AudioDharma Speakers

Ajaan Thanissaro Ajaan Thanissaro Ajaan Thanissaro (Geoff) is an American monk of the Thai forest tradition. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1971 with a degree in European Intellectual History, he studied meditation under Ajaan Fuang Jotiko in Thailand and ordained in 1976. In 1991 he helped establish Metta Forest Monastery in San Diego, CA where he is the abbot. He is a prolific writer and translator. Many of his works can be found online at www.dhammatalks.org.
Ajahn Amaro Ajahn Amaro Born in England in 1956, Ven. Amaro Bhikkhu received his BSc. in Psychology and Physiology from the University of London. Spiritual searching led him to Thailand, where he went to Wat Pah Nanachat, a Forest Tradition monastery established for Western disciples of Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah, who ordained him as a bhikkhu in 1979. He returned to England and joined Ajahn Sumedho at the newly established Chithurst Monastery. He resided for...
Ajahn Chandako Ajahn Chandako Originally from Minneapolis, Ajahn Chandako was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1990 in the Thai Forest Tradition in the lineage of Ajahn Chah. After practicing intensive meditation in various monasteries in Thailand and traveling extensively in Tibet, Nepal, and India, he settled at Wat Pah Nanachat in Thailand, the monastery established by Ajahn Chah for his English-speaking disciples. He translated many of the teachings into English and is...
Andrea Fella Andrea Fella Andrea Fella is a co-guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Center and the Insight Retreat Center. She has been practicing Insight Meditation since 1996, and teaching Insight Meditation since 2003. She is particularly drawn to intensive retreat practice, and has done a number of long retreats, both in the United States and in Burma. During one long practice period in Burma, she ordained as a nun with Sayadaw U Janaka. Andrea is especially...
Ayya Anandabodhi Ayya Anandabodhi Ayya Anandabodhi first encountered the Buddha’s teachings in her early teens, igniting a deep interest in the Buddha’s Path of Awakening. She lived and trained as a nun in the Forest Tradition at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries in England from 1992 until 2009, when she moved to the US to help establish Aloka Vihara, a training monastery for women. Her practice and teaching are guided by early Buddhist scriptures and through nature’s pure...
Ayya Santussika Ayya Santussika Ayya Santussika grew up on a farm in Indiana and moved to California after receiving a BS and MS in Computer Science. She worked for 15 years as a software engineer in Silicon Valley before dedicating her life to spiritual practice. In 1999, she began visiting monasteries in the US, Europe and Asia where she learned from master teachers mostly in the Ajahn Chah lineage. She trained as a minister and received a Masters of Divinity degree in...
Bhante Piyananda Bhante Piyananda Venerable Walpola Piyananda (“Bhante”) is the founder, president, and abbot of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles, California. Born in 1943 in Sri Lanka, he has been a monk since the age of 12. He came to the United States in 1976 to further his education, attending Northwestern University and UCLA, holding two M.A.s and a Ph.D. He is presently the adviser to the president of Sri Lanka on international religious affairs and the chief...
Bhante Sujato Bhante Sujato Bhante Sujato is a senior teaching monk in Australia and the region. He is currently focussing on leading the team for SuttaCentral, a website for early Buddhist texts, translations, and parallels. He is also passionate about climate work and other contemporary issues. Many of his works can be found online at https://lokanta.github.io.
Bhikkhu Analayo Bhikkhu Analayo Bhikkhu Analayo was born in Germany in 1962 and ordained in Sri Lanka in 1995. In the year 2000 he completed a Ph.D. thesis on the Satipatthana-sutta at the University of Peradeniya (published by Windhorse in the UK). In the year 2007 he completed a habilitation research at the University of Marburg, in which he compared the Majjhima-nikaya discourses with their Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan counterparts. At present, he is a member of the...
Carla Brennan Carla Brennan Carla Brennan is an Insight Meditation retreat teacher in the Santa Cruz area and offers drop-in meditation groups, classes, retreats and other programs with Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation. She is also a visiting teacher with the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. Carla founded Bloom of the Present in 2009. Carla began meditation practice in 1975 in the Zen tradition and was a student of Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn in...
