teacher


Adrianne Roass

Adrianne Ross

Adrianne Ross is a retired family physician who has been involved in meditation and healing since 1976. She has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1984 and began teaching in 1995. She is influenced by both Thai and Burmese streams of the Theravadan tradition, as well as Tibetan (Mahamudra and Dzogchen) practices. She teaches classes, weekend and residential retreats in Canada and the US. She has been involved in teaching and mentoring students in the Dedicated Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner Programs through Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. She co-founded BCIMS with the late Joanne Broatch over 20 years ago.

Alfred DePew

Alfred DePew

A life-long spiritual seeker, Alfred DePew has explored a variety of wisdom traditions, including Christian mysticism, Sufism, and Jewish Renewal. He has a working knowledge of Benedictine spirituality, the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, and twelve-step recovery. The pandemic called him even more deeply into contemplative prayer as well as his ongoing writing, drawing, and painting practices. For him, spiritual accompaniment involves walking alongside fellow travellers, listening to their experience of prayer, meditation, and creative process in their ever-evolving relationship with the Divine in whatever forms it takes

Allannah Dow

Allannah Dow

Allannah has been playing the cello since she abandoned the idea of becoming a dancer at age 14. She emerged from classical training to play in the classical world and then at midlife found her voice accompanying singer song-writers, subsequently becoming a singer song-writer herself. She particularly enjoys playing chants!

Andrew Twiddy

Andrew Twiddy

Andrew Twiddy works as a facilitator, teacher, speaker, and musician, and is currently based in Portugal, where he is working in a volunteer capacity. Contemplative and mystical traditions in the West and in the Middle-East have influenced him since his youth, and set the tone for his leadership and versatile style in parish-based ministry as an Anglican priest in Central Vancouver Island for over 25 years.  Andrew is a convenor for the Companions of the Society of Saint Francis (SSF), and is a veteran supporter of the work of Franciscan luminary Richard Rohr, and in that connection, has worked to promote the…

Basha

Basha Nemeskeri

“I have been teaching yoga for the past 12 years both in British Columbia and Mexico. While the physical practice of yoga (asana) was where I first found my passion, over time this interest has expanded to include pranayama, meditation, yoga nidra and philosophy. I am an experienced Teacher Trainer, providing Teachers insight based on passion and interest amassed over many, many years.”

Carma

Carma Gjerning

Carma Gjerning ministers as a spiritual director, retreat leader, storyteller, writer, illustrator and as a ministry consultant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has also served as a Children and Family Pastor for 30 years! She is a creative soul who loves to use play and creativity in discovering the Sacred. Carma enjoys biking, attending to the inner life, music, being in God’s glorious creation, caring for the earth, living as a beloved one of God and the blessing of family, friends and relationships.

Catherine Kelly

Catherine M. Kelly, M.Div.

Witnessing people fall in love with God in their own unique way energizes me. My passion is to catch people where they are most alive like a kingfisher of souls (Matthew 4:19). My ministry in Ignatian spiritual formation helps people identify that place within themselves where God has planted their deepest desires. I encourage people to invite God to animate their lives so their good and holy desires come to fruition and they flourish in fullness of life (John 10:10). – Catherine M. Kelly, M.Div., Retreat Director Catherine is the Director of Spiritual Formation, Retreats and Christian Life Community and…

Charles Kaplan

Charles has been passionate about music for 65 years! These days, he plans Jewish musical events and plays classical and flamenco guitar, solo and with two ensembles. He’s also a prayer leader, with or without an instrument in his hands, and his happiest moments are when co-leading with his beloved, Laura.

Christina Feldmen

Christina Feldman is a co-founder of Gaia House and a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachussetts. The author of a number of books, she has been teaching insight meditation retreats internationally since 1976. She is one of the teaching faculty of the CPP programme, dedicated to the study and application of the early teachings of the Buddha and is engaged in teaching the Buddhist psychological foundations of mindfulness to those training to teach mindfulness-based applications in England, Belgium and the Netherlands. She is a co-founder and teacher of Bodhi College.

Colleen Tiltman

Colleen Tiltman

Colleen Tiltman is a graduate of the Pacific Jubilee Program for Spiritual Direction and has taught workshops on self-compassion and has provided spiritual accompaniment for bereavement as well as meeting people in all walks of life. She has worked with people in Victoria hospice and senses herself as a story catcher, someone who encourages listening deeply for the meaning and wisdom within their experience. She practices yoga and meditation in her own spiritual journey. Colleen is quiet, thoughtful and deeply experienced.  

David Bodaly

David Bodaly is a Snuneymuxw Knowledge Keeper and Elder, photographer, harvester, tour guide, genealogist and weaver, exclusively making Coast Salish-style hats and teaching our strong spiritual connection to the cedar. He also offers programs for youth who access services through Katimavik as well as many schools and VIU.

