Leigh Brasington studied the jhanas with the late Ven. Ayya Khema, who authorized him to teach retreats on the jhanas. He was also empowered to teach by Jack Kornfield. He teaches numerous jhana retreats throughout the year, at venues that include Cloud Mountain, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Gaia House, Vallecitos, and Southern Dharma.
Loch Kelly, M.Div., LCSW is an author, licensed psychotherapist and recognized leader in the field of meditation. He is the founder of the non-profit, Open-Hearted Awareness Institute and has worked in community mental health, established homeless shelters and counseled family members of 9/11. Loch studied Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Nepal and India, served on the New York Insight Teachers Council, and is affiliated with Adyashanti. Loch has collaborated with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn and NYU in the study of how awareness training can enhance compassion and wellbeing. For more information, www.effortlessmindfulness.org
Born and raised in England, Lorna Kelly moved to America and became the first female fine arts auctioneer in America at Sotheby’s. At a turning point in her life, Ms. Kelly was inspired to travel to India to meet Mother Teresa and to work with her sisters, the Missionaries of Charity—tending to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta.
More recently, Lorna has experienced a series of great highs and lows—as her journey continues, we travel with her to New England where she becomes physically and psychologically lost; in Texas she is a witness to an execution; in New York she is confronted with breast cancer and performs in a major motion picture Sex and the City.
Mark Coleman has been engaged in meditation practice since 1981, primarily within the Insight meditation tradition. He has been teaching meditation retreats since 1997. His teaching is also influenced by his studies with Advaita Vedanta and Tibetan teachers in Asia and the West, and through his teacher training with Jack Kornfield. Mark primarily teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, though he also teaches nationally, in Europe and India.
He leads backpacking retreats, nature-based retreats, and teaches retreats for environmental activists in the wilderness at Vallecitos Mountain Refuge in New Mexico, and at Knoll Farm in Vermont. In the Bay Area, Mark has a counseling practice, where he integrates his studies of psychotherapy and meditative work. He is the author of “Awake in the Wild - Mindfulness in Nature as a path of Self-Discovery." Mark has been an avid hiker, and backpacker for most of his life and spends much of his time in the outdoors. He lives in the woods in Marin County, Northern California.
Matthew Brensilver, MSW, PhD, serves on the Guiding Teachers Committee and Board of Directors at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He was previously Program Director for Mindful Schools and for more than a decade, was a core teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. Each summer, he lectures at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center on the intersections between mindfulness, science and mental health. Before committing to teach meditation full-time, he spent years doing research on addiction pharmacotherapy at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine. He is the co-author of two books about meditation during adolescence.
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.