David Lorey David Lorey David Lorey began meditating as a teenager in the 1970s and then in college began an intensive practice in transcendental meditation. He was introduced to the Buddhadharma in the early 2000s. Daily sitting and walking meditation, with a focus on integrating tranquility and insight practices, form the core of his practice. David also enjoys studying the early teachings embedded in the textual tradition of the Pali canon for insights into...
Dawn Neal Dawn Neal Dawn Neal has accumulated over two years of silent meditation retreat practice since 2005. Having explored multiple schools of Buddhism, in 2009 she took temporary Theravādin ordination in Burma. After returning home, in 2010 she joined the IMC community. Dawn holds an MA from the Institute of Buddhist Studies. She works as an interfaith spiritual care professional (Chaplain), ordained in the Insight Meditation Tradition. She serves the Dharma...
Diana Clark Diana Clark Being inspired by the Buddha’s teachings on peace and freedom and supported by her own discoveries along the Buddhist path of practice, Diana Clark, PhD, teaches with an emphasis on both the beautiful and the practical. She has trained exclusively in the Theravada tradition, including cumulative years of silent meditation retreats. In addition, she studies and teaches about the earliest Buddhist teachings found in the Pali Canon. Diana also...
Donald Rothberg Donald Rothberg Donald Rothberg, Ph.D., a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock and a teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, has practiced Insight Meditation since 1976, and has also received training in Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra practice and the Hakomi approach to body-based psychotherapy. Formerly on the faculties of the University of Kentucky, Kenyon College, and Saybrook Graduate School, he currently writes and teaches classes,...
Gay Watson Gay Watson Gay Watson has a PhD in Religious Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She trained as a psychotherapist with the Karuna Institute in Core Process, a Buddhist inspired psychotherapy. She is the author of Beyond Happiness, Deepening the Dialogue Between Buddhism, Psychotherapy and the Mind Sciences (2008) and A Philosophy of Emptiness (2014).
Gil Fronsdal Gil Fronsdal Gil Fronsdal is the senior guiding co-teacher at the Insight Meditation Center (IMC) in Redwood City, California and the Insight Retreat Center in Santa Cruz, California. He started Buddhist practice in 1975, and has been teaching for IMC since 1990. Gil is an authorized teacher in two traditions: the Insight Meditation lineage of Theravada Buddhism of Southeast Asia, and Japanese Soto Zen. He holds a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Stanford....
Grace Burford
Guy Armstrong Guy Armstrong
Jan Nattier
Jeff Hardin Jeff Hardin Jeff Hardin has been practicing meditation since 2000. He teaches meditation and is a community mentor at the Sacramento Insight Meditation group and a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader. He is on the Board of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and is the managing editor of the Sati Journal. His teachings emphasize using the suttas to inform meditation practice. He has authored <i>How We Practice: An Introduction to Insight Meditation</i>...
Jennifer Block Jennifer Block Jennifer Block’s life work is providing spiritual care to people in crisis, mentoring caregivers, and teaching people how to access their innate capacity for caring and healing. Based in San Francisco, Jennifer is a longtime dharma practitioner and Buddhist chaplain. She provides care to individuals facing the spiritual and emotional issues related to aging, sickness, dying and grief. Jennifer teaches the Buddhist Chaplaincy Training program...
Joah McGee <div>Joah first arrived in Myanmar in 2003 to practice meditation. He realized right from the start that it was a place he wanted to spend more time. He worked there for nearly 20 years, first at the US Embassy, then a private school, and finally started his own business. Joah also spent several years leading various Buddhist-oriented multimedia projects, including writing a meditator’s guidebook which examined the country’s diverse meditation...
John Peacock John Peacock John Peacock has been both an academic scholar as well as a Buddhist practitioner/teacher for more than thirty years. Initially trained in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition in monasteries in South India, he subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada and has taught at Peradiniya University on the outskirts of Kandy. He currently teaches Buddhist studies and Indian religions at the University of Bristol in the UK, is the Guiding Teacher...
