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.
Ashley Sharp began teaching yoga more than a decade ago. She is known for her wit, practicality, and tenderness as an instructor. She grew up dancing, and brings to her classes a lifetime of body-knowledge and wisdom. She has studied yoga asana and philosophy in the United States and in India with Swami Dayananda, Erich Schiffmann, Patricia Sullivan and Sat Santokh Sing. She completed an eighteen-month Mindfulness and Yoga Training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Sharp's ongoing practice of Vipassana meditation led naturally to her unique weaving of mindfulness themes into each class, simultaneously deepening her students' physical and spiritual practice. Sharp is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. Ashley teaches meditation and wisdom around the Bay Area including at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She founded Insight Richmond, a community based meditation group. In addition to completing the "Dedicated Practioner Program," and the "Community Dharma Leader" training, she has sat in silent meditation for just about a full year.
Betsy Rose is a singer, writer, recording artist, and a mother. She is a renowned children’s artist, teaching children the power of their own voices and creativity through singing and song making workshops. She has performed widely throughout the world at festivals, ecological conferences and spiritual gatherings. Spiritual leaders such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Matthew Fox and Joanna Macy have included her music in their work. She co-leads events for the Family Program at Spirit Rock. She was introduced to the dharma by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1987.
Is a long-time practitioner of insight meditation, lived in a Buddhist monastery for over eight years. He has a PhD in Philosophy and Religion with a specialization in Buddhist Studies, and now directs Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs in six Bay Area medical centers. Bob studied with the renowned Burmese masters Taungpulu Kaba-Aye Sayadaw, Hlaing Tet Sayadaw, Dr. Rina Sircar and Pokokhu Sayadaw, and has experience with 32 parts of the body, 4 elements and charnel ground meditations.
Bob has completed training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and is a certified mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher having been certified by UMass Medical Center.
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.
Brian Lesage has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1988 and has taught meditation since 2000. He has studied in the Zen, Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. He was ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1996. His training in Vipassana Meditation includes doing extended meditation retreats in Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, and India as well as numerous retreats in the U.S. He leads retreats and teaches meditation courses nationwide.