Dawn Scott

Dawn Scott has been practicing Insight Meditation since 2008 and served as the Family Program Coordinator for eight years at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She completed the IMS/IRC 4-year teacher training in 2021, is a co-principal teacher of Marin Sangha, and is a core teacher of Spirit Rock’s Liberation, Emptiness, and Awareness Practices (LEAP) Program and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and Insight Meditation’s joint program, Exploring the Heart of Freedom. Dawn has a deep love of long retreat practice and the Buddha’s liberative teachings.

Deborah van der Goes

Deborah has always known music as a way to connect with the Divine. An Anglican priest for 40+ years, Deborah has taught Taize chants in various parts of Canada. For the past thirteen years Deborah has been one of the musical leaders for the Nanaimo Taize style prayer services using both voice and instruments. Introduction: It will be my pleasure to invite you to experience the feel and sounds of this contemporary expression of Christian chant, which has its roots in both Eastern and Western ancient traditions.

Diane MacCormack

Diane MacCormack is trained and experienced in “Soul of Aging” facilitation. She is a retired public health nurse and a spiritual seeker who found the “Circle of Trust” approach helpful in her own growth. After the life-changing diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer in April 1999, Diane’s entered spiritual exploration, which began in the United Church to deepen her understanding of Christianity. From there, she continued her growth through practices like centering prayer and contemplative practices. She found meaning in pilgrimages, Celtic Christianity, Taize, visiting cathedrals, attending hermitages and walking labyrinths around the world, including right here at Bethlehem Centre. Through nature…

Don McEachern

Don first met Robert on retreat in 1997.  Since then, he has attended numerous month-long retreats with Leigh Brasington and has assisted Robert with all his retreats in Canada for more than twenty years. Don lives a quiet life on Quadra Island where his love of dogs, forest and boats have flourished.  Don is a quiet man in whom the Dharma has blossomed.  He brings his kind heart and lifetime of wisdom to all who attend retreats with him.

Headshot Doug Smart

Doug Smart

Doug’s life-long spiritual journey within the Christian tradition began as a teenager. He has engaged in a variety of spiritual and life practices since then. Significant experiences include facilitating a Centering Prayer group, supporting a Palestinian refugee family, and training in the Pacific Jubilee Soul Guiding program. His family life and career have been an important focus and now in retirement, he offers spiritual companionship.  He likes the term “Holy Listening” – deeply listening to the person being accompanied and gently, sometimes deeply, probing where a person’s spiritual journey might be going.

Dr. Cheryl Fraser

Dr. Cheryl Fraser

Dr. Cheryl Fraser has been studying Buddha-Dharma for 20 years and teaches in the Namgyal lineage tradition. Her root teachers are the Venerable Kyabje Namgyal Rinpoche and Lama Mark Webber She also studied with Lho Ontul Rinpoche and Phillip Moffit, former Esquire magazine editor-in-chief and C.E.O., a Buddhist teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. As a registered clinical psychologist in private practice who specializes in couples, and long-time practitioner in both the Vajrayana and the Theravada Vipassana traditions, Dr. Cheryl draws extensively from Western science and psychology, skillfully applying even the more complex teachings of Buddha-Dharma and meditation to “real life.” Dr, Cheryl…

Dr. Haridass Kaur Khalsa

Haridass Kaur Khalsa is the founder of Infinite Goddess School of Human Advancement, an International Lead Teacher Trainer of Kundalini Yoga, an entrepreneur, author and enthusiast of life.  She holds the following professional degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a Masters of Arts in Global Marketing and Communication, and a Doctorate in Natural Health. My holistic studies include Traditional Chinese Medicine, energetic bodywork and Reiki. She is a certified Kundalini Yoga Research Institute (KRI) Mentoring Lead Trainer and Yoga Alliance 500-Hour ERT Trainer. Teaching & training globally for over 20 years, Haridass offers internationally recognized certification and training…

Dr. Kristy Williams MD

Kristy is a teacher of mindful self-compassion family physician and parent who is continually humbled by the breadth of being human in these times. She is passionate about learning and sharing in community and finds MSC skills essential for her personal well being. She offers one on one care as a physician and has offered programs since 2018 to the public (specifically to those training and working in health care.) She has trained in trauma-sensitive mindfulness, embodied practice, attending to grief and socially engaged Buddhism and strives to integrate and embody these concepts into her teaching.

Dr. Mark Sherman

Dr. Mark Sherman is a parent, family physician and mindfulness meditation teacher who lives in Victoria, BC. Mark is a founder of the BC Association for Living Mindfully (BCALM) and has been instrumental in developing programs on mindfulness-based stress management, mindfulness in medicine, mindfulness in education, workplace wellness and mindful parenting. He has facilitated over 150 courses, workshops and retreats and is a popular speaker on mindfulness and wellness at conferences and workplaces. Mark is currently working on his first book on Mindfulness in Medicine.