Joseph Bobrow <b>Joseph Bobrow</b> is a Zen master, author, and retired psychoanalyst. Thich Nhat Hanh said of Joseph’s first book, Zen and Psychotherapy: Partners in Liberation, “Please read with a feeling of gratitude.” His Holiness The Dalai Lama wrote the foreword for Joseph’s latest book, Waking Up From War: A Better Way Home For Veterans and Nations. In it, Joseph illuminates trauma in an original and integrative way as he presents the work of Coming...
Kelly McGonigal Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a senior teacher and research collaborator at the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, as well as a psychology lecturer at Stanford University. She is a long-time meditator in the American Zen tradition and aims to integrates modern science with contemplative practices. Her books include The Willpower Instinct, The Neuroscience of Change, and Yoga for Pain Relief.
Kim Allen Kim Allen Kim Allen has been practicing Insight meditation since 2003 in the US and Asia. Trained by Gil Fronsdal, she teaches at Insight Meditation Center, Sati Center, and farther afield offering Dharma programs, sutta study, and retreats in-person and online. She lives as a lay contemplative and draws from a background in long retreat practice, devotion, and scientific training to bring classical Dharma to a modern context. Her website is <a...
Leigh Brasington Leigh Brasington Leigh Brasington has been practicing meditation since 1985 and is the senior American student of the late Ven. Ayya Khema. Leigh began assisting Ven. Ayya Khemma in 1994, and began teaching retreats on his on in 1997. He is also authorized to teach by Jack Kornfield. Leigh has taught the jhanas, along with multiple insight practices, at well over one hundred residential retreats throughout the United States and Europe. He is the author of the...
Martine Batchelor Martine Batchelor MARTINE BATCHELOR was a Zen Buddhist nun in Korea for ten years. She teaches meditation retreats worldwide. She is co-editor of "Buddhism and Ecology" and editor of "Women on the Buddhist Path". She is the author of several books including her forthcoming book "Let Go: a Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits". She is interested in meditation in daily life, Buddhism and social action, religion and women issues, Zen and its history...
Matthew Brensilver Matthew Brensilver Matthew Brensilver, PhD, is a member of the Guiding Teachers Executive Committee and the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He previously served as Program Director for Mindful Schools and for more than a decade, was a core teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. He lectures at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center about the intersections between mindfulness and mental health. Before committing to teach...
Meg Gawler Meg Gawler Meg Gawler began practicing Buddhism in 1968 as a disciple of the Zen Master, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, including over three years of monastic training. She earned a Master’s in Applied Ecology, moved to France, pursued an international career in nature conservation and human development, and began practicing in the Theravāda tradition. She has trained with Gil Fronsdal, Ven. Anālayo, Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and others. Meg holds a...
Mindy Zlotnik
Mirka Knaster Mirka Knaster Mirka Knaster has practiced in the Theravada tradition since her first retreat in India in 1981. An independent scholar and freelance writer and editor, she has written <em>Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra</em> (Shambhala), a book about the meditation master who first taught Dipa Ma, Joseph Goldstein, and many of our western dharma leaders. He was a pivotal figure in the transmission of Dharma to the West and the...
Norman Fischer Norman Fischer Norman is a Zen priest and abbot, a husband, father, and a poet, a teacher with wide-ranging interests and passions. During almost 30 years at San Francisco Zen Center, he served as director, tenzo, tanto, operations manager and other positions. Norman retired as abbot of Zen Center in 2000 to take his teaching out into the world. He continues his involvement with the Zen Center as a senior Dharma teacher. Norman believes in the possibility of...
Oren Jay Sofer Oren Jay Sofer Oren Jay Sofer has practiced meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 1997, and is a long-time student of both Joseph Goldstein and Ven. Ajahn Sucitto. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma and a graduate of the IMS-Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program. Oren is the Founder of Next Step Dharma, a six week online course focused on living the path...
Paul Haller Paul Haller Paul Haller has been teaching the dharma for over 35 years. Initially ordained as a Theravada monk in Thailand, he became a priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1980 and its abbot from 2003 to 2012. He has been leading the Zen Center's outreach program and has extensive experience integrating Buddhist practice with hospice, jail and peace work.
Richard Shankman Richard Shankman Richard Shankman has been a meditator since 1970 and teaches at dharma centers and groups nationally, including Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Insight Meditation Society. He is a co-founder of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and Mindful Schools. He is the author of The Experience of Samadhi: An In-Depth Investigation of Buddhist Meditation.
