Australian based teachers
Insight practitioners who teach regularly (and irregularly!) at the sanghas include:
Subhana Barzaghi is a Zen roshi and a senior teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition. She is a resident teacher of the Sydney Zen Centre and founding teacher of both the Bluegum Sangha in Sydney and the Kuan Yin Meditation Centre in Lismore. Subhana’s teaching emphasises liberation here and now through the practice of calm abiding and enquiry. She leads Zen and Insight Meditation retreats in Australia, New Zealand and India.
Alan has been studying and practicing Buddha’s teachings for over 35 years beginning in the Vipassana meditation tradition and then developing in Eastern & Western Insight. For over 28 years he worked internationally in the field of management and organisational change. He is a certified Hakomi psychotherapist and for many years has integrated the Buddha dharma and psychotherapy in his leadership development work. Alan’s teachings are eclectic and practical, he encourages people to awaken to each moment and find the fulfilment they seek.
Michael works as a counsellor and educator and has been a Buddhist meditation practitioner for over 20 years. He has studied in Australia, Thailand and Burma, where he practised satipatthana vipassana in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition. Michael has taught courses and retreats in Melbourne and Sydney, including courses at the Buddhist Library, Wat Buddha Dhamma and the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre. He teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), has a private counselling practice in Sydney and works as a bereavement counsellor in the Public Health System.
Betsy has been meditating for over 40 years, beginning first in the Goenka Vipassana tradition and later in the Zen and Insight Traditions. Her present practice is focused around Recollective Awareness, an insight meditation practice developed by Jason Siff with whom she has been training for the last six years. Betsy teaches regularly at Beaches Sangha in Sydney, leads Recollective Awareness retreats, workshops and an ongoing meditation group, and has a private practice offering counseling and supervision.
Ken first became interested in Buddhist meditation forty years ago. Since then he has practiced and studied in the Insight and Zen traditions. Eight years ago he met Jason Siff and began to train and study in the Recollective Awareness approach. He currently offers retreats and workshops using this gentle, allowing and reflective approach. Combined with a rich history of social and environmental activism Ken has a deep and abiding love of the Australian landscape. These influences inform a view of Engaged Buddhism he brings to teaching roles in retreats and various meditative Yatras and Gatherings in both local and remote natural areas.
Winton began meditating and practising the dharma in 1987. He took up teaching (mainly Vipassana) meditation in 1995, in city classes and in silent residential retreats in rural venues. In 2003 he became one of the regular teachers of the Bluegum Sangha – an ongoing commitment. These days he also teaches regularly for Golden Wattle and Beaches sanghas, and residential retreats for SIM, which he helped to found in 2005. Since that time Winton’s meditation teaching has developed towards non-formulaic insight practice based on the Buddha’s original teachings, while his dharmic orientation inclines towards secular Buddhism. He fosters interest in the original teachings and their affinity with modern streams of thought and progressive social commitments. Winton is a social science academic and a writer; he and his partner, Lena, have two grown-up daughters and a grandson.
Jampa has been teaching Buddhism for over twenty years. He was a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for seventeen years, fourteen of which were spent studying and meditating in India and one in Thailand meditating in the Vipassana tradition. Jampa was resident teacher at Buddha House in Adelaide for eleven years and taught a Dharma teachers’ training program in Italy for seven years. For the last three years he has participated in teacher training retreats with Jason Siff. Jampa teaches regularly at the Vajrayana Institute in Ashfield and periodically at Beaches Sangha in the Northern Beaches.
Patrick is an independent dharma teacher in the lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw. He has trained extensively in the Mahasi approach to insight meditation, his principle teachers being Panditarama Sayadaw and John Hale. He has also trained in the Diamond Sangha lineage of Zen Buddhism. His original teacher was Robert Atkin Roshi, and he has since studied with other Diamond Sangha teachers in Australia.
Patrick has a particular interest in the original teachings of the Buddha - Buddhism as it was before Theravada or Mahayana were ever thought of. He studies Pali, the language of the earliest surviving Indian recension of the Buddha's teachings, and seeks to bring his understanding of the early texts to the practice of dharma in the contemporary world.
Elaine has been interested in Buddhism for about 10 years, but only started practising regularly a few years ago. Since that time she has come to value the dharma as a spiritual, practical and philosophical system. She has a decade of teaching experience at universities in Sydney and a doctorate in critical and cultural studies. She is passionate about social justice, refugee rights and climate change. While she loves to write, she is currently retraining to go into a psychotherapy and counselling career. As a new lay teacher of the dharma she embodies the notion of ‘beginner’s mind’ over and again. When she engages with the dharma as a practice and a text she is always interested in how it relates to psychology, everyday life, social relations, a kinder politics and a deeper reflection on what it means to be alive. Her home base is the insight tradition, but she is also interested in other Buddhist traditions and aims to creatively weave these together when she practices and in the teachings she shares.
Joyce is a Blackheath resident and Buddhist practitioner in the Insight tradition for 25 years. A writer and Hakomi-trained psychotherapist, she has offered writing/meditation workshops and retreats in New South Wales since 2003. She is the founding teacher of Cloud Refuge Sangha in Blackheath.
Christopher has been teaching Buddhadharma in Sydney for nine years. These days he lives in the Blue Mountains and teaches at Cloud Refuge Sangha with his wife Joyce Kornblatt. His main interest is in adapting the methods and concepts of modern psychology, phenomenology and psychotherapy in ways that can support our embodied realisation of this profound, ancient heritage.
Peter began yoga and meditation practice in the 70's with John Cooper and became a yoga teacher in 1985.
