Our Weekend of Peace, Compassion & Forgiveness took place on Sept. 10 & 11, 2011

Lama Surya Das


Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, one of the main interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, and a leading spokesperson for the emerging American Buddhism. The Dalai Lama affectionately calls him "The Western Lama."   His new book is "Buddha Standard Time." Surya has spent almost forty years studying Zen, vipassana, yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism with the great masters of Asia, including the Dalai Lama's own teachers, and has twice completed the traditional three year meditation cloistered retreat at his teacher's Tibetan monastery. 

 He is an authorized lama (priest and spiritual master teacher) in the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the founder of the Dzogchen Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and its branch centers in New York City, New Jersey, California, Portland, Seattle, retreat center Dzogchen osel Ling outside Austin, Texas, where he conducts long training retreats and Advanced Dzogchen retreats.

 He was one of the founders of the Karmapa Lama's KTD Monastery atop Mount Guardian in Woodstock, NY. Founder of the Western Buddhist Teachers Network with the Dalai Lama, he is also active in interfaith dialogue and social activism and regularly organizes its international Buddhist Teachers Conferences. He has recently turned his efforts towards youth and contemplative education inititaives, what he calls "True higher education and wisdom for life training".

 "Buddha is as Buddha does."  - Lama Surya Das

Sylvia Boorstein

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Sylvia Boorstein, LCSW, PhD, is known for teaching the importance of seeing the whole of one’s life—family, work, social and political participation, as well as formal meditative practice—as the arena of spiritual practice. A psychotherapist since 1967, she is a cofounding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and a senior teacher at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts.

Boorstein leads retreats internationally and has been a panelist and workshop leader at conferences of the American Psychiatric Association. The author of five books on Buddhism and meditation practice, she is also a regular columnist for Shambhala Sun and has published articles in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.

Tara Brach


Tara Brach, Ph.D., is a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She has practiced and taught meditation for over 35 years, with an emphasis on Vipassana, also called mindfulness or insight meditation. Tara is the senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. 

Tara is a peace activist and an engaged Buddhist.  She is co-founder of the Washington, DC Buddhist Peace Fellowship. A clinical psychologist, she is the author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha.  Her upcoming book, True Refuge - Three Gateways to a Fearless Heart will be published by Bantam in 2012.  

Tara is nationally known for her skill in weaving western psychological wisdom with a range of meditative practices. Her approach emphasizes compassion for oneself and others, mindful presence and the direct realization and embodiment of natural awareness.

Hugh Byrne


Hugh Byrne, Ph. D. has studied and practiced Buddhism in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He completed a four-year teacher training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Society led by Jack Kornfield. He is a co-founder of the Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship and the Mindfulness Training Institute of Washington. He is a senior teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and has served on its board since 2003.  

Hugh has trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and in Somatic Experiencing, a mind/body approach to healing trauma. He has a law degree from London University and a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA and has worked extensively on issues of human rights.

Jonathan Foust

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Jonathan Foust has practiced meditation since 1972. A senior teacher and former president of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, he has been teaching yoga and meditation for over twenty years in both residential and corporate settings.

Jonathan leads three weekly meditation classes as well as retreats in the DC area and around the country. He is the creator of the "Year of Living Mindfully" program and offers private sessions in Focusing, a body-oriented therapy that is powerfully synergistic with mindfulness meditation.

Ruth King

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Ruth King, MA, is a recognized authority on emotional wisdom and has practiced vipassana meditation  since 1992. For 16 years Ruth offered Celebration of Rage, Diversity Awareness, and Generational Healing retreats worldwide. She is a long-term student of Jack Kornfield and the Spirit Rock teaching community (Theravada Tradition) and received Dzogchen transmission in 2006 from Karma Kagyu/Nyingma lineage holder Cecile Mchardy, fondly known as The Friendly Dragon (Cambridge, MA). 

Ruth is an annual teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Community Washington, New York Insight, and East Bay Meditation Center. Ruth is currently attending Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Dedicated Practitioner Program (2011-2013) and is a regular teacher at Insight Meditation Charlotte.

A life coach to practitioners and student of indigenous cultures, Ruth is the author of The Emotional Wisdom Cards, Meditations that Educate the Heart & Transform the Mind, and Healing Rage—Women Making Inner Peace Possible, foreword by Jack Kornfield and endorsed by Pulitzer Prize Winner Alice Walker.