Dr. Stephen Fulder was born in the UK and received an M.A. from Oxford University and a Ph.D. He has devoted his life to exploring inner and outer healing and spirituality. He is an author and lecturer in herbal and natural medicine with 14 published books. He lives in an environmental village in the Galilee in Israel, which he helped to found and where he grows his own food. Stephen has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1975, is the founder and senior teacher of the Israel Insight Society, the main Vipassana/Mindfulness organization in Israel, and has been teaching retreats and courses in Buddhist practice for 15 years. He has established programs and organizations, such as ‘Middleway’, which apply these teachings to aid peace and healing in the communities in the Middle East.
Syra Smith is a Community Teacher with the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland California, where she is co-creating space with one of the most diverse communities of dharma practitioners in the US.
Syra has been educating and working with young people for more than 20 years. She coordinated and co-facilitated EBMC’s weekly Teen Sangha and eventually established and served as Co-Guiding Teacher for the Center’s first peer-led Young Adult Deep Refuge Group. She worked with Resolve to Stop the Violence, an award winning program in the San Francisco County Jail System utilizing contemplative and restorative practices to impact violence and recidivism in our prison communities.
A lifelong meditator and SF Bay Area native, Syra began her personal meditation practice as a teen in 1988 and has been practicing in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 2009. She graduated EBMC’s Commit to Dharma study program in 2011 and became a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader in 2017. Syra is currently participating in the multi-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program through the Awareness Training Institute and UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center under the guidance of Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.
Presently, Syra co-leads the Mid-Day Dharma Collective at SF Insight. She teaches Insight Meditation and mindfulness throughout the SF Bay Area and proudly serves as Core Teacher with the San Francisco LGBT Sangha.
Thanissara, from London, was a nun for 12 years in the tradition of Ajahn Chah and has taught internationally for over 30 years. She is co-founder of Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat, South Africa, Sacred Mountain Sangha, California, and Chattanooga Insight, Tennessee. She has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice from the Karuna Institute UK and is co-author of Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Guide to Engaged Buddhism, author of Time To Stand Up, An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth, and several books of poetry. She is a member of the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock and co-guiding teacher of Sacred Mountain Sangha.
Victoria Cary has been practicing insight meditation and studying the Dharma since 2006. She is currently in Retreat Teacher Training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where she previously graduated from the Community Dharma Leaders program. Victoria is the co-founder and one of the core teachers of San Francisco People of Color Insight Sangha. Victoria has worked as a volunteer at Zen Hospice and is particularly interested in the integration of the Dharma in everyday life.
Wes Nisker is a dharma teacher, author, radio commentator and performer. He is the founder and co-editor of Inquiring Mind and a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. His latest book is Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again!
Will Kabat-Zinn has practiced Vipassana meditation intensively in the U.S. and in Burma for over ten years. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and teaches regularly at SF Insight, Spirit Rock, and at meditation centers around the country. For eight years Will taught meditation and awareness practices to incarcerated youth in New York City and Oakland. In addition to sharing the Dharma, Will is an MFT Intern in private practice in San Francisco and Oakland. He completed four years of teacher training with Jack Kornfield.