Emily Gambling, Occupational Therapist

Emily Gambling is an Occupational Therapist, certified Forest Therapy Guide, and mindfulness facilitator. She is passionate about health promotion,  quality of life, mental health and wellness, and providing holistic and evidence-based care. Emily practices mindfulness and forest bathing in her personal life and continues to experience the value of these practices on both a personal and professional level. She hopes to share these practices with the community, open the doors for others to experience the powerful effects of nature, and learn from others in the process. In her clinical practice, Emily takes a client-centred approach to care and integrates a…

Gen Kelsang Zopa

Gen Kelsang Zopa is the Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Centre Victoria (Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre).  He is a Canadian Buddhist monk who has been presenting the profound and practical teachings of the Buddhist path for over 25 years. He teaches introductory classes, Foundation Program, Teacher Training Program and conducts retreats on Vancouver Island.  Renowned for the clarity and depth of his teachings, his warmth and practicality bring to life the ancient art of meditation.

Glenn Inglis

Glenn Inglis

Glenn Inglis is an ordained clergy with the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He is officially ‘retired’ but is currently an Associate Pastor with Living Faith Lutheran Church in Sechelt. He provides spiritual direction to a number of individuals and maintains accountability through a circle with 9 other active directors in BC. who meet monthly. Glenn has served pastorates in BC and as well, with his wife, Linda, served over 16 years in Malawi as a Pastor, Human Rights Coordinator and Director of the Church’s Development Programme, focusing on AIDS Orphans, sustainable agriculture, maternal health care and ecumenical cooperation. Glenn has…

GuruMeher Kalsa

GuruMeher Khalsa

GuruMeher has taught and trained teachers internationally in Kundalini Yoga for 40 years. His personal quest for healing and decades of clinical experience as a certified Yoga Therapist and Professional Life Coach led to the discovery of the positive use of ‘negative’ emotions as keys to our natural system of psychological self-healing. His book, Senses of the Soul: Emotional Therapy for Strength, Healing and Guidance, offers a complete exposition and training in this simple and effective method to use difficult feelings as tools for personal growth. Emotional Liberation – Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma is a practical guide to self-regulation,…

Guy Armstrong

Guy Armstrong

has been leading meditation retreats since 1984 in North America, Europe, and Australia. His training included living for a year as a monk in the Thai forest lineage. Guy is a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Society and the author of Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators. He lives in Woodacre, CA.

Headshot, Heather Ruce

Heather Ruce

Heather, M.A., is a wisdom spiritual director companioning individuals and facilitating wisdom practice circles, groups, retreats, and wisdom schools focused on learning and practicing the Christian Wisdom Tradition. She offers teaching and guidance in various wisdom and mindfulness practices including Centering Prayer, Christian meditation, sacred chanting, lectio divina, conscious work and embodiment in service of waking up and putting on the mind of Christ.

Holly Carnegie

Holly Carnegie (BScOT), brings her 30+ years of experience working in mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness, into her ongoing Labyrinth Work as a Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator. Holly provides support and guidance as you navigate this winding journey, putting one foot in front of the other.  You will have the opportunity to learn a bit about labyrinth history, reflect on values, meaning and purpose, and acknowledge “Walking at the Edge of the Inside”, as we look within. We will set personal, group and global intentions as we walk the mindfulness labyrinth path with a focus on hope, compassion, connection and welcoming…

Jay McDaniel

Jay McDaniel is Chair of the Board of the Cobb Institute for Process and Community. He taught the world’s religions at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, for 39 years. He is the author or editor of more than fifteen books, including Living from the Center: Spirituality in an Age of Consumerism and Gandhi’s Hope: Learning from Other Religions. Jay also curates and edits the world’s largest website on the ideas and practice of process thought: Open Horizons (www.openhorizons.org) Working in mainland China as a leader of workshops on process thought, he is also a member of the Board of the…

Jay Suttonbrown

Founder and Director Manipura Yoga College Senses of the Soul Facilitator ​Teacher, Trainer, Coach BA, B.Ed, ERYT-500, RPYT, YACEP Jay Suttonbrown has been a teacher of transformation for the last 25 years.  Founder and Director of Manipura Yoga College, she uses her decades of Teaching, Training and Coaching to guide others to embrace contentment, connection and clarity. Her love of accessible Yoga and Meditation are evident to all who meet her.  Jay’s mission is clear: offer people the tools they need for inner guidance so they step into personal empowerment and peace.  Jay harnesses her decades of experience to guide others to recognize, and truly meet, their…

Joanne Sales

Joanne Sales

Joanne Sales is a certified Dances of Universal Peace (DUP) dance leader and has been leading DUP gatherings on Vancouver Island almost every month since 2003, with her husband Richard providing live music as support. Joanne and Richard are also called upon to lead larger regional retreats in the Pacific Northwest. They are lifelong spiritual pilgrims, with in-person experience over many decades in both Western and Eastern mystical and religious traditions. Joanne is an award-winning columnist, and also the executive director of Broombusters Invasive Plant Society (www.broombusters.org), a successful non-profit environment group that she founded in 2006. Richard and Joanne…

