Guus Went (Netherlands, 1952) started practicing Dhamma in 1980 (Mahasi tradition). The immediate effect on his life was immense, seeing fundamental changes in his relationship to study, work, family and friends.
From 1990 to 1994 he lived as a monk in the then flourishing Buddhayana Centre (Ven. Dhammawiranatha) in his home country, and as a staff member until the centre’s closure in 2001.
Societal life afterwards, however, didn’t prove to be too satisfactory to him.
In 2007, he discovered on the internet the newly founded Satipanya Buddhist Retreat. He practised under the guidance of Bhante Bodhidhamma during a three months winter retreat and some smaller ones. Bhante referred him to the German monk, U Vivekananda (Panditarama Lumbini).
In 2009 Guus started to work as a Mindfulness Trainer (Jon Kabat-Zinn style). Since 2011 he started conducting Five Day retreats as a follow up for the 8-weeks Mindfulness trainings for those who wanted to go deeper into the Dhamma.
The past two winters he has spent at the Forest Monastery of Sayadaw U Pandita in Myanmar on 60 day retreats. He means to continue doing so every winter.
The Five Hindrances (I)
The Five Hindrances (II)
Carl has been practising Buddhism in the Mahayana and Theravada traditions for nearly 30 years. He was first introduced to Buddhism in 1989 by a close friend who guided him through a programme of koan study from the Rinzai school of Zen. He has now settled on the Mahasi system of vipassana as his primary practice after meeting Bhante Bodhidhamma at Gaia House in 2010.
Carl started teacher training with Bhante Bodhidhamma in 2011. Since then, he has been leading a weekly sitting group, helps out at Jamyang in London, and does the odd dhamma talk at a fellow Satipanya regular's sitting group in North London. He also assists Bhante at Gaia House each May and leads a number of retreats at Satipanya during the year.
A software engineer by trade, Carl, 47, has been helping Satipanya with their website and Newsbyte, including leading the move to use MailChimp for the Newsbyte, and otherwise provides general technical consultancy to Satipanya.
Carl has a Master's degree in Buddhist Studies from the University of South Wales. He is continuing teacher training with Bhante Bodhidhamma.
Jenny Birkett has been practising meditation primarily in the Theravaden tradition for over 25 years. She first started attending weekly meditation classes at the age of 16, in the Triratna tradition. This prompted a life long interest and passion in Buddhism.
Jenny's interest in Buddhism, motivated her to take Buddhist modules as part of her Philosophy and Religious Studies degree. While at university, Jenny became increasingly interested in meditating more intensively and in particular, attending a silent Vipassana retreat.
In 1999, after finishing her studies and while travelling in Asia, Jenny came across Ajahn Buddhadasa's monastery, Suan Mokkh in Southern Thailand. It was there that Jenny sat her first vipassana retreat. Although conditions were harsh, the retreat made a deep and lasting impression on Jenny and she sat her next course a few months later in a Goenka Vipassana centre in Australia.
Jenny spent 10 years in this tradition, sitting and serving many intensive courses. After a long period of self enquiry, Jenny became disenchanted with the Goenka meditation technique and began to look further afield.
On the recommendation of a friend, she went to Bhante Bodhidhammas's retreat centre in 2008 and never looked back. Jenny found the Mahasi method suited her perfectly, as did the peace, quiet and intimacy of Satipanya.
Jenny conducts a weekly sitting group and has been trained in how to teach MBSR. She is particularly interested in introducing the Mahasi technique in schools and is currently working in a school in Kingsbury where she fascilitates teaching the Mahasi method to younger learners. She is also currently being trained as a mindfullness teacher by Bhante Bodhidhamma.
Anne Michel has been practising Vipassana meditation since 1973. Having brought up a family, as well as working professionally and maintaining her meditation practice, she has been teaching for 18 years. She deepened her path with many monastic and lay teachers, both in Theravada and Tibetan tradition. Her main teachers have been Ajahn Sumedho and Jack Kornfield. Over the last few years she has trained in Insight Dialogue. Please check out Insight Dialogue Practice
As an an Insight Dialogue and a Vipassana teacher, she has been teaching retreats in the Theravada tradition since 2000 in Switzerland, and in different European countries. Together with her sangha, she has created the Mudita Association http://www.mudita.ch They opened a meditation center, Maison Mudita, in 2016 in the Swiss Alps. Anne teaches in both French and English languages.
Karen Piggin was introduced to Buddhism at Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village in 2004, returning every summer with her family until 2011. In 2009 she joined the Birmingham DharmaMind Sangha and followed their Chan/Zen practice of Silent Illumination. At the beginning of 2015 Karen joined Bhante Bodhidhamma adopting the Mahasi approach and attends 6-8 weeks of retreats at Satipanya each year, deepening her knowledge of the Buddha's teachings and her approach to the challenges that arise in meditation. Karen is married, has two grown-up sons, and retired to Devon in 2015 after 30 years in the IT Industry.
She is training to become Dhamma teacher and presently runs online meditation.
Further talks can be found on this g-drive link