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Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Reading and upcoming Guest Speakers

Reading and upcoming Guest Speakers

Forrest H.
user 33431512
Group Organizer
Napa, CA
Dear Sangha,

This Tuesday (Dec. 17th) we will finish reading the third chapter of the Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation. If you would like to download a copy of the chapter you can do so by clicking on the link below:
Our meeting this week will be the last time we get together in 2013, as the following two Tuesdays fall on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Our next scheduled meeting will be on January 7th.
Starting next year we are planning on having a guest speaker present a dharma talk once a month. Speakers will usually have extensive training in Vipassana Meditation and/or other Buddhist traditions. I want to give a huge shout out of thanks to Lori Stelling, Sandra Meyer and Mike Coughlin for taking the lead in helping to set up our guest speaker program. I think 2014 is going to be an exciting year for our Sangha.
The tentative teacher’s schedule for the first several months of 2014 is as follows (mark your calendars):
Maria Straatman: Jan 21st
Rik Center: Feb 18th
Robert Cusick: March 18th
Kathy Cheney: Tentatively April or May
Wes Nisker: Tentatively April or May

Bio Information

Maria Straatman, a former scientist and businesswoman, has been a student of Vipassana meditation since 1996 with Gil Fronsdal as her teacher. She is a graduate of the Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy Program and End of Life Counselor training with Metta Institute. She is a Spirit Rock Buddhist Ritual Minister. Her emphasis as a teacher is on freedom through seeing things as they are and letting go of unskillful mind habits, on the cushion and especially in daily life.

Rik Center is the co-founder of the Mindfulness Care Center in San Francisco, where he serves as a Somatic Stress and Trauma Counselor/Practitioner, Mindfulness Meditation Teacher and Buddhist/Interfaith Chaplain. He has trained in the Martial Art of Kyudo "The Way Of The Bow" for over 19 years. Rik has been meditating since the late 80's and is a member of the Spirit Rock Community Sangha.
Robert Cusick was a Buddhist monk in Burma, trained by the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw. He also trained in the Soto Zen tradition at Tassajara Zen Center in 2001. He participated in the Diamond Heart program with Hameed Ali (A.H. Almaas), in the Sati Center's Buddhist Chaplaincy training and completed the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP) at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2003, where he served as Retreats Program Manager.
Kathy Cheney been practicing meditation since 2001 as a student of Gil Fronsdal. She has done several periods of intensive retreat and spent fall of 2007 on personal retreat at Gaia House, in England, working with Christina Feldman. Kathy is part of Spirit Rock's Family Program and teaches at a preschool in Marin County.

Wes Nisker is a teacher of Buddhist meditation, an author, radio commentator, and performer. His books include the bestselling classic Essential Crazy Wisdom; The Big Bang, The Buddha, and the Baby Boom; Buddha’s Nature; and his latest, Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again! Wes is also the founder and co-editor of the international Buddhist journal “Inquiring Mind.” He is an affiliate teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and does regular workshops at Esalen Institute and other venues. For the past several years Wes has been performing a comic monologue entitled Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again! which was recently staged at the esteemed Berkeley Rep Theater. Wes’s famous tag line is: “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.”
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening.
With Metta-
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