Rick Maddock Rick Maddock, MD, is a professor of psychiatry who teaches and conducts neuroscience research at the UC Davis School of Medicine. A long-time dharma practitioner with a focus on the teachings of early Indian Buddhism, Rick has completed Spirit Rock’s training programs for senior students and teaches dharma in the Sacramento area and Sierra foothills. His teachings explore the convergence between contemporary scientific insights about the human...
Rita Gross Rita Gross Rita Gross, or Acharya Rita as she is known, has been studying, practicing and teaching Vajrayana for forty years. Known as a warm, humorous and very clear teacher, she teaches with a rare combination of academic and dharmic perspectives. She is internationally known for her innovative work on gender and religion. She also has extensive training and experience as a professor of comparative studies in religion and is a Buddhist Dharma teacher,...
Ruby Grad
Santikaro Santikaro Santikaro lived with Ajahn Buddhadasa during the last nine years of his life and became his primary translator. Ordained as a Theravada Bhikkhu in 1985, Santikaro spent most of his monastic life at Suan Mokkh. During this time he led Dawn Kiam, a small monastic community for foreigners. He is the founder of Liberation Park, a modern expression of Buddhist practice, study, and social responsibility, located in rural southwestern Wisconsin. ...
Sarah Shaw Sarah Shaw Dr. Sarah Shaw is a faculty member and lecturer at the University of Oxford. She has taught and published numerous works on the history and practices of Buddhism, including The Art of Listening: A Guide to the Early Teachings of Buddhism, Mindfulness: Where It Comes from and What It Means, The Jatakas: Birth Stories of Bodhisatta, An Introduction to Buddhist Meditation, and The Spirit of Meditation.
Sean Kerr Sean Kerr is in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at University of California, Berkeley, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. on the topic of Indian Buddhism and Pali commentarial literature. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Sanskrit from the same department, and has been a student of Vipassanā meditation since 2002. He has been teaching Pali in India and the Bay Area since 2010.
Steve Armstrong Steve Armstrong Steve has studied the dhamma and practiced insight meditation since 1975. He was a monk for five years in Burma under the guidance of Sayadaw U Pandita where he undertook intensive, silent practice of insight and lovingkindness meditations. He studied the Buddhist psychology (abhidhamma) with Sayadaw U Zagara in Australia and presents it in practical and easily understood terms. He continues his practice under the guidance of Sayadaw U...
Susie Harrington Susie Harrington Susie Harrington is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, teaching both in the Southwest and internationally since 2005. She delights in teaching outdoors, knowing that nature nourishes the heart and inspires wisdom. She encourages through silence and intimate presence, coming home to our embedded natural aliveness and belonging, and the freedom that is our natural state. Her roots are in the Insight tradition, training extensively with Jack...
Tony Bernhard Tony Bernhard Tony Bernhard first encountered the dharma in 1965 and became one of Spirit Rock’s first community dharma leaders in 1999. He currently sits on the board of the Sati Center, trains inmates and staff at Folsom Prison in mindfulness and dharma, leads sitting groups in Davis, and regularly teaches in a handful of venues in and around Sacramento and the Bay Area. He primarily focuses his practice on study of the dharma teachings in the earliest...
Walt Opie Walt Opie Walt Opie was introduced to the dharma in 1993 and began attending regular insight meditation retreats in 2005, which he says greatly reduced his suffering. He is a graduate of the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leaders program and the Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program. Walt has led sitting groups for people in recovery since 2011. He has served as a volunteer Buddhist teacher with Buddhist Pathways Prison Project for over four...
Xi He
Ying Chen, 陈颖 Ying Chen, 陈颖 Ying Chen is a first generation Chinese immigrant. She took refuge to become a buddhist with Venerable Ji Ru in 1995. She was exposed to Chinese Mahayana Buddhism after coming to US first. Later she was drawn to the Theravada tradition and since 2005 she has been practicing primarily in Insight Meditation Center. Ying is a graduate of the Sati Center Chaplaincy program and Local Dharma Leader program from Insight Meditation Center. She also...
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