His interest in Buddhism and meditation practice deepened through his involvement with the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. More recently he attends the training retreats held by Jason Siff and employs the Recollective Awareness approach to meditation practice. He continues to teach yoga and meditation and is a member of the Bluegum Sangha. He is a commercial and visual artist and is married with 2 children.
Jonathan has been a medical oncologist for 30 years and enjoys endurance cycling. He began his meditation practice in 1984 but to his chagrin was largely an erratic practitioner until 2004, generally employing meditation as a last resort to manage innumerable life crises (with variable impact). He was persuaded to be more diligent in his meditation with the onset of more refractory dysphoria, particularly burnout admixed with depression. These were poorly managed by the “orthodox” medical establishment, but over time yielded to regular meditation and the comfort of the Three Jewels. The Dharma is a wonderful resource in the care of patients (and their families) with advanced cancer.
Jonathan has been conducting several six week Introduction to Meditation courses each year.
I've had had a lifelong interest in the ideas of Buddhism, starting with a chance encounter at age 13 with Christmas Humphrey's book on Buddhism. I took up dharma practice seven years ago, since when I have sat regularly with Bluegum sangha. I have been delighted to find mysterious things come to life - and into my life - in very practical ways. I am now exploring how other long term interests such as philosophy and story telling can be woven into the fabric of dharma practice.
John is an environmental activist and facilitates experiential deep ecology workshops. He first studied Buddhist meditation with Lama Zopa and Goenkaji in 1973. John has an interest in engaged Buddhism, founded the Dharma Gaia Trust, has developed a workshop called “Buddha Touched the Earth” and gives occasional talks on Engaged Buddhism, Buddhism and Ecology and the like.
Jill began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at several meditation centres and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand. She recently spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, where she participated in several long retreats and Buddhist study programmes, as well as offering weekly meditation classes at a nearby men's prison. She is currently a student in the IMS / Spirit Rock teacher training program in the US under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein, and divides her time between the US, Australia and New Zealand, teaching vipassana and brahma vihara retreats and offering ongoing study and practice groups focused on bringing the dharma into daily life.
Lizzie has been practising in various Buddhist traditions since 1985: Vajrayana, Zen and Vipassana. She has recently begun teaching Insight meditation and has attended the last 2 teacher training retreats with Jason Siff. Lizzie is a somatic psychotherapist in private practice and teaches on the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) professional training programme.
Jenny has been a dharma practitioner for 30 years, studying with a range of teachers in the Thai forest tradition and the Mahasi tradition. She began teaching 10 years ago and participates in teacher training retreats with Jason Siff. She lives in Alice Springs, works as a visual artist and teaches art in remote communities. She has a particular interest in the affinity between unstructured meditative experience and the practice of creative arts.
Sylvie has been an educator and facilitator in the private and non-for-profit sectors for over 30 years. She has trained, mentored and coached hundreds of people locally and internationally. Six years ago,
Sylvie resumed and committed herself to deepen her meditation practice by regularly practicing “Recollective Awareness/Skilful Meditation”. She also decided to give back to her community and started to work and volunteer as a counsellor and compassionate communication workshop facilitator.
Victor von der Heyde
Victor has been involved in Buddhist practice since the mid 1970s and has spent over a year in silent retreats. He studied with a wide range of teachers overseas (India, Nepal, US, UK) and in Australia and these included Insight Meditation, Zen, and non-aligned teachers.
He has taken dharma teaching roles since the early 1990s and has been leading yatras since they started in Australia in 2006. He has a particular interest in helping people understand the different types of meditation so that they're in a position to choose what works best for them. He's also interested how we respond to climate change and ways that Buddhist practice may influence this response. Victor worked for many years as a counsellor and is chair of the Bodhgaya Development Association, a volunteer aid organisation that supports literacy and self-sufficiency programs in India.
Martine lived in Korea as a Zen nun under the guidance of Master Kusan for ten years. She is the author of Meditation for Life, The Path of Compassion, Women in Korean Zen and Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits. She is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council. She teaches meditation retreats worldwide and lives in France. Her latest work is the forthcoming The Spirit of the Buddha.
Stephen was a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions for ten years. Known for his agnostic and secular approach to the Buddhadharma, he has authored several books, including the bestselling Buddhism Without Beliefs. His latest book is Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist. He lives in France with his wife Martine and teaches seminars and leads meditation retreats worldwide. www.stephenbatchelor.org
Linda is currently a teacher with the Skillful Meditation Project. She began teaching Recollective Awareness Meditation in 2001, entered into Jason Siff's teacher-training in 2003 and completed the program in 2008. Since 2004, Linda has been developing and presenting Recollective Awareness Meditation workshops for Continuing Education to healthcare providers (Acupuncturists, Therapists and recently Psychologists, Nurses). Linda teaches one-day workshops and advanced training for committed students in small cohort groups and over the phone and internet. As a member of the SMP Board of Directors, and one of their senior teachers, Linda is involved in teacher training program development. http://skillfulmeditation.org/Linda.html.
Jason teaches an approach to insight meditation called Recollective Awareness – based on the principles of gentleness, permission, and interest. It emphasizes open awareness, and encourages the student to remember, write down and reflect on her or his meditation experience, and in this way, mine its insights.
The approach thus honors both the mindfulness and the recollection aspects of the Buddha’s original teaching of the ‘direct path’ to realisation.
Jason Siff’s long experience includes time spent in Sri Lanka as a monk in the 1980s. Over the last two decades Jason has been teaching retreats in the USA and Australia. Jason’s approach to teaching meditation has been enriched by his psychotherapy training. A number of his teachings are available at www.skillfulmeditation.org, the website of the Skillful Meditation Project where he is the guiding teacher.