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!


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 practiced Insight meditation intensively since 1995, including hundreds of days of silent retreat. She was authorized to teach in 2007 and leads classes and residential retreats worldwide. In the secular mindfulness world, Cheryl has a Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation from UCLA and has taught at many health & wellness, addiction recovery and business settings as well as online with Mindful Schools. Cheryl is also a writer, filmmaker and educator in the arts and sustainability, and is currently working on social impact climate communication with the Natural Resources Defense Council.


Lorene M. Jabola, PhD

Lorene Jabola has been a student and practitioner of Buddhism since 1985. Her training as an educator and psychotherapist finds expression in teaching, writing, and consulting is dedicated to awakening and finding one’s original voice. Her bi-cultural upbringing in the Philippines and Southern California, education in Eastern and Western religious traditions and psychology, and meditation practice in the Thai forest tradition infuse both personal and professional life. Lorene is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders Training Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She is committed to supporting the development and growth of multicultural practitioners and leaders.

Devoted to social justice and integrative approaches to mental health, Lorene helped found two community organizations in Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute Psychotherapy Center and Midwest Meditation and Psychotherapy Institute. Lorene provides consultation/mentoring to both individuals and professional organizations.

Jokai Blackwell Sensei

Born in Flint, Wales, David Jokai Blackwell Sensei began sitting zazen with David Keizan Scott Sensei in Liverpool, England in 1998. Shortly after, Jokai Sensei met Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi during his annual visit to the UK to lead sesshin. In 2000, Jokai Sensei decided to move to the United States to study residentially with Tenshin Roshi at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center.

During his formal training, encompassing over a decade of residential practice, Jokai Sensei completed koan study. In 2014, Jokai Sensei received Dharma Transmission (authorization to teach) in the White Plum lineage from Tenshin Roshi. Jokai continues to live, work, and teach at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center where he currently serves as Vice Abbot.