Junie Swadron

Junie Swadron is an author, playwright, psychotherapist, international speaker, workshop facilitator, and professional writing coach who has spent the last thirty years guiding thousands of students in writing and sharing their life stories.  She sees the therapeutic process and the creative process as one. “It is about accessing a special place within us where serenity, love, courage, and truth reside. It is from this place that we begin to know our true spirit. It is from this place we begin to heal.” On her own healing journey, Junie found writing to be her greatest ally. She shares her own challenges…

Kathleen Wakefield

Kathleen A. Wakefield has two written books of poetry, Notations on the Visible World (2000), which won the 1999 Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and Grip, Give and Sway (Silver Birch Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in such journals as the Alaska Quarterly Review, Blue Line, The Christian Century, The Georgia Review, Hubbub HumanaObscura, Image, One, Poetry, Rattle, River Styx, Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, and Visions International. Kathleen has worked in public libraries for over two decades in addition to teaching creative writing at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester. She has also enjoyed working as a…

Kristna Baré

Kristina Baré

Kristina Baré is an insight meditation teacher, therapist, and Somatic Experiencing practitioner. She has trained primarily in the Burmese lineages of Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw and Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw. She enjoys supporting students in deepening samadhi and insight. Opening the door to an expansion of the heart and to liberating wisdom. In support of the Buddha’s teachings, Kristina also draws on knowledge from Western psychology and Somatic Experiencing. She invites a kind, patient, and embodied approach as a base for samadhi and insight meditation practices. Kristina lives in Victoria, BC where she offers mediation guidance, somatic experiencing support, and therapy…

Lama Mark Webber (Lama Yongdu Chokyi Gyaltsen)

Lama Mark Webber (Lama Yongdu Chokyi Gyaltsen) has been studying, meditating, and teaching Buddha-dharma for almost fifty years. For thirty years his main root teacher was the great Ven. Dorje Namgyal Rinpoche who taught all three cycles of the Buddha’s teachings, including Abhidhamma, Vipassana in the lineage of Mahāsi Sayādaw, generation and completion stage practices of the Tantrayana and Mahamudra/Dzogchen of many lineages, especially of the Karma Kagyu and Sakya. Under the guidance and transmissions of the late Drikung Lho Ontul Rinpoche and requests of H.E. Lho Karma Ratna Rinpoche, Lama Webber has been teaching principally the richness of the…

Laurie Harding

Laurie’s skill area and passion is in one/one coaching, group facilitation, and educating Settler peoples about the impacts of Canada’s historical and contemporary colonial realities including; systemic racism, socialized bias, and normalized stereotypes. Her knowledge, awareness, skills, and beliefs have been formed in experience and relationships working for and collaborating with Indigenous scholars and leaders in Indigenous anti-racism and Cultural Safety education and training.  Laurie offers support for non-Indigenous service providers to assess workplace/practice to encourage leading by example, accountability, responsibility, and providing safer services for Indigenous peoples. She also offers support for Indigenous people and teams to debrief and…

Leah Hokanson

Leah Hokanson

Leah is a lifelong adventurer of music, sound and listening—as a group facilitator, community choir leader, pianist, improviser, singer/songwriter and certified sound healing practitioner. She is co-founder (with Lynette Jackson) of Sound, Belonging & Wholeness, offering programs that explore vocal sounding and intentional listening as portals to Presence, healing and transformation. She also directs the Song Keepers Women’s Choir (Gabriola) and is Music Director at the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo. She’s worked with many esteemed vocal artists and sound healing pioneers, including Chloé Goodchild, Jill Purce, Rhiannon, and Karina Schelde. Leah holds a master’s degree in piano performance and…

Linda Moore

Linda experiences universal chanting and singing, mystical poetry and whirling, as a bridge to Oneness.

Lynette Jackson

Lynette Jackson

Lynette has decades of experience as an adult educator, spiritual spelunker, and program “midwife”. Her facilitation of intercultural graduate-level leadership and capacity-building programs in Africa and the Middle East, as well as innovative collaborations with tribal councils, post-secondary institutions, federal and provincial governments, non-profit, personal and professional growth centres, and organizations as diverse as Apple, Unicef, and the World Bank, have afforded many opportunities to apply spiritual principles in innovative contexts. She devoted eleven years to residency in a Canadian spiritual centre, exploring both Eastern and Western maps of consciousness with leading-edge teachers.  Along the way, she has earned an…

Lynn Haley

Lynn Haley

Lynn Haley brings a lifetime commitment to ministry across the country  including:  spiritual direction/ accompaniment, retreat work, religious education, leading worship and sharing end of life ministry. Alongside her calling as an educator and blessed by ten years as a member of an international religious community, Lynn is a Jesuit trained spiritual director and served on the Loyola house retreat staff accompanying individuals of all faiths and walks of life.Recognizing the need today to reach out to all segments of society, Lynn firmly believes that for personal and spiritual growth to occur, the body, heart and soul must be fully engaged…

