Inspiring teachers

Disclaimer: a completely subjective list …

Lay teachers in the Western vipassana (insight) tradition

Rob Burbea

“Rob Burbea has been practising and studying the Dharma since 1985. He has been teaching since 2004 and is currently Resident Teacher of Gaia House. He is a co-founder of SanghaSeva, an organisation dedicated to exploring the Dharma through service work internationally, and also a co-initiator of DANCE (Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement).”


Seeing That Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising

Gil Fronsdal

“Gil Fronsdal is the primary teacher for the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California; he has been teaching since 1990. He has practiced Zen and Vipassana in the U.S. and Asia since 1975. He was a Theravada monk in Burma in 1985, and in 1989 began training with Jack Kornfield to be a Vipassana teacher. Gil teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center where he is part of its Teachers Council. Gil was ordained as a Soto Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982, and in 1995 received Dharma Transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center. He currently serves on the SF Zen Center Elders’ Council. In 2011 he founded IMC’s Insight Retreat Center. Gil has an undergraduate degree in agriculture from U.C. Davis where he was active in promoting the field of sustainable farming. In 1998 he received a PhD in Religious Studies from Stanford University studying the earliest developments of the bodhisattva ideal.”
(IMC website


The Issue at Hand
The Dhammapada (translator)


Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and lovingkindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. In 1989, together with several other teachers and students of insight meditation, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Joseph first became interested in Buddhism as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in 1965. Since 1967 he has studied and practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation under eminent teachers from India, Burma and Tibet.” (IMS website)


Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening (2013)
One Dharma (2002)
The Experience of Insight (1976)


The Satipatthana Sutta series
Also available to download by donation from:

Video interview:

with Dr Rick Hanson, on Mindfulness

Teaching schedule:

Interview about “the Insight Meditation movement”

Greg Kramer

“Gregory Kramer, Ph.D., is the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Metta Programs and has been teaching Insight Meditation since 1980. He developed the practice of Insight Dialogue and has been teaching it since 1995, offering retreats in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. He has studied with esteemed teachers, including Anagarika Dhammadina, Ven. Ananda Maitreya, Achan Sobin Namto, and Ven. Punnaji Maha Thero.” ( website)


Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom (2007 Shambhala)


Teaching schedule:

Kamala Masters

“Kamala Masters began practicing in 1975. Trained by Anagarika Munindra and Sayadaw U Pandita, she offers the dharma in the US and abroad. She is a co-founder and guiding teacher of the Vipassana Metta Foundation on Maui.” (IMS website)


Teaching schedule:


Willa Thaniya Reid

Willa Thaniya Reid spent 18 years in Ajahn Chah monasteries in Thailand and the UK extending her practice of meditation and Buddhist contemplation. As the senior nun of the Chithurst community in England for eight years, she supported both the lay and monastic communities. She has taught retreats in Europe, America, Australia and the UK, and continues to teach in the US and New Zealand. She has a Masters of Counselling, and clinical pastoral training.


Sharon Salzberg

“One of America’s leading spiritual teachers and authors, Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana(mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work.”


Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995)
A Heart as Wide as the World (1999)


Teaching schedule:

Greg Scharf

Greg Scharf began meditation practice in 1992. He has studied with a variety of teachers both in Asia and the West, and trained as a Buddhist monk in Burma. Greg has been teaching residential retreats since 2007. His teaching emphasizes the natural unfolding of love and wisdom through the cultivation of mindful awareness.

Interview on dana:

Click to access 2012_fall_insight_newsletter_0.pdf


Carol Wilson

“Carol Wilson, an IMS guiding teacher, has practiced insight meditation since 1971 with a variety of teachers, including Sayadaw U Pandita and Ashin U Tejaniya, as well as spending a year as a nun in Thailand. She has offered retreats worldwide since 1986, including the annual IMS Three-Month course.” (IMS website)


Teaching schedule:

Shinzen Young

“Shinzen Young became fascinated with Asian culture while a teenager in Los Angeles. Later he enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Eventually, he went to Asia and did extensive training in each of the three major Buddhist traditions: Vajrayana, Zen and Vipassana. Upon returning to the United States, his academic interests shifted to the burgeoning dialogue between Eastern meditation and Western science. He leads meditation retreats throughout North America and has helped establish numerous mindfulness centers and programs. He also consults widely on meditation-related research, in both the clinical and the basic science domains.” (Shinzen Young website)


The Science of Enlightenment (2005)

Teaching schedule:

Monastic teachers in the Theravada tradition

Bhikkhu Analayo

Bhikkhu Analayo is a German scholar-monk and the author of Satipatthaana: The Direct Path to Realization, Perspectives on Satipatthaana, and Excursions into the Thought-World of the Pali Discourses. He is a Core Faculty Member at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and a professor at the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hamburg.

Recordings of his guided satipatthana meditation

Sayadaw U Vivekananda

“Venerable Vivekananda has trained under the Ven. Sayadaw U Panditabhivamsa since 1988. He has been teaching Vipassana and loving kindness meditation at the Panditarama Lumbini International Meditation Center in Lumbini (Nepal) and abroad since 1998. Ven. U Vivekananda guides meditators in English, Burmese, German, and French.” (Vipassana in North America website)


Teaching schedule:

Sayadaw U Tejaniya

Sayadaw U Tejaniya began his Buddhist training as a young teenager in Burma under the late Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw (1913–2002). After a career in business and life as a householder, he has become a permanent monk since 1996. He teaches meditation at Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Meditation Center in Yangon, Myanmar.
Sayadaw’s relaxed demeanor and easy sense of humor can belie a commitment to awareness he encourages his students to apply in every aspect of their lives. His earlier life as a householder gives him a rare insight into the challenges faced by his lay students.” (Sayadaw U Tejaniya website

E-Books available from Sayadaw’s website:

Awareness Alone is Not Enough
Don’t Look Down on the Defilements


Teaching schedule:

Ajahn Sucitto

Ajahn Sucitto (Bhikkhu Sucitto, born 4 November 1949) is a British-born Theravada Buddhist monk (“ajahn” is the Thai rendition of ācariya [Pali] “teacher”). He is, since 1992, the abbot of Cittaviveka, Chithurst Buddhist Monastery. He was born in London, and was ordained in Thailand in March 1976. He moved to Britain in 1978 and took up training under Ajahn Sumedho at the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara. In 1979 he was one of the small group of monks, led by Ajahn Sumedho, who established Cittaviveka, Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, in West Sussex. In 1981 he was sent up to Northumberland to set up a small monastery in Harnham, which subsequently became Aruna Ratanagiri. In 1984 he accompanied Ajahn Sumedho in establishing Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hertfordshire. In 1992 he was appointed abbot of Cittaviveka. (Wikipedia)

E-Books available from Forest Sangha Book’s website:

Parami, Ways to Cross Life’s Floods



To be continued …

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