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.
Cara Lai started meditating over ten years ago, and began sitting long retreats regularly in 2011. Most of her practice has been in the IMS/Spirit Rock tradition, although she has walked many other avenues of self-discovery. She seeks to find freedom through her own intuitive process, however that may vary from the ways we normally think about Buddhism, and to help others do the same. Nature, intuition, and the body are all integral to her teaching. She teaches for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and works as a mindfulness-based psychotherapist, artist, and occasional wilderness guide. She has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Vermont; and in the past has worked in a therapeutic high school, an adoption agency, and various outdoor education settings. In 2020 she will complete the Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program. In her spare time she enjoys walking and watching plants grow.
Carol Cano is co-founder and guiding teacher for Philippine Insight Meditation Community. She started her practice over 25 years ago in Wat Ko Tahm in Thailand. She served on the Diversity Council with SRMC for several years, was mentored by Jack Kornfield for over four years, and completed the Community Dharma Leadership program with Spirit Rock. She is currently teaching around the Bay Area and has joined the Leadership Sangha at EBMC. She has a unique braiding of Native American and Basque spirituality to her Dharma practice.
What I most love in my teaching practice is seeing students become dedicated to their own liberation. As their spiritual practice matures, people light up from within when they begin to understand that personal freedom is possible. This commitment to freedom on the part of the student inspires me to find ways to express my deepest understanding and enthusiasm for liberation.
The mindfulness teachings of the Buddha are among the more direct, practical meditation techiques that we can cultivate. My focus is on sharing these practices in an accessable, down-to-earth way. How can we disengage from our habits of responding to the world through veils of confusion, greed, and hatred?
Mindfulness practice helps us recognize when we are responding to the world from the mental and emotional habits that obscure our true home, our radiant nature, which manifests as compassion and love. The Buddha's teachings show us that we are not isolated individuals who need to live defensive lives. Rather, we can learn to trust and live from our full potential as compassionate members of a connected planet.
Catherine began meditating as a teenager and traveled to India in her early twenties. Upon her return she became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and co-founded The Lomi School, one of the first teaching collectives to create a holistic approach to eastern spirituality and western psychology and to develop mind-body therapies commonly practiced today. After discovering Buddhism in the 70's, Catherine began practicing Vipassana meditation and later taught at Lomi-Vipassana retreats in Yucca Valley, along with Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein and Robert Hall, when residential retreats began in the West coast. She enjoys being a guest teacher at Spirit Rock, conducting a weekly mindfulness-based meditation group in Mill Valley, California and sharing her love of the dharma - the blessing of a lifetime. Catherine loves working at the intersection of psychology, spirituality, somatics and the meditative arts.
In addition to her private practice in integrative psychology, she creates guided meditations for meditators and customized guided meditations for individuals and couples - personalized audio recordings designed to stabilize the mind, open and soften the heart, ground the body in the present moment and examine a problem or challenging transition through a psycho-spiritual lens. For more information please visit: http://www.catherineflaxman.com