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, where she now resides.
Her practice and teaching are guided by early Buddhist scriptures and through nature’s pure and immediate Dhamma. In 2011 she took full Bhikkhuni Ordination, joining the growing number of women who are reclaiming this path given by the Buddha.
Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta ordained as a nun in 2001. She discovered Buddhism whilst travelling in Nepal and India at the age of 17 on a search for the meaning of life. Coming back to Australia after a year of study and practice in monasteries, she helped run a Buddhist Centre in Sydney and trained with her teacher Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe for five years whilst working as well.
Upon ordaining as a nun at the age of 23 Venerable Yeshe, found like the majority of Western monastics before her that there was very little care or support for Western monastics, people preferring to access Tibetan Lamas who are already trained. She had no where to live and had to beg on traditional alms round to get food, she stayed with various friends and in garden sheds. She engaged in teaching Dharma in HIV hospices, schools, drug and alchohol rehab centres and trained as a yoga teacher.
Coming to India in 2004, Venerable Yeshe studied for two years in a monastery, but felt a need to make Buddhism accessable and socially engaged, whilst still trying to maintain her contemplative way of life. She met Indian Buddhists in 2005 and has been working with them ever since. Her teachers are Sakya Trizen (the second highest Lama in Tibetan Buddhism) and Ven Thich Nhat Hanh, the nobel peace prize poet and peace activist.
Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta is the author of 'Everyday Enlightenment' published by Harper Collins and is featured in the documentaries 'life beyond the begging bowl' and 'Through the Eastern Gate'. She is also made a Buddhist chanting CD with one of Australia's top world music groups - India Jiva called 'Dakini'.
Andrea Fella is the co-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 drawn to the wisdom teachings of the Buddha. Her teachings emphasize clarity and practicality. Andrea is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council, and teaches residential retreats for IMC and other retreat centers around the country
I am a lifelong spiritual practitioner who has trained for over 20 years in the Theravada Buddhist tradition in the U.S., India and Sri Lanka. I live in an urban area and consider how the practices can translate for my fellow citizens with a busy modern life; I am most interested in bringing these ancient teachings to the contemporary world, informed by my love of creative arts, technology, politics and pop culture. I also have an MBA and am particularly interested in the practice as it relates to leadership development -- how we can each see through the things that hold us back from manifesting our unique gifts and talents in the world. I am on the Spirit Rock Teacher's Council and teach at other meditation centers, but also do a lot of teaching & coaching in tech companies, nonprofit organizations, and less overtly spiritual settings. For more information, please visit: www.anushkaf.org
Carol Cano, M.A., began her practice over 30 years ago at Wat Kow Tahm in Thailand and has actively engaged in building communities and teaching Dharma internationally. She is a graduate of the 2017-2020 Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Teacher Training program and a teacher at Spirit Rock often. She is a core teacher and a former board member of East Bay Meditation Center. Carol co-founded Philippine Insight Meditation Community in Philippines. Her unique teachings are deeply grounded in Basque, Native American and Buddhist influences that braid the Dharma along indigenous wisdom and Earth-based practices. Her psychology background gives her a unique view into the human condition, which helps her hold community in a compassionate and confident manner. Carol reminds us to keep grounded in our hearts as we uphold spiritual ideals and encourages us to remain balanced within the demands of modern life.
Dawn Neal has accumulated over two years of retreat practice since 2005. She holds an MA in Buddhist Studies and Pastoral Care and has completed clinical counseling training. Dawn serves the community as a Buddhist teacher, interfaith chaplain, and scholar. She teaches and facilitates in the Bay Area and beyond. Dawn has accumulated over two years of retreat practice since 2005. She holds an MA in Buddhist Studies, with certificates in Theravada Buddhism and Pastoral Care. She has completed clinical pastoral counseling training. Dawn serves the community as a Buddhist teacher, interfaith chaplain, and scholar. She teaches and facilitates in the Bay Area and beyond.
A bit about us: we like to meditate. Have been meditating with some of the greats for more than a couple decades each. We've lived in monasteries, spent years in meditation retreats, and now teach meditation and dharma all over the place.
We also wrote a book called How Not to Be a Hot Mess: A Survival Guide for Modern Life, which offers six pieces of advice for staying steady in the spin.