Guest teachers in May 2023

Dear friends,

We are delighted that some of our sangha friends are joining us as we go online only for four Wednesdays in May:

  • May 3 Jeanne will be leading online;
  • May 10 our good friend Elvina Charley will be leading us in the Navajo Beauty Way;
  • May 17 Jill Shepherd, founder of Auckland Insight will join us;
  • May 24 Jeanne’s teacher training colleague Walt Opie will dive into Clinging and Non-clinging.

All of these dear hearts are looking forward to spending time with our special sangha, while Jeanne is teaching in BC, and then on personal retreat there. Any dana you offer will be passed on to these beautiful teachers.

Enjoy, dear sangha! What a gift that these teachers from around the world can come to visit us.

To join us online, please register for the Zoom here:
When your register, Zoom will email you a personalized link to join the Wednesday session. The Zoom link will remain the same for the foreseeable future.

With every good wish,
Jeanne and SIMC

May 10: Elvina Charley

Head and shoulders of Elvina Charley, in front of a yellow background.

Elvina Charley, Ed.S. is Diné (Navajo) school psychologist practitioner and integrates mindfulness as a part of serving children and youth. Charley has been practicing mindfulness since 2013, introduced to her by Bonnie Duran, Ph.D. as a way to heal from historical trauma. She found parallels between her Diné philosophy of life – Sa’ah naaghái bik’eh hózhó and Buddhism. Charley continues to cultivate her practice through people of color retreat programs through the Insight Meditation Society and Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center. Charley also received training through Mindful Schools to bring back mindfulness to reservation schools.

May 17: Jill Shepherd

Jill Shepherd began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at several meditation centres and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand. She is a graduate of the IMS / Spirit Rock teacher training program in the US, under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein and Gil Fronsdal, and at the founder of Auckland Insight. Currently, she divides her time mostly between the USA, Australia and New Zealand, teaching insight / vipassanā and brahmavihāra retreats and offering ongoing study and practice groups focused on bringing the dharma into daily life. She also leads courses and non-residential workshops exploring the relational practice of Insight Dialogue, as developed by Gregory Kramer and colleagues.

May 24: Walt Opie

Walt Opie was introduced to insight meditation in 1993, but didn’t realize its full life-changing potential until sitting his first two residential retreats at Spirit Rock in 2005. He has a strong interest in early Buddhism and serves as a facilitator for online courses based on the work of Bhikkhu Analayo through the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS). In addition, he teaches retreats and speaks at insight meditation centers around the country. Walt has also led sitting groups for people in recovery for many years and helps facilitate Buddhist services in a California prison. His most influential teachers include Bhikkhu Analayo, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, Joseph Goldstein, Gil Fronsdal, and Guy Armstrong. He is a graduate of the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program. Walt received an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. His writing appears in the book collection Still, In the City: Creating Peace of Mind in the Midst of Urban Chaos edited by Angela Dews (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018). His website is

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