Silent Insight Meditation Retreat

Faculty

All faculty are also mentors for the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program.

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James Baraz
James Baraz is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center. James started the Community Dharma Leader program, the Kalyana Mitta Network and the Spirit Rock Family Program with his wife, Jane. He is the co-author of Awakening Joy: Ten Steps to Happiness and of Awakening Joy for Kids. James leads the popular Awakening Joy online course. He leads a weekly meditation group in Berkeley and is a guiding teacher of One Earth Sangha, a website devoted to Buddhist responses to Climate Change. James lives in Berkeley with his wife, Jane, and has two sons and three grandchildren.
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Leslie Booker
Booker brings her heart, wisdom, and compassion to the intersection of social justice, yoga, and mindfulness. She has shared these practices with vulnerable populations in New York City since 2006, working in juvenile detention centers, residential treatment centers, and on Rikers Island. She travels nationally utilizing the foundation of Dharma and embodied wisdom practices to support the sustainability of front line Changemakers.


Booker is on faculty with the Prison Mindfulness Institute and Off the Mat Into the World, and teaches at Insight Meditation centers across the country. She is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute, the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street and Urban Sangha Project in NYC. Booker is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law report Gender & Trauma, and Sharon Salzberg's book Happiness at Work. She is a graduate of both Spirit Rock's Mindful Yoga & Meditation and Community Dharma Leaders trainings, and is currently in their 4 year Dharma Retreat Teacher training.
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Anne Cushman
Anne Cushman is a widely published writer and long-time teacher of embodied meditation and mindful yoga. For over three decades, her writing and teaching have focused on the intersection between contemplative practice and everyday life. She is a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where she directed the Mindful Yoga and Meditation Training for over a decade, and is currently Director of Mentoring for the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program. She is the author of the novel Enlightenment for Idiots, the mindful yoga book Moving Into Meditation, and the forthcoming memoir The Mama Sutra: A Story of Love, Loss, and the Path of Motherhood.
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Solwazi Johnson
Solwazi has been practicing and teaching for over 20 years with a focus on Vipassana since 2003. He has studied in Thailand, Burma, India, and South Africa. He is certified as a Community Dharma Leader by Jack Kornfield and Spirit Rock Meditation Center and is currently in the four-year Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program. Solwazi is the guiding teacher for a Prison Buddhist Ministry Program in a Federal Prison located in the Denver area.
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Konda Mason
Konda was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism in 1982. Her love for Vipassana began in 1996, working with Jack Kornfield at the Vallecitos Retreat Center. She has been a regular yoga teacher at Spirit Rock starting in 1997, teaching many retreats including the annual Metta Retreat and many of the POC retreats. Konda’s dharma training includes the East Bay Meditation Center Commit to Dharma program, Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader program and is currently in the 2020 Spirit Rock Teacher Training program. Konda has taught daylongs, retreats and workshops. She sits on the Boards of Directors of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, On Being by Krista Tippett, Good Work Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Namchak Foundation Learning Circles.

In addition to her spiritual pursuits, Konda is a social entrepreneur, earth and social justice activist. She is the Co-Founder and founding CEO of Impact Hub Oakland, a beautiful co-working space that supports socially engaged entrepreneurs and changemakers. She is currently a co-founder of Jubilee Partners, a transformational direct investment business bringing together wealth holders and wisdom keepers to reorient around the meaning of money and create beautiful portfolios.
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Dawn Mauricio
Dawn has been practicing and studying Insight Meditation since 2005, sitting silent residential retreats in Canada, United States, Thailand, and Burma. Since discovering the Dharma, she has graduated from Spirit Rock's Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training and the Dedicated Practitioners' Program, as well as the first teacher development group of True North Insight. Dawn teaches with a playful, dynamic, and centered approach, currently leading daylong retreats and mindfulness workshops in Montreal, Canada. She is a meditation retreat teacher for teenagers with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and is currently in Spirit Rock's 4-year Teacher Training.
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La Sarmiento
La Sarmiento is a a genderqueer, pilipino-american, bodyworking, Reiki-ing, uke-playing servant of the dharma. They have been practicing vipassana meditation with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW) since 1998, teaches and manages their retreats and leads their People of Color and LGBTIQ Sanghas. A graduate of the Community Dharma Leadership program at Spirit Rock, La also teaches retreats for the LGBTIQ community at the Garrison Institute, for teens with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, for young adults at Spirit Rock, and is a mentor for the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. lasarmiento.com
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Sebene Selassie
Sebene Selassie is a writer, teacher, coach and consultant. She began studying Buddhism over 25 years ago as an undergraduate at McGill University where she majored in Comparative Religious Studies. She has an MA from the New School where she focused on race and cultural studies. 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 East Harlem, NYC to refugee camps in Guinea, West Africa. She is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader (CDL4) program at Spirit Rock and continues her training with her primary teachers, Thanissara and Kittisaro. She is the former Executive Director of New York Insight Meditation center and currently serves on the boards of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and Sacred Mountain Sangha. Sebene is passionate about making the dharma accessible and relevant for our times and teaches regularly online, in New York City, and nationally.
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