My teaching practice and my personal practice continually intertwine, each weaving a pattern in the larger tapestry of the Dharma. The theme that threads itself throughout my practice relates to the tremendous pain and suffering, the challenges and difficulties that so many beings face, and the possibility of awakening from this suffering. From this immediate calling I've woven the purpose of my life.
It is a deep honor for me to come together with others who feel a similar calling of connection to the Dharma to learn about the greatest gift of all: a happiness inside of us that is unconditional, and a depth of being that is infinite.
Together, our practice is dedicated to this effort of opening to our hearts' potential. To this I bring the flavor of my lineage--the continuation of the teachings of my root teachers, Ruth Denison and her teacher U Bha Khin; a commitment to learning how to live with each other in kindness; and my life as a lesbian in a long-term relationship.
Even though I have been involved in different traditions over the years, what I love about Buddhism is the simplicity of the practice; the fact that it isn't embodied by a lot of ritual, or special clothes, or the need for different props. I love the moment-to-moment calling of awareness to whatever one is doing. And vitally important, I appreciate the safety inherent in the teacher/student relationship, where the emphasis is on the practice itself and the teacher engages as a peer and spiritual friend.
Dr Elizabeth Day has been practising meditation and yoga for over 20 years. She spent six years as an ordained monastic within the Ajahn Chah monasteries in the UK. She has held leadership positions in the Health and Higher Education sectors, including as Academic Head of a School of Counselling and Psychotherapy. She has a Doctorate in intersubjectivity, and is a qualified yoga teacher and Gestalt psychotherapist.
Jenny Wilks has practised Buddhist meditation for many years and has an MA in Indian religions. She has taught on retreats and dharma gatherings since 2005, is a regular teacher at the Barn retreat centre at Sharpham in Devon, and has been teaching at Gaia House since 2008. Jenny trained as a clinical psychologist; she leads mindfulness-based therapy groups in healthcare settings and for the general public and teaches and supervises on the MBCT diploma course at Exeter University.
Matty Weingast is co-editor of Awake at the Bedside and former editor of the Insight Journal at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. With almost two decades of meditation experience, Matty completed much of the work on The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns while staying at Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery in Northern California.