Lynne Carroll & Jaspaul Khalsa

Lynne and Jas completed the transformative five-year journey of the Level 2 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training program. Lynne brings her experience as a massage therapist with a Bachelor of Health Science, while Jas combines a background in mental health and addiction counseling with deep knowledge of Sikh heritage. Together, as a dynamic team, they reside in Nanaimo’s Old City with their four children. Guided by mentors with over 50 years of experience, Jas and Lynne aspire to share the practical wisdom of Kundalini Yoga with others. Weekly Classes will be led by Lynne Carroll. Workshops will be led by Jaspaul Khalsa…

Marcia Burton, RCC and Hakomi Trainer

Marcia Burton is a Senior Hakomi Trainer. She has been studying and practicing Hakomi since 1997, and is grateful to Ron Kurtz, its creator, for his support and kindness, and for believing in her. During the last several years of Ron’s life, Marcia worked closely with Ron as his student, and later as an assistant and trainer in his trainings. Marcia has a MA in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and has a private practice on Salt Spring Island. She lives and plays on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Penelekut. Marcia…

Mary Ann Moore

Mary Ann Moore

Mary Ann Moore (she/her) is a poet, writer and writing mentor who lives on the traditional lands of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo. She has been leading writing circles in various settings and locations since 1997. Her poetry, essays, and book reviews have appeared in numerous publications. Mary Ann has written two writing guides: Writing to Map Your Spiritual Journey (a digital workbook available from iajw.org) and Writing Home: A Whole Life Practice (Flying Mermaids Studio). Her full-length book of poetry is Fishing for Mermaids (Leaf Press) and her latest chapbook of poetry is Mending (house of appleton.ca). Mary…

Mary Elizabeth Moore

Mary Elizabeth Moore is Professor Emerita of Theology and Education and Dean Emerita of the School of Theology, Boston University. Her passion is to journey with others to build compassionate and prophetic communities, and a more just, peaceful, and ecologically thriving world. Central to that work is building intercultural, interracial, and interreligious relationships. She has written numerous books, including Teaching as a Sacramental Act; Teaching from the Heart; and Ministering with the Earth, as well as co-edited volumes such as Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling World and Deep Understanding for Divisive Times. She has also published numerous articles…

Mei Chang

Mei Chang is a lifelong spiritual seeker on a journey of awakening and experiencing the deep transforming love of God in all things. Drawn to silence and contemplative life, Mei loves to offer sacred spaces for silence, solitude and soul care, through retreats and creative expression. She has a background in Christian contemplation and Ignatian spirituality, along with an appreciation of whatever spiritual journey a person walks in, either known or unknown to them. Mei has a gentle listening presence and says of her accompaniment practice, “Together we will co-discern and listen to the still small voice and loving invitations…

Murray Groom

Murray Groom

Murray Groom is a graduate, former staff member, and one-time interim Director of the Pacific Jubilee Program in Spiritual Direction. He is a practiced spiritual director and regularly co-conducts extended silent retreats at Bethlehem and Naramata Centre in the Okanagan Valley.  

Nan Goodship

Nan is an artist, spiritual director, retreat leader, and thorough Vancouver Islander. She is interested in the adaptations and evolutions we make in our lives to find joy, understand suffering, and ponder our own hearts and minds. She considers herself a  contemplative and finds a daily connection to the natural world both a significant source of inspiration for art-making and a spiritual home. As far as academic training goes she holds a BA in Japanese and Asian studies from UBC, Waldorf teacher training, certification from the Pacific Jubilee Program for spiritual direction, and a Masters in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard…

Mei Chang

Nita Ng

Others have called her: an artist, author, teacher, mystic, neshama (soulful), free and intuitive. Nita sees herself as a soul companion to others, and a matchmaker between persons and the Divine. She is blessed to have had the pleasure of walking with people from all over the world, all walks of life, all different faiths – Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, inter-spiritual and free thinkers. And in her own spiritual journey, she has spent time in ashrams in India, monasteries in Europe and Asia whirled with Sufis in Istanbul and spent years in semi-to-full hermit living. Her other work experience…

Pandit-Tejomaya

Pandit Tejomaya

Pandit Tejomaya was called to a spiritual life from early on. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Science in Health from the University of Wisconsin. Following in the tradition of his upbringing, Tejomaya entered a Christian monastery as a Dominican Monk, but the hand of the Guru was already at play in his life. Following the monastic life, Tejomaya had a 20-year career in occupational health research. But a stage III cancer diagnosis in 1995 re-awakened his call to spiritual living and thus led him to the Eastern philosophy…

