Mirka Knaster has practiced in the Theravada tradition since her first retreat in India in 1981. An independent scholar and freelance writer and editor, she has written "Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra" (Shambhala), a book about the meditation master who first taught Dipa Ma, Joseph Goldstein, and many of our western dharma leaders. Munindra was a pivotal figure in the transmission of Dharma to the West and the resulting mindfulness movement. Her previous book is "Discovering the Body's Wisdom," which explores the benefits of Eastern and Western body-mind disciplines.
Mirka has been in the holistic health field since the 1970s as a practitioner, teacher, writer, editor, and speaker. Growing up in a European family in the U.S., living and traveling in diverse areas of the world, and studying the traditions of different peoples, she brings a cross-cultural perspective to her research on the body, healing, and spiritual practice. Mirka has a Ph.D. in Asian and Comparative Studies.
Richard Shankman has been a meditator since 1970, and teaches at Dharma centers and groups internationally. He is guiding teacher of the Metta Dharma Foundation, and cofounder of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and of Mindful Schools. He practices and teaches meditation that integrates compassion, mindfulness, concentration and insight as one path of practice. Richard is the author of The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation and The Experience of Samadhi.
Robert Cusick trained at Stanford University in the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and is a Stanford certified Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) instructor. He studied in the Soto Zen Tradition at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, in the Ridhwan School’s Diamond approach with A.H. Almaas (Hameed Ali) and in Spirit Rock’s multi-year Dedicated Practioner’s Program. He ordained in Burma under the world-renowned Burmese Meditation Master, Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, and studied there with him for a number of years. His practice is focused on recognizing and cultivating compassion through the application of mindfulness.
Susan Ezequelle has been practicing Insight Meditation since 1997. She is a past IMC Board President and worked closely with founding teacher Gil Fronsdal and other community members to found in 2001 the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA. She began teaching at IMC in 2003 and in 2008, in response to a deep desire to engage with the world through her Buddhist practice, she began training as a professional chaplain. Currently she serves as chaplain at Stanford Hospital.