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Female Teachers in Buddhism

THERAVADA


Ven. Ayya Khema Ven. Ayya Khema (Ilse Ledermann) was a pioneering nun in the Theravada tradition from 1979 until her death on November 2, 1997.  She was ordained as a nun in 1979 by Narada Mahathera in Sri Lanka.  She established Wat Buddha Dhamma, near Sydney Australia, in 1978; the International Buddhist Women's Centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Parappuduwa Nun's Island; and was spiritual director of Buddha-Haus in Germany, established in 1989 under her auspices.  She established Metta Forest Monastery in Germany as well.  She is the author of Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, When the Iron Eagle Flies, Who Is My Self? and other books. Not available
Sylvia Boorstein Sylvia Boorstein has been teaching since 1985 and teaches both vipassana and metta meditation. She is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and a psychotherapist, wife, mother, and grandmother who is particularly interested in seeing daily life as practice.  She is the author of three wonderful books on Buddhism:  It's Easier Than You Think; Don't Just Do Something, Sit There; and That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist. Spirit Rock Meditation Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Woodacre, CA
U.S.A.
office tel (415) 488-0164
fax (415) 488-0170l
Ruth Denison Ruth Denison studied in Burma in the early 1960's with the meditation master Sayagi U Ba Khin.   She has been teaching since 1973 and is founder of Dhamma Dena, a desert retreat center in Joshua Tree, California, and The Center for Buddhism in the West in Germany.   She is known for her energy and unorthodox way of teaching Vipassana meditation.   She uses movement, music, rhythm, chanting, and sound as supportive meditation patterns for the practice.  Ruth Denison recently featured in a teacher interview with Insight Meditation Online. Dhamma Dena
HC-1, Box 250
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
tel (619) 362-4815

Insight Meditation Society
1230 Pleasant Street
Barre, MA 01005
tel  (978) 355-4378

David@dharma.org

Lucinda Treelight Green Lucinda Treelight Green, Ph.D. is a Dharma teacher in the Theravada lineage and director of Rocky Mountain Insight in Colorado Springs, Co., USA.  She received Dharma transmission from Ruth Denison of Dhamma Dena in southern California, who received transmission from U Ba Khin of Burma.  In 1985, she entered a nunnery in Sri Lanka under the tutelage of Venerable Ayya Khema.  More recently she has recorded Buddhist chants in Pali and English as well as metta and sweeping meditations to assist meditators (see audiovisual resource page). Rocky Mountain Insight
P.O. Box 6386
Colorado Springs, CO 80934-6386
fax (719) 685-5756
TLG223@aol.com
Insight Meditation Society The Insight Meditation Society (IMS) of Barre, Massachussetts, USA is home to many resident and visiting female teachers. The site includes photos and biographies of Sylvia Boorstein, Ruth Denison, Christina Feldman, Narayan Liebenson Grady, Michele McDonald-Smith, Sharon Salzberg and Carol Wilson. Associate and visiting teachers currently include:  Anna Douglas, Kamala Masters, Sharda Rogell, Marcia Rose, Tara Brach, Sarah Doering and Gloria Ambrosia.   See the teaching schedule for current retreat details. Insight Meditation Society
1230 Pleasant Street
Barre, MA 01005
U.S.A.
Tel  (978) 355-4378

David@dharma.org

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available

Upasika Kee Nanayon, who wrote under the penname K. Khao-suan-luang, was one of the foremost woman teachers of Dhamma in modern Thailand.  Born in 1901, she started a practice centre for women in 1945 on a hill in the province of Rajburi, to the west of Bangkok, where she lived until her death in 1979.  Known for the simplicity of her way of life, and for the direct, uncompromising style of her teaching, she had a way with words evident not only in her talks, which attracted listeners from all over Thailand, but also in her poetry, which was widely published.  Many of her writings are available on the Thai forest tradition page of the Theravada text archive. Not available
Narayan Liebenson Grady Narayan Liebenson Grady is a guiding teacher at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center where she has taught since 1985.  She is the author of When Singing, Just Sing: Life As Meditation.  See her article, coauthored with husband  Michael Liebenson Grady, Investigation: Listening as Deeply as we Possibly Can in Insight Meditation Online. Insight Meditation Society
1230 Pleasant Street
Barre, MA 01005
U.S.A.
Tel  (978) 355-4378

David@dharma.org

Shirley June Johannesen

Shirley June Johannesen is an acknowledged and respected teacher, author and leader in the field of stretching, yoga, vipassana meditation and relaxation. She teaches classes in insight meditation, yoga, and other body-mind practices in Calgary, Alberta.

Shirley Johannesen
StretchAwareness Centre
3212 - 6 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2S 2M3
tel (403) 243-3433
E-mail johannes@cadvision.com

Ven. Cecilie Kwiat Cecilie Kwiat has studied and practised within Theravada and Vajrayana since 1965, and lived as a nun (maechee) on long retreat in Thailand for two years.  She now lives, teaches and leads retreats in Calgary, Canada.   Cecilie is also my beloved first teacher, so I can personally recommend her very highly!  See her take on the subject of women in western Buddhism (in a 1991 interview).

