Teachers

Susie Harrington smiling

Susie Harrington teaches meditation nationwide and is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, which serves many communities in the Southwest near her home in Moab, Utah. She has trained in the Insight tradition since 1989, and in 2005 was invited into teaching by Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Guy Armstrong. She has also received teachings from many others, including Tory Capron, Adyashanti, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. She often offers retreats outside, believing nature to be a profound teacher, and a gateway to our true self. Her teaching is deeply grounded in the body and often emphasizes the expression of mindfulness in speech and daily life. Susie brings the skills of inquiry, relational dharma, and the psychological/spiritual interface to her teaching, informed by her ongoing study of the Diamond Approach by A.H.Almaas and as a graduate of Hakomi Therapy (a somatic psychotherapy modality). She offers a two-year intensive program, Dharma in Daily Life, where she delights in mentoring the innate qualities of heart and wisdom in everyday practice. Her practice is rooted in periods of long retreat both indoors and outdoors, which offer nourishment and inspiration for her teaching. She was an outdoor professional for over 30 years, including years as a river guide, mountaineering guide, and backcountry ranger, and now finds her greatest delight in sharing her love of the dharma and the natural world.

Coteachers:

Alexis Santos

Alexis Santos has practiced Insight Meditation in India, Burma and the US since 2001. He met Sayadaw U Tejaniya in Burma in 2003 and has been his long-time student, including several years of training as a Buddhist Monk under his guidance. Alexis' teaching emphasizes knowing the mind through a natural and relaxed continuity. He brings a practical, intuitive and compassionate approach to the development of wisdom.

Anne Cushman

Anne Cushman has been exploring meditation, body-based spiritual practices, and creative expression for over 30 years. She directs the Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California, and offers regular retreats, courses, and individual mentoring both in person and online. She is the author of the novel Enlightenment for Idiots, named by Booklist as one of the “Top Ten First Novels” of its year; the spiritual India travel guide From Here to Nirvana; and Moving Into Meditation: A 12-Week Mindfulness Program for Yoga Practitioners. She lives with her son and her life partner in Fairfax, California. For more information go to www.annecushman.com.

Ayya Anandabodhi

Ayya Anandabodhi first encountered the Buddha’s teaching in her early teens, which ignited a deep interest in the Buddha’s Path of Awakening. She has practiced meditation since 1989, and lived in Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries in the UK from 1992 for 18 years. In 2009 she moved to the U.S. on invitation of the Saranaloka Foundation, to help establish Aloka Vihara, a training monastery for women, where she now resides.She took leave of the Ajahn Chah lineage in 2011, in order to take full bhikkhuni ordination. The teachings and example of Ajahn Chah continue to be an influence and inspiration in her practice and teaching.

Brian Lesage

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. Brian also has a private practice in Somatic Experiencing, which is a naturalistic approach to healing trauma.

Jaya Rudgard

Jaya Rudgard “Mindfulness has been part of my life since I discovered Buddhism as a teenager. I left a career as a city solicitor to spend nine years living as a Buddhist nun under the guidance of Ajahn Sumedho and the Thai Forest Tradition, where mindfulness was the cornerstone of our daily practice. After returning to lay life in 2005 I gained a Postgraduate Diploma in psychotherapy and counseling, working with clients in a variety of settings, whilst helping to run a busy health food store. I am currently training with Jack Kornfield and others in the teacher-training program run by Spirit Rock and the Insight Meditation Society in the USA.”

Kathy Cheney smiling

Kathy Cheney has studied and practiced meditation and the Dharma since 2000, in the Insight and Soto Zen traditions. Kathy was introduced to Buddhist teachings when she went to Spirit Rock Meditation Center as a volunteer for the Family Program. Kathy has sat retreats for many years at Spirit Rock, Gaia House and other centers. Kathy has taught meditation to children and adults in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently living in Volcano HI, where she co-leads a meditation group. Kathy has been managing meditation retreats and coordinating programs for Spirit Rock Meditation Center since 2011 and is the Retreat Coordinator for the Aloka Vihara Nun’s retreats.

Rosemerry Trommer

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Colorado Western Slope Poet Laureate, lives in Southwest Colorado with her husband and two children. Her poetry collections include The Less I Hold, The Miracle Already Happening: Everyday life with Rumi, Intimate Landscape and Holding Three Things at Once (Colorado Book Award finalist). Her work has also appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, in O Magazine, on back alley fences, in her children’s lunchboxes, and on rocks she leaves around town. In addition to writing, Rosemerry leads writing workshops for hospice, recoveryprograms, women’s groups, teachers and people who think they hate poetry. Sheperforms with a poetry troupe, teaches poetry in schools, sings with an 8-woman a cappella group, and leads a poetry discussion series.