Teachers and Facilitators

Guiding Teacher, Founder

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

Leslie Booker

Leslie Booker (Booker) brings her heart and wisdom to the intersection of Dharma, embodied practice, and activism. She began working with system-involved populations in 2005 and was a senior teacher and director of training for ten years with Lineage Project, an organization in New York City that teaches mindfulness to incarcerated and at-risk youth. She also facilitated an intervention on Riker’s Island from 2009 to 2011 through NYU. Booker shares her expertise nationally on creating culturally responsive environments and changing the paradigm of self- and community care. She has spoken at the Mind & Life Institute’s International Symposium, Contemplative Minds in Higher Education, and Mindfulness in Education conferences, as well as at universities across the country. She is a cofounder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute and the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street. Booker is a contributor to the text Best Practices for Yoga in the Criminal Justice System (2017) and Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness at Work (2013), and she is on the faculty of the Engaged Mindfulness Institute and Off the Mat Into the World, organizations that combine mindfulness and yoga, respectively, with social activism. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga and Meditation training (2012), Community Dharma Leaders training (2017), and will complete Spirit Rock’s Teacher Training in 2020. Read more about Booker at www.lesliebooker.com.

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Matthew Daniell

Matthew has been practicing Buddhist meditation for over 30 years. He studied Zen in Japan, Tibetan Buddhism in India, and Insight Meditation in India, Burma, Thailand, and the United States. His teachers include Munindra, Dipa Ma, Larry Rosenberg, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. Matthew is a founder of the Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport, as well as its primary and guiding teacher. He also teaches at various retreat centers including the Omega Institute, Kripalu, and Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. He is a member of the Religious Services Department at Phillips Exeter Academy, where he leads meditation groups for students and faculty, and he teaches online through eMindful.org.

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Venerable Sayadaw U Inndaka

Born in 1952 in Upper Burma, Venerable Sayadaw U Inndaka was ordained in 1972 at the famous Mahagandhayon Monastery in Amarapura, Burma. Starting in 1976 he practiced vipassana meditation in the Mahasi Meditation Center in Mandalay; some years later he went to the Chanmyay Yeiktha Meditation Center in Yangon, where he was commissioned to teach meditation. In 1996 he became the abbot of the newly established Chanmyay Myaing Meditation Center on the outskirts of Yangon. In 2009 he established a second center in the northern town of Pyin Oo Lwin, not far from Mandalay. Sayadaw U Inndaka’s books on the practice of metta meditation and the factors of enlightenment have been translated into English and German. Sayadaw U Inndaka teaches Boston Meditation Center’s annual spring residential retreat.

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Rebecca Li

Rebecca Li, PhD, is a teacher of Chan Buddhism in the lineage of Chan Master Sheng Yen. She is the founder and guiding teacher of Chan Dharma Community, a Chan Buddhist practice and study community, and the author of Allow Joy into Our Hearts: Chan Practice in Uncertain Times. She is also a teacher with Dharma Drum centers in North America and the Rubin Museum in New York City, and a visiting teacher at Yale University Buddhist Sangha, Newark Center for Meditative Culture, Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County, Boston Meditation Center, and Western Chan Fellowship (U.K.). Rebecca is a founding board member of Dharma Drum Retreat Center and served on the board from 2004 to 2017, and one of the founding board members of The GenX Buddhist Teachers Sangha where she continues to serve as a board member. She has published and been featured in several Buddhist publications, including Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, Chan Magazine, New Chan Forum (U.K),and Humanity Magazine (Taiwan). Her current book project is on the Chan practice of Silent Illumination. Rebecca is a sociology professor and lives with her husband in New Jersey. Her talks, guided meditation, and calendar of events can be found at www.rebeccali.org.

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Lama Liz Monson

Lama Liz Monson is the Spiritual Co-Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Managing Teacher of Wonderwell Mountain Refuge. She has been studying, practicing and teaching Tibetan Buddhism in the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages for over twenty-five years. Elizabeth is interested in accessing the energy and open awareness found in the natural world for awakening in everyday life. She also focuses her teaching on developing practical methods for incorporating the Buddhist teachings into this human life through the practices of kindness and compassion and on recognizing the natural state in every moment of our lives. Her new book, “Tales of a Mad Yogi: The Life and Wild Wisdom of Drukpa Kunley” is due out in June of 2021.

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For personal use only - this image, or derivative works, can not be used, published, distributed or sold without written permission of the owner.
All rights reserved by Gulnara Niaz. For personal use only - this image, or derivative works, can not be used, published, distributed or sold without written permission of the owner.

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 cofounder 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 most recent book is Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation through Anger. Lama Rod can be reached at www.lamarod.com.

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Dave Smith

Dave Smith is an internationally recognized Buddhist meditation teacher, addiction treatment specialist, and published author. He has extensive experience bringing meditative interventions into jails, prisons, youth detention centers and addiction treatment facilities. Dave teaches residential meditation retreats and classes, provides trainings and consulting in both secular and Buddhist contexts, and works with students through his meditation mentoring program. He recently founded the Secular Dharma Foundation and lives in Paonia, Colorado.

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Oren Sofer

Oren has practiced meditation in the early Buddhist tradition since 1997, beginning his studies in Bodh Gaya, India with Anagarika Munindra and Godwin Samararatne. He is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald, and Ajahn Sucitto, and a graduate of the IMS – Spirit Rock Vipasanna Teacher Training, and current member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. Oren is the author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, a practical guidebook for having more effective, satisfying conversations.

Oren  is the founder and Guiding Teacher of Next Step Dharma, an innovative online course focused on bringing the tools of meditation to daily life, and co-founder of Mindful Healthcare. He is a CNVC Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication, and visiting teacher at the Insight Meditation Society. Oren has served as the Senior Program Developer for Mindful Schools, teaching and developing curricula for one of the international leaders of Mindfulness in Education, and has created mindfulness programs for organizations, companies, and apps including Apple, Kaiser Permanente, Lumosity, Calm, 10% Happier, Simple Habit and others.

