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 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.
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.
Jokai Blackwell Sensei
Jokai relocated to Southern California from the UK in 2000 to study with Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. After completing formal study, encompassing over a decade of residential training and service, he received Dharma Transmission (full authorization to teach) in the White Plum Lineage of Zen Buddhism. Jokai emphasizes the direct experience of awakening using contemporary language and time-honored methods.
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.
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.
Tenshin Fletcher Roshi
Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi is now the primary teacher and abbot at Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center
Born in Manchester, England,came to the United States in 1979 to study at the Zen Center of Los Angeles with founder Taizan Maezumi Roshi. In 1994, Tenshin Roshi received Dharma Transmission (authorization to teach) in the White Plum lineage from Maezumi Roshi, and Inka from Genpo Merzel Roshi in 2006 (Zen Master, final seal of approval). Tenshin Roshi is one of the few North American teachers officially certified as a Kokusaifukyoshi (Official Foreign Representative), a title appointed in 2009 by the Soto Zen Headquarters in Japan.
In 2001 Tenshin Roshi co-authored a book with David Keizan Scott Sensei called “Way of Zen”. It was published by St Martin’s Press at their request for a comprehensive book on Zen Buddhism at the turn of the century. As such, it is an invaluable resource on the history, various cultures and practices of Zen Buddhism from India to China, Japan and the United States and Europe.
Arinna has been studying meditation practice since 1979 and has been teaching since 1989. Her dharma practice and teaching have been infused with her political and environmental activism. She was the first out queer teacher with Eric Kolvig to lead insight meditation retreats for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Queer community. She also leads ‘Uncovering the Heart Retreats’ integrating the practice of awareness of the social dynamics of inequity with the dharma practice of liberation.
Arinna is the Guiding Teacher at Dhamma Dena Meditation Center.
Mary Stancavage has practiced meditation, yoga, and cultivated a spiritual practice for over 30 years and in 2009 was empowered to teach Buddhadharma. Mary is based in the Los Angeles area and teaches classes, retreats and does individual mentoring. She has taught at mindfulness at recovery centers, has co-facilitated Year-to-Live groups since 2008, and has had a weekly dharma class for over decade. She also was a director at Against the Stream for ten years.
Mary completed the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at the Sati Center and served as volunteer chaplain at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. She also served as Executive Director of the Mind Body Awareness Project from 2016 to 2018. Mary sits on the boards of the Buddhist Insight Network and CLUE: Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Along with teaching she continues to investigate what it means to live with an undefended heart. Fun fact: Mary has a Masters Degree from UCLA and worked as an archaeologist in the Middle East.
John Martin has been devoted to dharma practice since 2001. His practice includes both long retreat practice and an engaged practice in the world. In his teachings, he emphasizes the aliveness of practice in everyday life, as well as the cultivation of the beautiful heart qualities (brahmaviharas).
John teaches Vipassana, Metta and LGBTQI-themed meditation retreats. John’s spiritual path has also included volunteer service work, including over 12 years as a hospice volunteer. He completed the SRMC/IMS/IRC 4-year teacher training in 2016, and now serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council.
John leads a Monday night sitting group in San Francisco.
Susan Yushin Tipton is an ordained Zen Priest, currently a resident at the Zen Center of Los Angeles and pursuing a Master of Social Welfare at UCLA. Yushin lived and trained for five years at Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center where she completed her training as Shuso (Head Trainee for a ninety day retreat) and ordained in the summer of 2014.
She is currently working at New Heights Charter School in South Central, L.A. Yushin is committed to an experienced-based path of self exploration and emphasizes illumining those aspects of being human which cause unease and pain when left unexamined. She continues her formal Zen study with Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi at Yokoji and stays involved in the community and practice life at Yokoji. Yushin values kindness, service, authenticity, perseverance, and simplicity. She loves being in nature, and time with her family.
Valerie Cusson has been a Resource Specialist at San Andreas High School for ten years and has been studying and practicing mindfulness for over 15 years. She completed two yearlong Mindfulness Facilitator training programs in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 2012, she co-founded a mindfulness meditation sitting group in Redlands that continues to flourish. She has led mindfulness groups for teens, adults, people in recovery, people of color, and women.
Valerie has previously led a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class for SBCUSD’s Wellness Program for 1.5 years. She has taught a meditation class series at the University of Redlands Meditation Room that was geared toward first generation college students. Most recently she trained counselors from SBCUSD with the intention of participants developing a personal mindfulness practice and learning the basics of facilitation. Lastly, she is currently exploring the intersection of mindfulness and education as it relates to SEL for children dealing with trauma.