Meditation retreats and classes are led by a wide variety of visiting and local teachers. Here are bios for the meditation teachers in the Westcoast
Dharma schedule from 2012 to 2014.
Sally Clough Armstrong began practicing Vipassana meditation in India in 1981. She spent five years in England, where she managed a retreat center and was a founding member of the Sharpham meditation community.
When she moved to California in 1988, she continued her Dharma service at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in a number of roles, including Executive Director. Sally began teaching meditation in 1996, and is one of the guiding teachers of Spirit Rock's Dedicated Practitioner Program.
Steve Armstrong has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1975, leading retreats since 1990, and is currently one of the guiding senior Dharma teachers at the IMS three-month retreat. As a layperson he was active for many years at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts as a retreat manager and Board member.
As a monk for 5 years in Burma under the guidance of Sayadaw U Pandita Steve undertook intensive, silent practice of insight and lovingkindness meditations. He has also intensively studied Buddhist psychology (Abhidhamma) with Sayadaw U Zagara, and presents the Abhidhamma in practical and easily understood terms. He makes his home on Maui and is co-founder and guiding teacher of Vipassana Metta on Maui.
Pascal Auclair has been immersed in the Dharma since 1997, studying with revered Asian monastic and lay Western teachers.
A co-founder of True North Insight Meditation Centre in Canada, he enjoys teaching in Canada and in the US. His depth of insight, classical training, and creative expression all combine in a wise and compassionate presence. His warmth and humour also make him a much appreciated teacher.
Howard Cohn has practiced meditation since 1972 and has taught Vipassana meditation since 1985. He is a senior Dharma teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California and leads ongoing classes in San Francisco and Marin.
Howard has studied with many Asian and Western teachers of several traditions including Theravada, Zen, Tibetan and Advaita Vedanta and incorporates a non-dual perspective in his teaching. He also works as a psychotherapist with a private practice in counselling.
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (in 21 languages) and Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he has taught at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and in meditation centers worldwide.
His work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, Consumer Reports Health, and U.S. News and World Report and he has several audio programs with Sounds True. His weekly e-newsletter – Just One Thing – has nearly 30,000 subscribers, and also appears on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites.
Myoshin Kelley attended her first meditation retreat in 1975. She has practiced intensively with several renowned Buddhist meditation masters in the Theravada, Zen and Vajrayana traditions. She lived at the Insight Meditation Society for 15 years where she trained as a meditation teacher. From 2003 - 2009 she was the teacher in residence at the Forest Refuge, the long-term meditation practice center at IMS.
Myoshin is a long term student of Mingyur Rinpoche and lives in Minneapolis assisting Mingyur Rinpoche in carrying forth his worldwide vision. Her teaching style emphasizes a relaxed, caring and attentive attitude combined with joyful interest.
Linda McDonald began Vipassana and Metta meditation in 1987. Prior to formal meditation practice, her spiritual journey included a foundation of Christian mysticism, Native American spirituality, and contemplative self-inquiry practices. Since 1987, Linda has led sitting groups, managed retreats, and served as a Board member in the Vancouver meditation community. She has also worked as a psychotherapist for twenty-five years and continues to work as the Executive Director of the Westcoast Dharma Society.
Linda is a graduate of the Insight Meditation Society teacher training program and has been teaching meditation since 2001. Her teaching emphasizes lovingkindness, the awakening heart of bodhicitta, and unshakeable trust in the unfolding of our experiencing.
Michele McDonald has practiced Vipassana meditation since 1975 and has been teaching worldwide since 1982. She is a senior Dharma teacher at IMS, a founder of Vipassana Hawaii and the Metta Dana Project in Burma, and a current developer of a regional international retreat center in Hawaii.
Michele is deeply interested in exploring the relationship between intensive practice, daily life practice, and psychotherapy, in preserving the ancient teachings, and in finding ways of expression that make them more accessible and authentic for us in this time. She is particularly drawn to the teachings on liberation - the very real possibility of freedom from greed, hatred and delusion in this life.
Phillip Moffitt is the founder and president of the Life Balance Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to the study and practice of spiritual values in daily life, and a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California. He teaches vipassana meditation at retreat centers around the United States and holds a weekly meditation class in Marin County, California.
Phillip is the author of Dancing with Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering (2008) and Emotional Chaos to Clarity: (2012).
Adrianne Ross, MD, as a family physician and health care worker, has been involved in meditation and healing since 1976. She has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1984. Her spiritual journey has also included contemplative inquiry practices (Enlightenment Intensives and Diamond Approach) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
Adrianne's teaching is influenced by both Thai and Burmese streams of the Theravadan tradition as well as Tibetan Buddhist (Dzogchen) practice. She teaches classes and retreats in Canada and the United States, and leads sitting groups and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programs in Vancouver. Adrianne is involved in teaching the Dedicated Practitioner Program and the Path of Engagement Program (Socially Engaged Buddhism), both sponsored by Spirit Rock Meditation Centre in California. She is passionate about being awake in all areas of life and living the dharma as fully as possible.
Rodney Smith has been practicing Insight Meditation since 1975 including several years as a Buddhist monk in Asia and teaching meditation since 1983.
Rodney has worked in hospice care in a variety of roles for 16 years. He is currently a senior Dharma teacher for the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and the founding and guiding teacher for the Seattle Insight MeditationSociety and Insight Meditation Houston. He is author of the book, Lessons from the Dying and author of the recently published (2010) book, Stepping Out of Self-Deception: the Buddha's liberating teaching of no-self.
Steven Smith teaches Metta (lovingkindness) and Vipassana retreats worldwide. Anchored in the Theravadan tradition of Southeast Asia since1974, he has trained both as a monk and a layperson with the Burmese meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita.
Steven is a co-founder of Vipassana Hawaii and the Metta Dana Project in Burma. He divides his time teaching Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) meditation retreats around the world, and assisting Burmese refugee communities along the Thai-Burma border. His long term vision for preserving the Dhamma is culminating in the beginnings of the Hawai'i Insight Meditation Center (HIMC) on the Big Island of Hawai'i's remote North Kohala coast.