Vinny Ferraro has been practicing meditation since 1993. He has studied with several renowned spiritual teachers including Ajahn Sumedho and the Dalai Lama. In 1998, he spent a year sitting bedside with the dying through the San Francisco Zen Center Hospice Program, as well as experiencing "A Year to Live" practice (based on the book by Stephen Levine). He has taught meditation to incarcerated youth and adults and is currently the head trainer for MBA, The Mind Body Awareness Project. Vinny also leads workshops for youth in schools internationally for a non-profit organization called Challenge Day. He is a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader and has been teaching the weekly Friday night insight meditation group Urban Dharma in San Francisco since 2004.
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.
Willa Thaniya Reid (formerly Ajahn Thaniya, top photos), has been practising formal Buddhist meditation since the 80s. Her primary training has been through the Thai Forest Tradition of Luang Por Chah. The Forest Tradition is in harmony with her affinity for the natural world and for reflective teachings. For 18 years she was part of the monastic community of this tradition based in England. As the senior nun of Cittaviveka for eight years, she offered support to the lay and monastic community; teaching retreats in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. She brings to her teaching a love for the original suttas of the Buddha. For the previous six years she served the community in Melbourne, offering spiritual support to the dying and their families. She has a Masters degree in relationship counselling, and clinical pastoral training. In 2015 she returned to New Zealand to develop a meditation community with her partner.
Our potential as humans is vast and deep, and can be intentionally developed. There is a way that we can learn to open to all of our experience with kindness and clarity. As we begin to find this stability of heart and mind, wisdom will emerge.This emergence of wisdom, and strengthening of compassion, are the road to our individual and collective happiness and well-being.
Winton Higgins began meditating and practising the Dharma in the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) in 1987. In 1994 he became an active supporter of Wat Buddha Dhamma, where he began to lead meditation retreats in 1995. Since then he has led retreats for the Wat, the Blue Gum Sangha and Sydney Insight Meditators, and taught many courses for the Buddhist Library in Sydney. He follows the western insight (vipassana) tradition and is particularly interested in the convergence of Dharma practice and progressive western values such as democracy, feminism and critical inquiry. His teaching has an affinity with the work of Stephen Batchelor. He is a writer and a social-science academic; he and his partner, Lena, have two grown-up daughters and a grandson.
Yanai Postelnik has been engaged in full-time dharma practice and service since 1990. He is inspired by the Thai forest tradition and nourished by time spent in nature, and has been teaching retreats around the world for over 25 years. Yanai is a member of the Guiding Teacher Council of Gaia House, in Devon, England, and of the Core Faculty of Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts. Since 2018, Yanai has been engaged with Extinction Rebellion, seeking to bring about urgent change in the face of the climate and ecological emergency, in the service of all beings.
Yuka Nakamura has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1993 in the Theravada, Dzogchen and Zen traditions, and has been trained as a teacher by Fred von Allmen. Living in Switzerland, she teaches meditation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.