Cecilie Kwiat
Calgary, Alberta
Canada
ckwiat@telusplanet.net

Kamala Masters UPDATED Kamala Masters, an Asian-American woman living on Maui, is a Guiding Teacher with the Vipassana Metta Foundation. Her dhamma practice began with Munindra over 20 years ago and in recent years she continues to do intensive retreats with Sayadaw U Pandita, under whose guidance she has practiced both insight and lovingkindness meditations.  Kamala's most intensive practice has been within her home and community and offers guidance for householders as parent, spouse and community member.  See the teacher interview with Kamala and her partner Steve Armstrong in IMO. Vipassana Metta Foundation
P.O. Box 1188
Kula, HI 96790-1188

U.S.A.
tel (808) 573-3450
metta@maui.net
Michele McDonald-Smith Michele McDonald-Smith has been practicing vipassana meditation since 1975 and continues to study with Sayadaw U Pandita.  She has been teaching at Insight Meditation Society and worldwide since 1982, weaving her interest in relationship, nature and poetry into her teaching.  She has a deep interest in preserving the ancient teachings and in finding ways of expression that make them more accessible and authentic for us in this time.  Insight Meditation Society
1230 Pleasant Street
Barre, MA 01005
U.S.A.
Tel  (978) 355-4378

David@dharma.org
Mary Orr Mary Orr is a vipassana teacher affiliated with Spirit Rock Meditation Center.  In addition to her training with Jack Kornfield, she also studied for six years in the Ridhwan school with Hameed Ali.  Prior to her involvement with Buddhist practice, she trained with the Guild for Psychological Studies, a group interested in the interface of Jungian psychology and western spiritual/contemplative traditions. Spirit Rock Meditation Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Woodacre, CA
U.S.A.
office tel (415) 488-0164
fax (415) 488-0170
Voice mail
Sharda Rogell UPDATED Sharda Rogell has practiced meditation since 1976, primarily with teachers in the Theravadin tradition, and has led retreats since 1985.  Sharda is a resident teacher at Seattle Insight Meditation Center.  In addition, Sharda teaches and leads retreats in other parts of the world, including IMS (Mass.),  Spirit Rock (Calif.), and centres in Canada, Sweden, and New Zealand. NEW Insight Magazine interviews Sharda in Seeing the Truth of Freedom.

Seattle Insight Meditation Society
P.O. Box 95817
Seattle, WA 98145-2817

U.S.A.
tel (206) 366-2111

Sharon Salzberg Sharon Salzberg has practised and studied in a variety of Buddhist traditions since 1970, and is best known for her teaching retreats on intensive awareness and lovingkindness practice.  (Read Tricycle magazine's interview with her in The Dharma of Liberation.)   In the UK, Sharon frequently leads retreats at Gaia House in Devon.  See A Wind Through the Heart, her conversation with Alice Walker on lovingkindness, from the January 1997 Shambhala Sun.

Contact address:
Insight Meditation Society

1230 Pleasant Street
Barre, MA 01005
U.S.A.
Tel  (978) 355-4378

Spirit Rock logo Spirit Rock Meditation Center is a practice center in Marin County, California, which stresses the practice of mindful attention known as Insight (or vipassana) meditation.   Regular teachers include: Sylvia Boorstein (vipassana, metta), Debra Chamberlin-Taylor (vipassana, Dzogchen), Anna Douglas (vipassana, Zen, Dzogchen), Mary Orr (vipassana), and Julie Wester (vipassana).  Visiting vipassana teachers include Sharon Salzberg, Christina Feldman, Arinna Weisman, Carol Wilson and Sharda Rogell.   See the teaching program for current retreat details.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Woodacre, CA
U.S.A.
office tel (415) 488-0164
fax (415) 488-0170
Voice mail

Dr. Thynn Thynn

UPDATED Dr. Thynn Thynn is residential teacher at the Sae Taw Win II Dhamma Center in Sebastopol, California.  Dr. Thynn, who is Burmese-born, is the lineage holder of the Shwe Baw Gyun Burmese Buddhist tradition.  She gives public lectures on classical Buddhism as well as weekly classes in vipassana meditation in daily life.  Dhamma instruction via the Internet is a recent development for her geographically distant students.  The Sae Taw Win II Center is a Theravada Buddhist yogi/lay residential community and teaching/training institute in Theravada Buddhism and practice.

Sae Taw Win II Dhamma Center
7415 Hayden Avenue
Sebastopol, CA 95472
tel (707) 829-9857
Email Thynnthynn@aol.com

Julie Wester Julie Wester has practiced vipassana meditation since 1973 and has led retreats since 1985.  Her teaching reflects her training with Ruth Denison, whose pioneering approach to vipassana meditation incorporates guided movement and sensory exploration with the silent retreat setting.  She is affiliated with Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Woodacre, CA
U.S.A.
office tel (415) 488-0164
fax (415) 488-0170
Voice mail

Arinna Weisman

Arinna Weisman was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and has lived in London, Israel and Europe.  She studied with Ruth Denison and many other teachers in the Buddhist tradition and her spiritual practice includes work with Native American Elders.  She is working toward a multicultural and gender-inclusive expression of the dharma and teaches throughout the United States.  She is affiliated with Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and leads many retreats for lesbian, gay and transgendered Buddhists.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Woodacre, CA
U.S.A.
office tel (415) 488-0164
fax (415) 488-0170
Voice mail
http://pacific.telebyte.com/~robin/

Carol Wilson Carol Wilson has been practicing vipassana meditation since 1971, most recently with Sayadaw U Pandita.   She has been teaching since 1986 in the United States, Canada and Europe, including the annual three-month retreat at Insight Meditation Society.

Insight Meditation Society
1230 Pleasant Street
Barre, MA 01005
U.S.A.
Tel  (978) 355-4378

David@dharma.org


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This page was last amended on 1 January 2001.
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