Pearl Gervais

Pearl Gervais

Pearl Gervais is an educator, writer, and speaker, who facilitates retreats and workshops that help us embrace the potential and challenge of being fully human.   In her elucidation of the Enneagram typology of spirituality and human personality, Pearl co-operated as an associate in ministry for many years with the Bishop Remi De Roo, and is co-author of Biblical Characters and the Enneagram: Images of Transformation.  As a student of Scripture and of spirituality, Pearl has found lifelong inspiration in the work of the Second Vatican Council, and a call to action for lay and ordained ministry development and leadership, in helping…

Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan

Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan

Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan, spiritual director and award-winning teacher, is Director of Inter-Religious Studies at Vancouver School of Theology. Her recent books include The Infinity Inside, a guide to spiritual practice, and Mouth of the Donkey: Re-imagining Biblical Animals, an exploration of Biblical ecology. Laura lives in Vancouver on Coast Salish territory with her husband Charles, who is a musician, chant leader, and retired child psychologist.

Rachel Lewis

Rachel Lewis

Rachel Lewis began practicing insight meditation in 2003, while completing her physics PhD at Yale. Since 2011, she has taught dharma and meditation classes and retreats in British Columbia and beyond. She completed the IMS/IRC 4-year teacher training in 2021, and is a guiding teacher of the British Columbia Insight Meditation Society. Her dharma teaching interests include the power of music, humour, and creativity to increase our capacity for learning, as well as the way that practice supports and is supported by social justice work. See her other events at http://rachelmeditates.ca/

Rafi Wright

Rafi Wright is a lover of music and song, a modest performer on the oud, guitar, and other stringed instruments, in various groupings and flavors—from Turkish folk hymns to Grateful Dead covers—and a bewildered traveler on the Sufi way. He lives with his forever sweetheart in Bellingham, Washington.

Raqib Brian Burke

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along…” — Rumi Words like these of Rumi inspired a wonderful Turkish Shaykh, Süleyman Dede to visit Vancouver, of all places, in 1976, to teach a small group of naive young seekers the iconic moving meditation of the Whirling Dervishes. Nothing has been the same since.  The story has now been told, decades later, in this new publication. To paraphrase another of our Whirling teachers, Oruç Baba,  “This is not dancing. It is therapy and healing for the world. We all need to check ourselves into these dervish hospitals “

Rev Deb Hinksman

Deb is a semi-retired minister who serves at Ladysmith First United Church. She is a musical theater buff and secretly a Broadway “wanna-be”! On sabbatical many years back, she asked God to help her discern a word that should be at the core of her ministry and she heard that her word was “Joy!” For over 40 years she has been blessed with sharing God’s joy with people and walking with them as they discover God’s joy in their own lives. Creative in her heart, joy has come through drama, stand-up comedy, women’s retreat leadership, youth ministry, storytelling, and cruise…

Rev Dan Kirkegaard

Reverend Dan Kirkegaard

Reverend Dan Kirkegaard has led and guided Tsawwassen United Church for over 10 years, implementing some new traditions along with honouring past traditions. Influences for the ministry of Rev Dan come through 38 years of involvement with L’arche and involvement with International Cultures and First Nations work.

Reverend Patricia Lewis Matthews

The Reverend Patricia Lewis Matthews is an Episcopal Priest living and working in Arkansas. Patricia has a deep love of interfaith dialogue and has integrated it into her 26 years of ministry in the Episcopal Church. She is currently serving as the executive director of The Interfaith Center of Arkansas. She believes that the peacemaking work of The Interfaith Center is an integral part of a functioning and harmonious society. Patricia’s affinity for poetry, discovered as an English major in college and as a explorer of used book stores in Chicago, has influenced her ability to analyze and experience traditionally…

Richard Osler

Richard Osler

Richard Osler, 72, is an experienced poetry therapist, poetry retreat and workshop facilitator and active poet whose full-length poetry collection – Hyaena Season – was released in 2016 by Quattro Books, Toronto. He has facilitated numerous poetry-as-prayer retreats in Canada and the U.S. during the past fifteen years and many general poetry writing retreats including four ten-day retreats in Italy. Currently, he works as a poetry therapist at a residential addiction recovery center near Courtney/Comox on Vancouver Island.  For more information and to read posts from his poetry blog which he has published since 2010 please visit his website at www.recoveringwords.com

Richard Sales

Richard Sales

Richard Sales has been a performing musician since the ’60s and a music producer since the early 80s, producing award-winning music for Universal Music (US and Canada), NPR, PBS, ESPN, Nike, The Grateful Dead, Lightning Rod Records, a multitude of holy teachers including Shree Maa, Bhagavad Das, Saadi, Shiva Rudra Bala Yogi. Richard was invited to perform at the first Woodstock. He has recorded Miles Davis and many other noted musicians at his recording studio, GlassWing Studios. Richard and Joanne are lifelong spiritual pilgrims, with in-person experience over many decades of both Western and Eastern mystical and religious traditions.

