Shaila Catherine, has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity. Shaila Catherine has practiced under the guidance of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw since 2006; she authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana to help make this traditional approach to meditative training accessible to western practitioners. She is the founder of Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley.
Shaila shares her process of discovering and practicing the deep concentration states of jhana, and detailed vipassana practices as taught by Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw of Burma. She speaks about the cultivation of concentration and insight, and the systematic path that leads the mind from distraction to clarity, understanding, and nibbana. At the request of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw, she wrote a book to serve as a practice guide for other practitioners: Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana