My teaching practice and my personal practice continually intertwine, each weaving a pattern in the larger tapestry of the Dharma. The theme that threads itself throughout my practice relates to the tremendous pain and suffering, the challenges and difficulties that so many beings face, and the possibility of awakening from this suffering. From this immediate calling I've woven the purpose of my life.
It is a deep honor for me to come together with others who feel a similar calling of connection to the Dharma to learn about the greatest gift of all: a happiness inside of us that is unconditional, and a depth of being that is infinite.
Together, our practice is dedicated to this effort of opening to our hearts' potential. To this I bring the flavor of my lineage--the continuation of the teachings of my root teachers, Ruth Denison and her teacher U Bha Khin; a commitment to learning how to live with each other in kindness; and my life as a lesbian in a long-term relationship.
Even though I have been involved in different traditions over the years, what I love about Buddhism is the simplicity of the practice; the fact that it isn't embodied by a lot of ritual, or special clothes, or the need for different props. I love the moment-to-moment calling of awareness to whatever one is doing. And vitally important, I appreciate the safety inherent in the teacher/student relationship, where the emphasis is on the practice itself and the teacher engages as a peer and spiritual friend.
Ariya B. Baumann was born and raised in Switzerland. She started to practise meditation during her training as a music and dance teacher at the conservatory in Zürich. In 1992, she went to Myanmar (Burma) and ordained as a nun under Sayadaw U Janaka and for many years she practised vipassana and metta meditation under his guidance. Later she assisted the Sayadaws by translating talks and interviews for foreign meditators. In 2006, she changed to the Chanmyay Myaing Meditation Centre, Yangon, where she assisted Sayadaw U Indaka as well as teaching the foreign meditators herself.
In 2013, she disrobed and is now based in Switzerland from where she continues to teach vipassana and metta meditation courses worldwide.
She has translated several Dhamma books from Burmese to English and German, including Sayadaw U Indaka’s books on metta and the factors of enlightenment.
Bart van Melik has been teaching personal meditation and Insight Dialogue since 2009, with a specific focus on working with diverse populations. He is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock and is currently in the Spirit Rock/IMS teacher training program; his mentors are Joseph Goldstein, Carol Wilson, Gregory Kramer and his son Lou. Bart also teaches through the Metta Foundation and is a senior teacher at the Lineage Project. He also teaches meditation and yoga at a VA hospital, juvenile detention center, homeless shelters, and Public Schools in NYC. Bart holds an MA in Psychology of Culture and Religion from the Nijmegen University in The Netherlands. His passion is supporting people to discover how they can find new ways to relate to the stress created by our life circumstances.
Betsy Rose is a singer, writer, recording artist, and a mother. She is a renowned children’s artist, teaching children the power of their own voices and creativity through singing and song making workshops. She has performed widely throughout the world at festivals, ecological conferences and spiritual gatherings. Spiritual leaders such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Matthew Fox and Joanna Macy have included her music in their work. She co-leads events for the Family Program at Spirit Rock. She was introduced to the dharma by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1987.
Is a long-time practitioner of insight meditation, lived in a Buddhist monastery for over eight years. He has a PhD in Philosophy and Religion with a specialization in Buddhist Studies, and now directs Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs in six Bay Area medical centers. Bob studied with the renowned Burmese masters Taungpulu Kaba-Aye Sayadaw, Hlaing Tet Sayadaw, Dr. Rina Sircar and Pokokhu Sayadaw, and has experience with 32 parts of the body, 4 elements and charnel ground meditations.
Bob has completed training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and is a certified mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher having been certified by UMass Medical Center.
Bonnie Duran, Dr.P.H., began Buddhist meditation practice 30 years ago. She is currently participating in the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and is a dharma leader at the Seattle Insight Meditation Society. An associate professor of public health, she directs the University of Washington’s Center for Indigenous Health Research.
Brian Lesage has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1988 and has taught meditation since 2000. He has studied in the Zen, Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. He was ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1996. His training in Vipassana Meditation includes doing extended meditation retreats in Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, and India as well as numerous retreats in the U.S. He leads retreats and teaches meditation courses nationwide.