Rob James

Rob James

Rob comes to VST from Wells Cathedral in Somerset, in the southwest of the UK, where he has been the Canon Chancellor since 2019. Before going to Wells, Rob was the Vicar of a three-parish benefice in the Diocese of Gloucester. He was ordained Deacon in 2005 and Priest in 2006. As well as his Church of England career he spent some time working for the UK government on security matters, whilst undertaking unpaid duties for the Church. Alongside his work for Church and State, he has usually been involved in teaching theology to undergraduates and to those training for…

Robert Beatty

Robert Beatty is a member of the first wave of Theravada Buddhist teachers who brought Mindfulness from Asia in the 1970s. He is the founder and guiding teacher of the Portland Insight Meditation Community. His life is devoted to helping others discover the profound ways Buddhist practices can transform one’s life, reduce suffering and create happiness. Robert founded the Portland Insight Meditation Community where he is the guiding teacher.​ His meditation training began with Goenka in India in 1972. He has studied with many teachers in Burma, India and the US. Robert was empowered to teach the Dharma by Ruth Denison…

Russell

Russell McNeil

Russell McNeil, a senior fitness instructor for the City of Nanaimo’s parks, recreation, and culture department, said neglecting some muscle groups can lead to several health problems later in life that affect mobility and overall health. He designs his classes for people who experience difficulty doing floor exercises and the class will be done seated in a chair. Yoga exercises have benefits on the body’s well-being and yoga positions stretch, relax, open the joints, release tensions, energize, and revitalize.

Sally Armstrong

Sally Armstrong

began practicing vipassana meditation in India in 1981 and started teaching in 1996. She is a member of the Spirit Rock Teacher’s Council and has served as a co-guiding teacher at Spirit Rock. She developed and led Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program and Advanced Practitioner Program (now LEAP). She regularly teaches retreats on themes such as awareness, metta and concentration, as well as the multiweek retreats at Spirit Rock and the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts.

Sandy Pihowich

Sandy Pihowich

Sandy was raised in the United Church of Canada and nurtures herself on the wisdom and practices of embodied movement, centering prayer and mystical wisdom from different religions as well as non-religious sources. One of her first mentors referred to spiritual direction as “listening into being.” This is Sandy’s hope in the spiritual accompaniment she offers to others.

Sarah Hovey

Sarah Hovey

Sarah’s approach to spiritual companioning is to listen carefully with an open heart to each person she is with. She says, “I look and listen for the stirrings of the heart in each person, for the yearnings that light a person up. This is the path that we follow.” Sarah brings a wealth of experience from her own eclectic spiritual journey as well as many years in private practice as a craniosacral therapist. She is happy to work with people of all ages, all gender identifications, and from all walks of life. People with a faith background or no faith…

Sayadaw U Jagara

Sayadaw U Jagara has 43 years of experience as a Buddhist monk, living in Southeast Asia, dedicated to the practice, study, and teaching of Dhamma. He has trained and taught in the U Ba Khin (S.N. Goenka) and in the Pa Auk traditions of Myanmar as well as being familiar with other Buddhist approaches. With heartfelt gratitude, BCIMS acknowledges we are based in what is now known as Vancouver, BC, the beautiful, traditional, and unceded lands of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples, who live on and have stewarded this land for thousands of years.

Scott Swanson Portrait

Scott Swanson

Scott’s passion is accompanying people through the transformative process of healing, moving toward wholeness, meaning-making, and living out their deep purpose. A minister of The United Church of Canada since 1998 and in direction himself since 1999, Scott began offering spiritual accompaniment in 2007. He completed the Pacific Jubilee Program in 2015 and has an Associate Certificate in Conflict Coaching from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Scott’s approach draws on training and experience in the fields of coaching, educational supervision, pastoral care and spiritual direction, as well as his understanding of Myers-Briggs typologies (he is a certified MBTI practitioner) and the…

Seemi Bushra Ghazi

Seemi Ghazi

Seemi Bushra Ghazi is a lecturer in Classical Arabic at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She has a special interest in Islamic literature, culture, and spirituality, as well as Islam and Gender. She is working on a Feminist interpretation of the Qur’anic narrative of Bilqis (The Queen of Sheba). Seemi follows the path of Rumi and the practice of Sema’ (the turning ceremony of the Dervishes). Ms. Ghazi is also a student in the Rifa`i Ma`rufi, Chishti, and Rifai Sufi spiritual lineage and a performer of traditional Islamic arts, including recitation of the Qur’an and Hamd, or…

Sophia Said

Sophia Said

Sophia Said is the founder and president of Madina Institute, a mosque and community center serving the spiritual, social, and educational needs of a growing Muslim population in Central Arkansas. She has also helped developed The Interfaith Center of Arkansas and led it for ten years as the executive director. Sophia has been conferred many awards for her interfaith work and peacemaking efforts in the state of Arkansas. Born and raised in Pakistan, Sophia moved to the United States for higher education. She has a master’s degree from the Clinton School of Public Service. Sophia has been working at the…

