Teachers and Staff

Guiding Teacher

Chris Crotty

Chris Crotty is a Buddhist teacher, pastoral counselor, and adjunct professor in wellness and alternative medicine. Practicing meditation since 1998, he has taken retreat with Burmese monastics Sayadaw U Inndaka and Sayadaw U Tejaniya, scholar-practitioner Bhikkhu Analayo, western monastics of the Zen and Thai Forest tradition, and senior western Vipassana teachers. Chris was authorized to teach Buddhadharma in 2015, and in 2016 was encouraged to teach vipassana and metta by Sayadaw U Inndaka (Chanmyay Myaing, Myanmar).

Chris’s teaching combines Theravada Buddhism’s emphasis on insight and ethics with the Mahayana ideal of compassionate action, along with the synthesis of practice and study. He is also influenced by the fields of ecopsychology, attachment theory, and contemplative, pastoral, and palliative approaches to sickness, aging, and end-of-life care.

Prior to focusing on Buddhist practices, Chris taught Hatha yoga, directing a community yoga center in Gloucester, Mass., and training yoga teachers internationally at the 200-hour and 500-hour levels. Chris’s yoga combines yin, viniyoga, and kripalu with trauma-sensitive methodologies and mindfulness.  His weekend-format yoga teacher training, Hatha-Dharma, developed to help students practice and teach a more awareness-based yoga, has been offered at yoga centers internationally.

Chris has taught at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health’s Institute for Integrated Leadership, as well as the Trauma Center in Brookline, Mass., and he was active in yoga research with Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  For Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) he taught retreats and managed the development of iBme’s Mindfulness Teacher Training program. His course “Living the Good Life: Practicing Health and Wellbeing” is a core course in Wellness and Alternative Medicine at Johnson State College. As a visiting lecturer Chris has taught at Endicott College’s nursing program and at Tufts University. He holds a master’s degree in ecopsychology, sustainable leadership, and Buddhist practice, and is currently an active member of the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation (CSCPF). Chris regularly teaches workshops and retreats nationally and offers individual mentoring and Buddhist pastoral counseling. To learn more about Chris and to view his full schedule, visit chriscrottydharma.org.

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Visiting Teachers

Lama Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens (Mdiv) is an author, activist, and authorized Lama (Buddhist teacher) in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Rod is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Lama Rod is also a teacher with the Daishin Zen Buddhist Temple, the Urban Yoga Foundation, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), and a visiting teacher with Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Brooklyn Zen Center. Lama Rod has been a faculty member for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s professional education program in mindfulness for educators and has served as a guest faculty member for the school’s course “Mindfulness for Educators.” He holds a master of divinity degree in Buddhist studies from Harvard Divinity School, where he focused on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. He is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities. Lama Rod is a founding teacher for the Awaken meditation app, which offers meditations and contemplations focused on social change. He has been published and featured in several publications, including Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Spirit Magazine, and contributed the chapter on working with anger for the recent publication Real World Mindfulness for Beginners. Lama Rod facilitates undoing patriarchy workshops for male-identified practitioners in Brooklyn and Boston. His current writing projects include patriarchy in spiritual communities, white supremacy in Tibetan Buddhist communities, sexuality and ethics, as well as fatness and spirituality. Lama Rod’s next book will explore transformative anger and love and is due out in June 2019. Lama Rod can be reached at www.lamarod.com.

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Kate Lila Wheeler

Kate Lila’s teaching approach is based on offering presence and responding, as best she can, to allow Dharma to be known. Ethics, compassion, and understanding can unfold in many different ways, quirky to each person and situation. She is grateful for the steady kindness and practical wisdom of many teachers, mostly Buddhist, but also Hindu, simple human, and animal, who help her remember that the Dharma is right here and now.

Her spiritual adventures began with growing up bicultural and bilingual, moving around Latin America. After college, she and her best friend joined a two-week retreat with Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg, an indelible experience. Kate and her friend began to practice at Insight Meditation Society as much as they could, the friend eventually becoming a manager and Kate a long-term yogi.

She was a nun twice, notably in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma, though she disrobed due to the 1988 military repression of a democratic uprising. Larry Rosenberg encouraged her to lead peer groups in the basement when she lived at Cambridge Insight Meditation Society. Actual training as a teacher began with co-leading private retreats with Anand Nirgrantha, a New York analyst who insisted his clients learn mindfulness in order to actually feel their feelings. In 1991 she met Poonja-ji, the late, beloved Advaita teacher of Lucknow, India. He helped her stop her feeling of a need to “make progress” and gave her the name “Lila.” She disobeyed his exhortation to lead Satsangs, preferring to continue exploring Vajrayana and Dzoghen approaches and practices, which she has also been given rein to share. Currently Kate Lila’s teacher is Dza Kilung Rinpoche.

In 2006 she graduated from a four-year training as an IMS-Spirit Rock retreat teacher: Sayadaw U Pandita also endorsed her to teach. She led retreats across the USA until asked by Gina Sharpe and Larry Yang to help coordinate the 2016-2020 training of Spirit Rock’s new teachers, a cohort more diverse than any previous group. Lila now teaches at Boston Meditation Center, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, and for sanghas in Houston and Tucson.

In another corner of her life, Kate Lila writes fiction and journalism with national awards in both genres. She is putting finishing touches on a second novel, Red Lotus: The Case of the Missing Guru. She lives in Somerville, and is married to David M. Guss, a poet, anthropologist, and fellow writer. You can read more about Kate Lila at katewheeler.com/.

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