Kittisaro, from Tennessee, a Rhodes Scholar and a Buddhist practitioner for over 35 years including 15 years as a Theravada monk in the Forest School of Ajahn Chah. He is also a practitioner of Pure Land and Chan Buddhism. He is co-founder, with Thanissara of Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in South Africa and has completed two year long retreats. Kittisaro currently lives in the North Bay, California, teaches at IMS and Spirit Rock, and is co-author of Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism. He lives in the North Bay CA, and is on the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock, and is a core teacher at IMS.
Kitty Costello has been practicing Insight Mediation since 2000 and is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leaders program. She has studied and taught various Eastern and Western mindfulness practices since 1978, including Shaolin Ssu, a Mahayana Buddhist martial arts form. She teaches tai chi and chi gung and is a psychotherapist in private practice. She is also a community organizer, helping to foster the creative arts in inner city San Francisco for 25 years.
Mark Coleman has been engaged in meditation practice since 1981, primarily within the Insight meditation tradition. He has been teaching meditation retreats since 1997. His teaching is also influenced by his studies with Advaita Vedanta and Tibetan teachers in Asia and the West, and through his teacher training with Jack Kornfield. Mark primarily teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, though he also teaches nationally, in Europe and India.
He leads backpacking retreats, nature-based retreats, and teaches retreats for environmental activists in the wilderness at Vallecitos Mountain Refuge in New Mexico, and at Knoll Farm in Vermont. In the Bay Area, Mark has a counseling practice, where he integrates his studies of psychotherapy and meditative work. He is the author of “Awake in the Wild - Mindfulness in Nature as a path of Self-Discovery." Mark has been an avid hiker, and backpacker for most of his life and spends much of his time in the outdoors. He lives in the woods in Marin County, Northern California.
Marlena deCarion, CPCC, PCC, is an executive coach, leadership trainer and mindfulness teacher. Marlena has 20 years of personal and professional experience in human development and has been faculty for the Coaches Training Institute since 2005. Marlena has been practicing meditation since 1995. Although she has primarily studied in the Theravada Buddhist lineage, she is influenced by Tibetan and non-dual practices. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock's Dedicated Practitioners Program, is a Certified Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader and a graduate of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute Teacher Training, sponsored by Google. Marlena has taught Mindfulness classes at San Francisco Insight, Spirit Rock, Genentech, Airbnb and Dominican University. Marlena has training in Somatic Experiencing and is a student of the Diamond Approach.
Pamela is the author of the recently released book, A Bigger Sky: Awakening a Fierce Feminine Buddhism. She has practiced in the Soto Zen and Theravada traditions since 1987, is a guiding teacher at San Francisco Insight, and sits on the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock. Pamela is also a leadership coach and pioneer in bringing mindfulness programs into the workplace. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Eugene, and little dog, Grover.
Richard Shankman has been a meditator since 1970, and teaches at Dharma centers and groups internationally. He is guiding teacher of the Metta Dharma Foundation, and cofounder of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and of Mindful Schools. He practices and teaches meditation that integrates compassion, mindfulness, concentration and insight as one path of practice. Richard is the author of The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation and The Experience of Samadhi.