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'e-Sangha' Practice Guides

  Alice Alldredge
Alice Alldredge has been meditating for 19 years in the vipassana/mindfulness tradition and is certified to teach meditation through the Community Dharma Leaders Program at Spirit Rock. She has been teaching beginning meditation classes and meditation daylongs for the last 4 years and leading weekly meditation sitting groups in the Santa Barbara area for the last decade. She is also a retired marine biology professor at UC Santa Barbara whose fascination with the outer world through science and the inner world through meditation spring from a common motivation to see the truth of the way things are.
  Pawan Bareja
Pawan is a Spirit Rock trained Community Dharma Leader and Buddhist Ritual Minister. She teaches Mindfulness and Trauma classes in San Francisco. She has a body-oriented counseling practice based on Peter Levine's somatic experiencing (SE) work for coping with trauma and life changes, in which she incorporates mindfulness techniques. She is also an assistant in the SE Trainings, offering supervision and case consultation for new practitioners. Pawan is an active member of the Marin Vipassana Sangha and has assisted in the annual “Care Providers” daylong at Spirit Rock for several years, offering individual interviews for participants.
  Betsy Blossom
Betsy Blossom has been practicing Insight Meditation for 10 years. Jack Kornfield's book, A Path with Heart, introduced her to vipassana practice. She has studied with Ajahn Amaro, Trudy Goodman and Gil Fronsdal. She is currently studying the Dharma with Sally Armstrong and other Spirit Rock teachers in the intensive two-year Dedicated Practitioners' Program. Her mentoring teacher is Ajahn Pasanno, the abbot of Abhayagiri Monastery and a monk in the Thai Forest Tradition. Ajahn Pasanno trained under the Venerable Ajahn Chah, whose teachings have influenced her practice greatly. She lives in Fresno with her husband and granddaughter who also practice Insight Meditation.
  Kathy Cheney
Kathy has been practicing meditation since 2000. She was an early childhood education teacher for many years and first came to Spirit Rock as a volunteer for the Family Program. Kathy has sat retreats at Spirit Rock and Gaia House in Devon, England. She practices in both the vipassana and Zen traditions and is part of the San Quentin Zen Sangha. She also volunteers at San Francisco County Jail teaching meditation to women. Her primary teacher is Gil Fronsdal.
  Rob Cook
Rob Cook has been practicing meditation in a variety of traditions for 40 years and Vipassana for the last six years. He has done several residential retreats at Spirit Rock and IMS and is currently in the Dedicated Practitioners' Program.
  Robert Cusick
Robert Cusick, currently training at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, is a former Buddhist monk who has practiced Insight Meditation since 1997. He studied in the Soto Zen tradition at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, in the Ridhwan School’s Diamond Approach with A.H. Almaas (Hameed Ali) and in Spirit Rock’s multi-year Dedicated Practioner’s Program. He ordained in Burma under the world renowned Burmese Meditation Master, Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, and studied there with him for a number of years. His practice is focused on recognizing and cultivating compassion through the application of mindfulness.
  Ruby Grad

Ruby Grad has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1988, studying with various teachers including Christopher Titmuss, Sharda Rogell, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Ajahn Sumedho and Jack Kornfield. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader (CDL) program where she also worked as retreat manager for 9 years, and administered both their Dedicated Practitioner Program and the CDL programs. Currently she practices with Portland Friends of the Dhamma. In her professional life, she trained as a lawyer and has worked in the area of legal publishing since 1985.

  Shelley Gault

Shelley Gault has been meditating for more than 30 years. She began practicing in the Insight Meditation tradition at Spirit Rock in 2004, and has sat many long retreats there. She completed the Dedicated Practitioners' Program, and helps lead the Open Door Sangha in Santa Barbara, teaching often at sitting groups, introductory classes and daylongs. Intensive metta practice has been a very important part of her path. She has also been strongly influenced by the non-dual teachings of Kashmir Shaivism. Her love of nature, from wilderness to postage-stamp gardens, deeply affects her understanding and relationship to the dharma. She volunteers teaching young children about botany and ecology at a large public garden.

  Maggie Greenwood
Maggie Greenwood sat her first month-long retreat in 1977, but marriage and motherhood and folding laundry became the main focus of her mindfulness practice for many years. She was able to return to intensive retreat practice after her children were teenagers, and is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s second Dedicated Practitioner’s Program. Maggie practices mindfulness and equanimity while at work as a midwife at Kaiser Hayward, where she has delivered more than a thousand babies. She is also interested in the transformation of Buddhism as it takes root in American culture; her daughter is a Soto Zen monastic living in Japan.
  Art Jolly
Art Jolly began meditating in the early 1990s, and later spent five months as a monk in Burma. He completed Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner and Community Dharma Leader Programs and has trained in Somatic Experiencing. He leads a Monday evening group in the East Bay, and also teaches at Marin Sangha and East Bay Meditation Center. Outside of work, Art enjoys dancing and the restorative power of nature.
  Nancy Langley
Nancy has been practicing Buddhist meditation for 23 years. She began with Zen practice for a few years, then began practicing at Spirit Rock. She has done 19 meditation retreats through Spirit Rock in the last 20 years and they have been transformative for her. She completed the 2-year Dedicated Practitioner’s Program in 2007. Nancy has been a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco for 22 years and uses mindfulness practices in the therapy.

Quilley Powers
Quilley Powers came to Theravada Buddhist Practice through a door of suffering around the loss of her son in 1993, practicing with Stephen and Ondrea Levine around grief. This began an increasingly committed sitting practice which has included many month-long retreats, a three-month retreat in 2010, and longterm practice in Burma in 1999 and Bodhgaya in 2012. She co-led a Kalyana Mitta Group for over 10 years, and is active in the Buddhism 12-Step community. She also works with Elders in various ways, and has recently joined a Sangha who practice with San Quentin inmates. Quilley is employed at Spirit Rock Meditation Center as a retreat manager.


Alby Quinlan
"My first 10-day meditation retreat was in 1989 and I have made several retreats since then.  I'm active in a Kalyana Mitta group locally. I was a participant in the first Dedicated Practitioners Program through Spirit Rock.  As a practitioner, I feel like a perennial beginner. Sutta study is not my strength or interest. The very practical and reinforcing teachings of U Tejaniya and Ajahn Sumedho give me direction at present."







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PO Box 169 • Woodacre, CA • 94973