Developing a clear understanding of the teachings and learning to fully inhabit the body have been core parts of my Dhamma practice. These areas, as well a strong emphasis on the heart, inform and shape my teaching. The few years I spent training as an Anagarika in the Thai Forest monasteries broadened my understanding of the Buddha's teachings and instilled a profound respect for the Bhikkhu and Bhikkhuni Sangha. All along the way, I've been particularly interested in how other modalities like Nonviolent Communication and Somatics can support our growth in awakening.
Pascal Auclair has been immersed in Buddhist practice and study since 1997, sitting retreats in Asia and America with revered monastics and lay teachers. He has been mentored by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, where he is now enjoying teaching retreats. Pascal teaches in North America and in Europe. His depth of insight, classical training, and creative expression all combine in a wise and compassionate presence. In addition, his warmth and humour make Pascal a much appreciated teacher.
Peter Doobinin is the guiding teacher of the Downtown Meditation Community. He founded DMC in 2002. Prior to that, Peter was a co-founder of New York Insight Meditation Center. He was a member of the NYI Board of Directors and Teachers Council. Peter has been teaching insight meditation since 1998. Over the years, he’s taught at many places including the New York City Public Schools. He’s taught meditation at NYU, Columbia, Pratt Institute, Hunter College and City College of New York. Peter is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders program. He has studied and practiced extensively at Metta Forest Monastery where Thanissaro Bhikkhu is the abbott. He has also done extended practice at Insight Meditation Society, Spirit Rock and Gaia House. Peter’s dharma book, The Skill of Living, was published in the spring of 2013. His writing has appeared in Tricyle; the anthology Commit to Sit; The New York Times; and other publications. Before becoming a meditation teacher, Peter worked in publishing for Simon & Schuster for more than twenty years. He also writes fiction and published a novel, Suburban Boy, in 2005. He lives in New York City.
Once called “the most intriguing African-American Buddhist” by Library Journal, Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei has been bridging the worlds of spirit and justice since her critically-acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace. Ordained as a Zen priest, she returned to her activist roots and began applying wisdom teaching to social issues to become a leading voice in the ever-emerging field of Transformative Social Change. Recently becoming only the second black woman to be recognized as a Zen teacher, she is known for her unflinching willingness to both sit with and speak uncomfortable truths. angel notes, “Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.” Whether in writing, teaching or speaking, her voice is unique.
Robert Chodo Campbell is a Soto Zen Buddhist Priest and a student of Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Roshi; he began formal Zen training in 1994. He is a Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. He serves on the Core Faculty for the Center’s Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Programs. Chodo is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkley CA.. He is Co-Director of Contemplative Care Services and serves as chaplain for the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC.
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.
The most compelling part of my practice right now comes in the form of my writing. For a long time, I've focused my teaching and writing on lovingkindness. Now as I look more deeply into lovingkindness, I find that it actually rests on another foundation, the expression of faith.
Faith is the topic I am exploring most in teaching and writing. Today there is a tremendous upsurge of interest in a new kind of faith, based on a practice where people can experience a direct spirituality, one without rigid dogma or compulsory belief in a specific cosmology. This is a spirituality that rests on personal transformation.
Vipassana allows us to take a method of mind training and craft a way of life that is more compassionate, more ethical and more powerful than our unawakened lives. The Buddha's teachings give us an immediate experience of what we can do to change. Faith in the teachings means we align ourselves with a vision of our greatest possibilities. This is the heart of the practice.