Our core teachers

Ian Challis

Guiding Teacher

Ian Challis has been practicing and studying within the Insight Tradition of Buddhism for more than a decade. He has sat retreats with Rodney Smith, Santikaro, Narayan Liebenson, Larry Yang, Leigh Brasington, and Joseph Goldstein, among many others.

He works as an artist, web and product designer. A long time resident of Seattle, he now makes his full-time home in Palm Springs with his husband David Roos. He is a founding and current board member and past president of Insight Community of the Desert.

In addition to teaching at ICD, Ian facilitates the weekly Desert Meditation Group in Rancho Mirage, and he is a graduate of the  two year Community Dharma Leader training program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and is authorized to teach Insight Meditation. Ian is also enrolled in the UC San Diego Mindfulness Based Professional Training Institute.

Supporting your practice of mindfulness meditation is a true joy!

email: ian@desertinsight.org


Beth Mulligan

Beth Mulligan has completed all steps of the professional Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher training program through the University of Massachusetts under Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD and his colleagues and is a certified MBSR teacher.

She teaches Mindfulness at many major medical centers, Universities, schools, non-profit organizations and corporations. She also trains professionals in mindfulness based interventions and participates in research on the benefits of mindfulness.With her partner Hugh she is the co-founder of Mindful-Way Stress Reduction programs which serves diverse populations across the country and in England.

She is a long time student of Charles Tenshin Fletcher- Abbot of Yokoji Zen Mountain Center, where she practices, trains and has lived in residence. She has also attended retreats with Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chodron. Beth is a certified Hatha Yoga Instructor and holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Beth is a Board Certified Physician Assistant; graduate of the Duke University PA program in 1982 and practices Primary Care medicine in Palm Springs.

Beth served as ICD’s Guiding Teacher 2015-2017.

Her passion is teaching meditation in a way that makes everyone feel welcome and at home.


Larry Yang

Founding Teacher

Larry Yang teaches meditation nationally, and has spent much energy to deepen Dharma teachings within multicultural communities.  He is on the Teachers’ Council and the Board at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and is a core teacher of East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) in Oakland, CA.  Larry is trained as a psychotherapist and has spent six months as a Buddhist monk in Thailand.

He considers retreat practice, family practice, livelihood practice, and householder practice all integral to a spiritual path towards Freedom.  He is trained and authorized to teach by Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock and the Venerable Ajahn Tong of Wat Chom Tong in Thailand. He is one of the teachers who coordinates the Community Dharma Leadership training program cultivating future leadership in the dharma.


Cheryl Slean

Cheryl Slean has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1995 and studying in the Theravadan tradition since 1998. She has completed Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner Program and has been a teaching “local dharma leader” at Seattle Insight (SIMS) since 2007.  She has offered meditation classes and daylongs at SIMS, mid-Columbia Insight (WA) and Against the Stream L.A., and in the health care community, including participating in research and education on meditation and chronic pain, stress relief and substance addiction. Cheryl is also a writer and filmmaker working in documentary and narrative film and media.