Stephanie Curran

Stephanie Curran is an acupuncturist, clinic owner, parent, and a long-time dedicated practitioner of meditation. She is a certified instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, has completed a variety of training in trauma-informed facilitation, and has a special interest in working with people who have been touched by grief and loss. Stephanie has been leading mindfulness programming since 2000 and loves the intimacy and depth of connection that comes from cultivating awareness, kindness, and compassion in community together. Click here to read more about Stephanie

Stephanie Shepard

Stephanie Shepard

Stephanie enjoys exploring in-between places with others.  She is currently serving as an intentional interim minister at St. Francis-in-the-Wood in West Vancouver, BC. In this role, and in her wider church work, she assists communities in transition to wonder about identities and paths for the future.  She finds beauty in quilting, joy in gardening, and humility in almost everything else through Franciscan spirituality.  Stephanie lives in Burnaby with her family and cat Abigail No-Tail.

Tanya Loretto

Tanya Loretto

Tanya’s spiritual journey has been within the Christian tradition though she is comfortable accompanying people from all walks of life and spiritual backgrounds. She has a Master’s in Theological Studies and a certificate from Seattle University in spiritual direction.  She has a deep sense of the holy in ordinary life and is connected to Ignatian, Franciscan, Benedictine and Celtic spirituality. She also engages in art practice and dream work. Tanya has a warm quiet presence that invites engagement and trust.

Tempel Smith

Tempel Smith

Tempel Smith teaches Mindfulness, Insight and Metta meditation with an emphasis on Buddhist psychology and mind-body awareness. He spent a year as a monk in Burma with Sayadaw U Pandita and Pa Auk Sayadaw. Tempel serves on the Spirit Rock Governing Teachers Council, organizes the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP), Concentration, and Month Long retreats for Spirit Rock, and teaches classes online for experienced students.

The Awakeneers

Awakeneers’ music centres around honest vocals sweetened with multi-part harmonies and supported by rich acoustic instrumentation. The nomadic band of multi-instrumentalist songwriters — most of whom are siblings — segues seamlessly from a foot-stomping fiddle tune to a hip-hop guide to mindfulness; from hilarious satire to heart-wrenching and conscience-raising eco-ballads; to soaring inspirational harmonies of love and hope. These seasoned minstrels weave a genre-bending blend of acoustic positivity that orbits elliptically around the idea of folk music. The official mission of the band is to embody light, love, and truth — for the benefit of all beings. Their songwriting shines…

The Rev. Mary Earle

Mary Earle is an Episcopal Priest, Author, Poet, Retreat Leader and Spiritual Director. Until her retirement, she taught classes in spirituality for the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. Mary has authored ten books; the subjects include the spirituality of living with illness, rule of life, Celtic Christian spirituality, the Desert Mothers, and Julian of Norwich. Her latest is a book of her poetry. Mary has offered presentations and retreats in a variety of ecumenical settings, including conferences of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Directors International, the International Thomas Merton Society, Oblate School of Theology and hospice organizations.…

Tina Jones outside

Tina Jones

Tina Jones has found her true voice! Her nearly 30 year music journey, exploring classical and jazz to disco and JUNO-nominated kids’ music, has finally resulted in an earthy and expressive dive into the world of Canadian folk music. The result is a unique blend of jazz and folk, played on the banjo in the clawhammer style with the addition of some of Western Canada’s finest jazz musicians. Whether playing solo at house concerts and small intimate venues or with a full band at Folk Festivals and Jazz Festivals, audiences are taking notice. With two releases as a singer songwriter,…

Tuere Sala

Tuere Sala is a Guiding Teacher at Seattle Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Retreat Center. She is a retired prosecuting attorney who has practiced Vipassana meditation for over 30 years. Tuere is committed to lay practice and inspired by bringing the Dharma to nontraditional places. She is a strong advocate for practitioners living with high stress, past trauma and difficulties sitting still. Tuere has been teaching since 2010 and has a long history of assisting others in establishing and maintaining a daily practice. See her upcoming events at https://www.tueresala.org/.

Vicki McLeod

Vicki McLeod

Vicki McLeod is a Facilitator, Author, Certified Coach, and Mindful Self-Compassion practitioner.  She blends creative tools including writing exercises, collages, visual metaphors, and art exploration into her holistic coaching practice to help clients anchor and embody core insights and concepts.  Based on this unique approach she will support participants in using college to enrich their experience of the Mindful Self Compassion training.

Victoria Pawloski

Victoria Pawlowski M.Ed., R.C.C.

Victoria is a registered clinical counsellor and certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher who has been practising, studying and teaching MSC at Bethlehem since 2014. She is grateful for her co-teachers, mentors and all the participants who have shared this path of learning to turn towards our difficult experiences with the balm of self-compassion. Victoria is passionate about contributing to a more compassionate world through the development of personal skills and resources that can help us our include ourselves in our big arms of compassion for others.