Thanissara, originally from London, was a nun for 12 years in the tradition of Ajahn Chah and has taught internationally the last 30 years. She is co-founder and director of Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat, South Africa and has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice from the UK. She is co-author of Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Guide to Engaged Buddhism, author of Time To Stand Up, An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth, and several books of poetry. She currently lives in the North Bay, California and teaches at IMS and is on the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock, a Core Teacher at IMS, and Guiding Teacher of Sacred Mountain Sangha.
The inspiration for my teaching is to help people discover the direct experience of ultimate truth that underlies conventional reality, and then infuse life with an ever-deepening awareness of this mystery as it manifests in our everyday work and relationships. I have practiced meditation since 1976, and have been authorized to teach by Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw of Burma.
Tony Bernhard first encountered the dharma in 1965 and became one of Spirit Rock’s first community dharma leaders in 1999. He currently sits on the board of the Sati Center, trains inmates and staff at Folsom Prison in mindfulness and dharma, leads sitting groups in Davis, and regularly teaches in a handful of venues in and around Sacramento and the Bay Area. He primarily focuses his practice on study of the dharma teachings in the earliest texts.
Trudy Goodman has practiced in the Zen and Theravada traditions since 1974. She founded InsightLA and Growing Spirit (a family program) in Los Angeles. She is the guiding teacher of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy in Cambridge, MA.
Tuere Sala is a guiding teacher of Seattle Insight Meditation Society and Capitol Hill Meditation Group. She has over 25 years of Buddhist meditation experience and is currently a participant in IMS’s 2017-2021 Teacher Training Program. Her teaching focus is on strengthening the value of everyday urban practice.
Vinny Ferraro has been practicing meditation since 1993. He has studied with several renowned spiritual teachers including Ajahn Sumedho and the Dalai Lama. In 1998, he spent a year sitting bedside with the dying through the San Francisco Zen Center Hospice Program, as well as experiencing "A Year to Live" practice (based on the book by Stephen Levine). He has taught meditation to incarcerated youth and adults and is currently the head trainer for MBA, The Mind Body Awareness Project. Vinny also leads workshops for youth in schools internationally for a non-profit organization called Challenge Day. He is a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader and has been teaching the weekly Friday night insight meditation group Urban Dharma in San Francisco since 2004.