DaRa Williams is a trainer, meditation teacher and psychotherapist. DaRa has been a meditator for the past 25 years and is a practitioner of both Vipassana and Ascension meditation. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock/Insight Meditation Society Teacher Training Program and is a Guiding Teacher at IMS. She is the Program Manager and a core teacher in the current IMS Teacher Training. DaRa has been a clinician and administrator in the field of Mental Health for over 25 years and currently maintains a private practice in Manhattan. She is a certified trainer and practitioner of Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma. DaRa integrates these skills, understandings, wisdom traditions and worldviews in her intention for contributing to the ending of suffering for all beings.
"It is my belief that vipassana meditation and the dharma are ideal for transforming suffering, particularly the trauma of oppression and its many vicissitudes-where the chains around our minds and hearts can be broken and dissolved. Awareness and wisdom become the vehicle for freedom and transforming lives."
Dawn has been practicing and studying Insight Meditation since 2005, sitting silent residential retreats in Canada, United States, Thailand, and Burma. Since discovering the Dharma, she has graduated from Spirit Rock's Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training and the Dedicated Practitioners' Program, as well as the first teacher development group of True North Insight. Dawn teaches with a playful, dynamic, and centered approach, currently leading a weekly sitting group, daylong retreats, and mindfulness workshops. She is a meditation retreat teacher for teenagers with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and is currently in Spirit Rock's 4-year Teacher Training.
Dawn Scott has been practicing insight meditation since 2008, is a Diamond Heart practitioner, and currently serves as the Family Program Coordinator at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She teaches teen retreats at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) and is a participant in the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program.
Deborah Ratner Helzer has practiced with Western and Asian teachers in the Theravada tradition since 1995, including a year as a nun in Burma. She has been teaching in the Washington, DC area and assisting with retreats around the country since 2001.
Debra Chamberlin-Taylor is a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She has been meditating since 1973 and has led retreats that combine spiritual and psychological growth since 1978. In addition to practicing Vipassana, she has been influenced by Dzogchen, Diamond Heart, and devotional practices. More recently she has become a certified teacher of Wisdom Healing Qigong, finding Qigong and mindfulness used together to be the most healing and transformative practice in her long spiritual journey. A psychotherapist, she also leads workshops on embodiment of awareness and love in relationships and in our diverse world.
Devin (he/him) has been practicing Insight meditation since 1999. He regularly teaches at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS). Devin has undertaken many periods of silent long-term retreat practice. He was a community teacher at East Bay Meditation center in Oakland, CA where he co-founded both the teen and men of color sangha. Devin recently relocated to Western Massachusetts from the San Francisco Bay area. He is deeply committed to the personal and collective liberation of marginalized communities knowing that through the integration of reflection and insight, clarity and wisdom give rise to wise action.
Devon Hase has been practicing meditation in the vipassana and Karma Kagyu traditions since 1999. A co-founder of Sati Consulting, she loves long retreats as well as finding creative ways to bring depth practice into daily life.
My work since 2006 through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (uclahealth.org/marc) emphasizes making mindfulness teachings accessible to all, regardless of background, yet without losing depth practice. In recent years I have been teaching on Natural Awareness— the effortless, objectless, and spacious side of awareness practices. Socially engaged Buddhism is a thread woven through many of my talks-- how can we end suffering both internally and externally? Having worked with teens and young adults for many years, some of the talks are geared to young people. Finally as a mom of a tween, I'm deeply inspired by the transformative power of daily life and family practice.