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Josh Summers

Josh Summers is a Yin Yoga teacher, a licensed acupuncturist, and a meditation instructor. Josh began studying Iyengar yoga in the early nineties with James Murphy in New York City. Since then, he has spent several years living abroad in India, Taiwan and Burma where he has studied both yoga and meditation. As his interest in vipassana or insight meditation developed so too did his interest in more contemplative forms of yoga practice. With a professional background in Oriental Medicine and a personal passion for the dharma, Josh fell in love with Yin Yoga as a beautiful synthesis of the two. Josh founded the Summers School of Yin Yoga and hosts the podcast Everyday Sublime.

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Janet Surrey

Janet Surrey, PhD, is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. She teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide and leads a monthly practice group in the Boston area. Jan has been a faculty member of the Relational Insight Meditation Program at Metta Programs and serves on the Metta Programs Teachers Council.

Jan has studied with a number of Vipassana teachers for over 25 years, and has worked with Gregory Kramer since 2007. Her original teacher was Vimala Thakar, but Jan has also done many retreats with Thich Nhat Hanh and Joanna Macy. In 2008 she completed a two-and-a-half year Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Jan is a practicing clinical psychologist and founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She is on the faculty and board of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Jan is dedicated to a lifelong exploration of the power of relationships to create suffering and the power of relationships to liberate and transform suffering.  Jan lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

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Deborah Eden Tull

Deborah Eden Tull, founder of Mindful Living Revolution, is a Zen meditation and mindfulness teacher, author, activist, and sustainability educator. She teaches engaged dharma practice, which emphasizes the connection between personal awakening and collective transformation. Eden spent seven years training as a Buddhist monk at a silent Zen monastery and has been teaching dharma for 20 years. She has also been living in, and teaching about, sustainable communities and the essential wisdom of nature for almost 30 years.

Eden’s teaching style is grounded in mindful inquiry, fierce compassion, and an unwavering commitment to transformation. Her most recent book is Relational Mindfulness: A Handbook for Deepening Our Connection with Our Self, Each Other, and Our Planet (Wisdom 2018) and she is currently completing a book about the partnership of darkness and light on the path of awakening. Eden also teaches The Work That Reconnects, a program created by Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy for transforming our pain and love for our world into compassionate action. Eden offers retreats and consultations internationally and in 2021 is launching the Spiritual Activist Leadership Training (SALT) Program with 4 other Buddhist teachers.  Her work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Tricycle, Yogi Times, Shambhala Times, and The Ecologist.

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Facilitators and Practice Leaders

Adam Groff

Adam Groff has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 2009, beginning at the Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport. He helped coordinate a weekly peer-led meditation community in Boston from 2010 to 2015, and in 2014 he completed a yearlong meditation facilitator training with Against the Stream. Also in 2014, he helped Chris Crotty found the sangha that became Boston Meditation Center. Nowadays at BMC, Adam offers his time as a meditation facilitator and retreat manager, and he sits weeklong retreats each year with lay teachers and monastics in the Vipassana/Theravada tradition. He lives in Newburyport with his wife and two children and works as a managing editor at EBSCO Information Services.

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Lia Houk

Lia is an artist living in Henniker, New Hampshire. She began practicing with a peer-led sangha in Boston in 2014 and then with Chris Crotty in 2015. She was closely involved with the establishment of Boston Meditation Center in 2018. As someone living with chronic illness, Lia uses her Buddhist practice as a way to reduce stress and help prioritize her many interests. She is most interested in bringing the teachings off the cushion to stay present in everyday life and continue to explore the eightfold path in action. As program coordinator, Lia is responsible for the organization of residential and nonresidential retreats, ongoing contact with teachers and facilitators, and acting as registrar for all programs.

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Sarah Mitchell

Sarah is a nonprofit leader, fundraiser, and human rights activist with 10+ years of experience. She is currently the Director of Supporter Engagement at the international LGBTQ+ rights organization All Out. She first came to the dharma through recovery groups and aspires to help provide those seeking freedom from the suffering of addiction with a safe and welcoming community. She has sat vipassanā retreats with monastics and lay teachers in the Theravada tradition. Sarah is a certified yoga instructor with an Astanga-inspired practice. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Pastoral Ministry and working towards Chaplaincy certification.

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Matt Owen
Matt serves as a behavioral health therapist and spiritual counselor at Caron Treatment Centers in Wernersville, PA. He has practiced insight meditation in the Theravada tradition since 2012. He holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Community Ministry in the Unitarian Universalist tradition from Meadville Lombard Theological School and is currently in pursuit of a Doctor of Theology Degree in Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapy through the University of Theology and Spirituality. Matt has been trained as a mindfulness teacher by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach through their Awareness Training Institute and the University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and accredited as a Certified Mindfulness Teacher, Professional Level (CMT-P) through the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. Matt is also accredited as a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and has been board-certified as both a chaplain and spiritual counselor through the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation and the Spiritual Care Association.

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Eileen Ybarra

Eileen Ybarra began studying Theravadan Buddhism and a meditation practice in 2004. Since 2004, she has studied with Trudy Goodman, Gil Fronsdal, and with a variety of teachers through the Against the Stream Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Her profession is public librarianship, a meaningful practice of service and mindfulness which she is grateful for. Currently, Eileen is one of the facilitators for the monthly Meditation Coalition People of Color (POC) meditation group where she leads guided meditations and group discussions. She has completed two 1-year long facilitator training programs with the Against the Stream Meditation Society, and is set to complete the Dedicated Practitioners Program with Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

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