Bart van Melik
Bart loves playing meditation, just like musicians love playing music. He started his journey of playing meditation in 2002 when he was introduced to Insight Meditation in Thailand. The simple instructions of being present for oneself, for other and for life felt liberating.
Since that time Bart has practiced many styles of Insight Meditation. His primary teachers are Joseph Goldstein and Carol Wilson, who introduced him to the power of a relaxed awareness that allows us to meet life with kindness—especially in times of difficulty. From Gregory Kramer, Bart learned Insight Dialogue, a fully engaged relational meditation practice. And from his wife Chantal and son Lou, he continues to learn about unconditional love, patience and playing.
Bart is a strong advocate of meditating in community. His home base is New York Insight Meditation Center, where he teaches weekly classes and offers daylong courses and retreats. He also brings meditation to a wide variety of populations from incarcerated youth, and veterans with PTSD, to people working in corporations.
Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. After graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967 he joined the Peace Corps and worked on tropical medicine teams in the Mekong River valley. He met and studied as a monk under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. Returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. Over the years, Jack has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International Buddhist Teacher meetings, and worked with many of the great teachers of our time. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a father, husband and activist.
His books have been translated into 20 languages and sold more than a million copies. They include, A Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology, A Path with Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry; Teachings of the Buddha; Seeking the Heart of Wisdom; Living Dharma; A Still Forest Pool; Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart; Buddha’s Little Instruction Book; The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness and Peace, Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are, and his most recent book, No Time Like the Present: Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are.
Booker brings her heart and wisdom to the intersection of Dharma + Embodied Wisdom + Activism. She shares her expertise nationally as a guest lecturer at conferences, universities, and Dharma centers, on expanding our vision around culturally responsive teaching, and changing the paradigm of self and community care. She has spoken at Mind & Life Institute’s International Symposium, Contemplative Minds in Higher Education, Mindfulness in America, and Omega Institute’s Mindfulness in Education conferences, along with other pioneers in the mindfulness field such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Linda Lantieri, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Booker has been a featured speaker and facilitator at the Fetzer Institute, Vassar and Pitzer Colleges, as well as with the Peace Corps and Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia.
She began sharing practice with vulnerable populations in 2005, and was a senior teacher and Director of Teacher Trainings with Lineage Project, where she worked with incarcerated and vulnerable youth for ten years. During this time, she also facilitated a mindfulness and cognitive-based therapy intervention on Riker’s Island from 2009-2011, a partnership between New York University and the National Institute of Health.
She is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute and the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street. Booker is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality’s report: Gender & Trauma—Somatic Interventions for Girls in Juvenile Justice, YOGA: The Secret of Life, and Sharon Salzberg’s book Happiness at Work. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga and Meditation training (2012), Community Dharma Leaders’ Training (2017), and will complete Spirit Rock’s four year Retreat Teacher Training in 2020.
Loving Awareness: Awakening the Wise Heart
This retreat is an invitation for experienced and new practitioners to deepen in wisdom and compassion. Ancient traditions and modern neuroscience show we can train the heart and mind to create a balanced life and a wise society. Join us in practice—in the midst of success and difficulty, collective and personal—to quiet the mind, open the heart, and awaken to courage, joy, and steady compassion together. Through heartfelt teachings, dialogue and questions, wisdom practices, delicious silence, and the psychology of the awakened heart, we will learn how to live with inner freedom and love and to bring these blessings to the world. Note: This retreat will be held in silence, but there will time for dialogue and questions.