Rebecca Bradshaw has been practicing vipassana meditation since 1983, and teaching since 1993. She teaches frequently at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, where she leads the teen and young adult retreats and is a member of the annual Three Month Retreat team. She also teaches at other locales in the U.S., at Kyaswa Monastery in Myanmar (Burma) and a Spanish language retreat in Puerto Rico. Rebecca is the guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley in Easthampton, MA (www.insightpv.org). She holds a master's degree in Counseling Psychology and works as a psychotherapist with meditators. Her teachings invite exploration of the convergence of lovingkindness and wisdom.
Ricahrd Mendius, MD is a neurologist in private practice in Marin County. He trained at UCLA as an epileptologist under Jerome Engel and as a neurobehaviorist under Frank Benson and Jeff Cummings. He has been on the teaching faculty of UCLA, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Stanford University. His meditation practice began in the 1980s with Shinzen Young in Los Angeles, and continues at Spirit Rock with Jack Kornfield, Phillip Moffitt, Ajahn Amaro, and Ajahn Sumedho. He teaches a weekly meditation class at San Quentin. His daughters, Courtney and Taryn, and his son, Ian, are three of his main teachers and companions on the path.
Rick Hanson, PhD began meditating in 1974 and has practiced in several traditions. A neuropsychologist, writer, and teacher, he co-founded the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom (see www.WiseBrain.org) and edits the Wise Brain Bulletin. First author of Mother Nurture (Penguin, 2002), he has authored the books Hardwiring Happiness (October 2013), Buddha's Brain and Just One Thing. He started sitting at Spirit Rock in 1993 and served a nine-year term on its Board. A graduate of the Community Dharma Leader training program, he leads a weekly meditation group in San Rafael.
Rob Burbea has practiced and studied Buddhism since 1985. Teaching since 2004, he is currently the Gaia House Resident Teacher and a member of its Teacher Council. He is a co-founder of Sanghaseva, an organization exploring the Dharma through international service work, and also a co-initiator of the Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement (DANCE):
More and more, the teaching practice takes me into the community where I engage directly with students. My focus right now is on bringing the continuity of the Dharma into the market place. Although retreating is an important form for self-knowledge, I find myself less interested in the immediate results of a retreat and more interested in helping students investigate their relationship to the ups and downs of their everyday life.
Nature, death and spontaneous freedom continually interweave themselves into my teaching. From the forest of Thailand, where I spent several years, I bring a deep awareness of the healing quality of nature into my teachings. Relaxing into our true nature allows us to realize what it means to be a human being. It is here we find a resting point, a counterbalance to the speed and turbulence of our culture.
My work in hospice brings a sense of urgency into my teaching. Working with the theme of death and dying reveals the here and now of life to us, how important it is to open to each loss, change and transition that marks our path. Life is precious. We need to awaken without hesitation.
Many of us crave to be more calm and centered. We know that life has more to offer than this fleeting material world. For each of us, the Dharma offers an immediacy of freedom for which we do not have to strive or wait. In practice, we can learn to relax deeply into the moment and rediscover spontaneous freedom.