Alice has been meditating in the Mindfulness tradition for 28 years. She is a graduate of the Dedicated Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner Programs at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in the Bay area and a participant in many concentration and mindfulness meditation retreats up to 3 months long. She is certified to teach meditation through Spirit Rock’s two-year Community Dharma Leader Program. The same curiosity and awe of the external world that led her to a career as a marine biologist and Univeristy Professor also led her to explore the even greater and more complex world within through meditation. She enjoys reading, swimming, playing with her grandchildren and learning the accordion.
Shelley has been meditating for over 50 years, since 2004 in the Buddhist Insight tradition. Since 2004 she has spent a total of almost three years in silent retreat practice. She’s a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner Program and Insight Meditation Center’s (IMC) Local Dharma Leader program, and is currently participating in the four-year IMC/IRC Retreat Teacher Training taught by Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella.
As part of the Open Door Sangha’s teaching and leadership team, Shelley began giving dharma talks in 2009, later offering classes, daylongs, and teaching in retreats. The natural world, gardening, literature and art all strongly impact her relationship to and understanding of dharma principles. She is married to John O’Connor, and is a mother and a grandmother. Gil Fronsdal is her primary teacher.
Gary has been actively practicing Buddhism for 30 years spending at least 30 days in mindfulness retreat each year. His principal teacher is Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh of the Chan and Yogachara schools. He has studied Tibetan Shamata and Dzochen practices with Sogyal Rinpoche, Lama Sura Dass, Alan Wallace and H.H. the Dala Lama. For the last 10 years he has focuses his study on Western Vipassana practice and Sutta study through Spirit Rock Retreat Center where he has completed the 2 year Dedicated Practitioner Program, the 2 year Community Dharma Leader Program and many month long and two month long silent retreats.
John has been meditating in the Insight tradition for 20 years. He is a graduate of the Dedicated Practitioner Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He enjoys leading chanting groups, reading, and playing the guitar.
Allen Weiss is the founding teacher and former Director of Mindful USC (University of Southern California) and a senior teacher at InsightLA where he has taught mindfulness classes for the past 16 years. He started meditating in the mindfulness tradition in 2005 and in 2011. His Basics of Mindfulness class at InsightLA was noted the Best in Los Angeles by LA Magazine. He completed the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP) at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2008. Allen was given formal teaching authorization by Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman in 2014. He has written articles for Lion’s Roar and Tricycle magazines. Allen is teaching the introduction to mindfulness classes for Open Door Sangha.