Matthew Brensilver, PhD, served as a Buddhist chaplain at USC for four years and teaches about the intersection of mindfulness and mental health at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and with Mindful Schools. Matthew was trained by Noah Levine and teaches at Against the Stream. He is currently in the Spirit Rock/IMS teacher training program and regularly offers retreats at Spirit Rock and the Insight Retreat Center. He spent years doing research on addiction treatment at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine and continues to be interested in the unfolding dialogue between dharma and science.
nakawe cuebas feels blessed to have started along the Buddhist path in 1998 with S.N. Goenka. She then continued under the guidance of Gina Sharpe, and now studies with various other teachers, focusing on longer-term retreats. She serves as a mentor for the Prisoner Correspondence Course, sponsored by the BAUS, and is a midwife in the Bronx community. She is a participant in the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program.
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.
Ralph De La Rosa, LCSW is the author of the #1 best selling The Monkey Is the Messenger: Meditation & What Your Busy Mind Is Trying to Tell You. He is a trauma-focused psychotherapist in private practice in NYC and seasoned meditation instructor. He began practicing meditation in 1996 and has taught since 2008. He was a student of Amma’s (Mata Amritanandamayi) for 16 years and began studying Buddhism in 2005. His work has been featured in The New York Post, CNN, GQ, SELF, Women’s Health, and many other publications and podcasts. He regularly leads immersive healing retreats at Omega Institute, Spirit Rock, and Kripalu. Ralph himself is a depression, PTSD, and addiction survivor. His work isinspired by the tremendous transformation he has experienced through meditation, yoga, and therapy. He is currently traveling the world while he works on his second book.