BMIMC Teacher Profiles

Sayādaw U Vivekananda is a senior meditation teacher in the Mahāsī tradition and the abbot of Paṇḍitarama International Meditation Centre in Lumbini, Nepal. He also teaches a busy schedule in North America and Europe.
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Ariya B. Baumann (formerly Ariya Nani) was a Buddhist nun for 21 years, ordained in Burma by Sayadaw U Janaka. For many years she had been guiding foreign meditators at the Chanmyay Myaing Meditation Center. She now lives in Switzerland and teaches mettā and vipassanā retreats worldwide.For further detail see Ariya’s blog.

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Michael Dash has been a Buddhist practitioner for over twenty years, studying in Australia, Thailand and Burma, where he trained in satipatthāna vipassanā meditation in the Mahāsī tradition. He also has led the Centre’s regular group sits in Sydney and is a professional counsellor.
Tara Frances (formerly MacLachlan) is a co-founder and was a major sponsor in the establishment of the Centre. She has practised vipassanā meditation for 30 years in Burma, Nepal and Australia, with Sayādaw U Pandita, the senior disciple of Mahāsī Sayādaw, and other senior teachers. Tara was a member of the BMIMC management committee from the Centre’s inception up to her six year term as resident manager, which ended in November 2010.
Patrick Kearney is an independent dharma teacher in the lineage of Mahāsī Sayādaw of Burma, his principal teachers being Paṇḍitarama Sayādaw and John Hale. He has also trained in the Diamond Sangha lineage of Zen Buddhism. His original teacher was Robert Aitken Roshi, and he is now studying with Paul Maloney Roshi. Patrick has a particular interest in the Buddha’s teachings before Theravāda or Mahāyāna were thought of. He studies Pāli and seeks to bring his understanding of the early texts to the practice of dharma in the contemporary world. For further details see his website at dharmasalon.net.
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Lesley Lebkowicz has practised vipassanā meditation since 1983 and has spent several years in silent retreat in Australia, the USA and Burma. She has worked as a teacher, counsellor and writer and currently divides her time between formal spiritual practice and writing. She leads the Canberra Insight Meditation Group.
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Greg Scharf is a US-based Dhamma teacher who has practiced with Western and Asian teachers in the Theravada tradition since 1992, and has been teaching residential retreats since 2007. His teaching emphasizes the confluence of love and wisdom on the path to liberation. Listen to one of Greg’s talks: “Renunciation” given at IMS on April 8, 2011.
Jill Shepherd began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999. A former manager of BMIMC, she recently spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where she participated in many long retreats and also offered weekly meditation classes at a nearby prison. She has been invited into the current teacher training program jointly offered by Spirit Rock and IMS in the US. For further details see Jill’s website
Steven Smith is a founder of Vipassana Hawai’i and Kyaswa Valley Retreat Centre and MettaDana health and education project both in Myanmar. Steve has practised and studied vipassanā as a monk and layperson for more than 40 years and is anchored in the Theravāda tradition.
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Danny Taylor has been a student of Eastern traditions since the early 1970s, and a practitioner of Buddhist meditation in the Mahāsī Sayādaw tradition since 1986. He has worked as a psychologist and is a management consultant. Danny emphasises the integration of meditation with our daily reality. He is also a leader of the group’s meditation sessions in Sydney.
Graham Wheeler has been practising vipassanā meditation for over thirty years, studying in Australia, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka. He also has been leading the Centre’s group meditation sessions in Sydney since 1999. He has his own legal practice in Sydney and much of his work is with community-based organisations.