstrong began practicing vipassana meditation in India in 1981. She moved to the Bay Area in 1988, and worked at Spirit Rock until 1994 in a number of roles, including executive director. She began teaching in 1996, and is one of the guiding teachers of Spirit Rock's Dedicated Practitioner Program.
Sally has always been inspired by the depth and the breadth of the Buddha’s teaching, as presented in the suttas of the Pali Canon, because the truth and power of the Buddha’s words still speak to us today. Her intention in teaching is to make these ancient texts and practices accessible and relevant to all levels of practitioner, from the very new to the dedicated meditator.
Sandra Maitri is the only prominent teacher of the system of the enneagram to have learned it when it was originally taught by Claudio Naranjo, M.D., beginning in 1970. She is currently one of the principal and supervising teachers of the Diamond Approach® to Inner Realization, leading groups in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the United Kingdom, is director of teacher training in California, and a member of the leadership council of the Ridhwan School, home of the Diamond Approach®.
Her first book, "The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul", was published in 2001 by Tarcher/Penguin; and her second book, "The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues: Finding the Way Home", was released this year. In addition to her artwork, she is working on her third book, about relationship and spirituality.
Sandy Boucher has been practicing and teaching meditation in the Theravada tradition for thirty-five years. She leads retreats such as “Dharma and Writing”, “A Celebration of the Feminine Divine”, and “Meditation and the Spirit of Creativity” in the Northwest and the San Francisco Bay area.
She has chronicled the contribution of women to American Buddhism through her six Dharma books. Her new book, She Appears! Encounters with Kwan Yin Goddess of Compassion,offers stories and artwork presenting the Celestial Bodhisattva of Compassion Kwan Yin through Western eyes.
Sebene Selassie is a meditation teacher and certified Integral Coach®. She has been studying Buddhism since majoring in Comparative Religious Studies as an undergrad at McGill University. For over 20 years she worked with children, youth, and families nationally and internationally for small and large not–for–profits. Her work has taken her everywhere from the Tenderloin in San Francisco to refugee camps in Guinea, West Africa. Sebene is a two–time breast cancer survivor.
Shahara Godfrey is one of the teachers from the East Bay Meditation Center.
She has trained in the Theravada Buddhist tradition for over 20 years. Other influences have been spiritual teachers from various cultures and traditions as well as the creative arts. She is a graduate of CDL and POE programs from Spirit Rock.
Shahara has a Ph.D. and currently works as an Educator.
Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses (bodhicourses.org) an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation center in Mountain View, California (imsb.org). She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience, and has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, (Wisdom Publications, 2008). She has extensive experience practicing and teaching mindfulness, loving kindness, concentration, and a broad range of approaches to liberating insight. Since 2006, Shaila has continued her study of jhana and insight under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw, and authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011).
Shantum Seth is a teacher and well-known guide to the sites associated with the Buddha in India. A Buddhist practitioner, he is an ordained teacher (Dharmacharya) in the Zen tradition of the Vietnamese Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. He teaches in India and other countries and has been leading pilgrimages under the name "In the Footsteps of the Buddha" since 1988. In the last few years he has been leading inter-faith, educational, cultural and spiritual journeys to diverse regions of India. At the same time, he has been deeply involved with social and ecological development issues for over 20 years. He has contributed to a number of books including Walking with the Buddha. He has also been a consultant on films including Life of the Buddha made by the BBC/Discovery and Michael Wood’s The Story of India by BBC/PBS.
My focus in teaching is to provide the support that students need to turn their life to the dharma, to truth, and to find ways to come out of their pain and suffering. The retreat experience is an invaluable aid to this exploration; however, what matters more is how one integrates this under- standing into everyday life.
I care that students see through the illusory wall between formal meditation and their daily life. Then, what remains is a meditative attitude to all that occurs.
Vipassana practice helps us to become respectful and caring towards ourselves and others. This generates the conditions of mind and heart that allow us to awaken to the truth of who we are, rather than believing in our limited assumptions. As we see the impersonal nature of our own mind, we then experience a deep engagement with life that allows for a complete transformation of the heart. When we know this deeply, we can no longer unconsciously engage in actions that will lead to suffering and the ongoing destruction of our planet.
As a teacher, I am accessible and able to meet people at an intimate level. I am interested in how the language that we use can show where we are holding on. I look to the concepts about reality that people believe in as the key that unlocks the door to liberating insight. People can easily discount their experiences and forget that they hold the seeds to liberation, that the wisdom is already within them. As people speak what is in their hearts, affirmation brings about the confidence needed to take the next step, which can often seem confusing and daunting as one walks into the unknown territory of the mind.