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.
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
Andrew Twiddy works as an Anglican priest, teacher, writer, speaker, and musician. The contemplative and mystical traditions of the West have influenced him since his youth, and have set the tone for his leadership and versatile style in parish-based ministry in Central Vancouver Island for over 20 years. His degrees in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew led him into teaching and educational administration, and he has enjoyed animating biblical languages for seminary students and others. Andrew is an avid wordsmith and Scrabble player and represented Canada in the Commonwealth Scrabble tournament in Glasgow in 2014. He is a veteran supporter of…
“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 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 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…
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.
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.
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…
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 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. Kristy Williams MD
Dr. Kristy Williams is a Trained MSC Teacher and Family Physician in Nanaimo who has been inspired by the integral role compassion plays in the health and healing she seeks for herself and her patients. A meditator since the mid-2000s, she completed her MSC teacher designation in 2018, and has been enjoying teaching and deepening her practice since then. She’s also trained in trauma-sensitive mindfulness and embodied practice and loves to integrate new concepts into the MSC curriculum.
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
A Canadian Buddhist monk, Gen Zopa has been presenting the profound and practical teachings of the Buddhist path for over 25 years. Renowned for the clarity and depth of his teachings, his warmth and practicality bring to life the ancient art of meditation.
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…
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.
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 BSc. O.T. Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator brings her 30 years of experience in Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Health and 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 on the Edge of the Inside” and the challenges faced these past few years. We will set personal, group and global intentions as we walk the…
Jay B. McDaniel is an American philosopher and theologian. He specializes in Buddhism, Whiteheadian process philosophy and process theology, constructive theology, ecotheology, interfaith dialogue, and spirituality in an age of consumerism. His current interest is “to see how these myriad concerns might unfold in China”. In addition to publishing numerous books and articles, McDaniel is an active voices for process philosophy and theology on social media. He runs a blog called “Open Horizons” www.openhorizons.org (formerly “Jesus, Jazz, and Buddhism”), whose aim is “to offer ideas that might help people create multi-cultural, interfaith communities that are creative, compassionate, participatory, ecologically wise,…
Jay Suttonbrown, BA, B.Ed, ERYT-500, YACEP Emotional Liberation Facilitator Founder and Director of Manipura Yoga College BA, B.Ed, ERYT-500, YACEP Jay Suttonbrown has been a teacher of transformation for the last 25 years. Whether rethinking accessibility for students with special needs within the public school system, establishing a multi-faceted Yoga College in British Columbia, or working as an Emotional Liberation Facilitator, Jay’s mission is clear: offer people the tools they need for inner guidance and self-regulation so they step into personal empowerment and peace. Jay Suttonbrown uses her decades of training to support clients to embrace movement, breath and feeling to understand and skillfully operate,…
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…
Lama Mark Webber (Lama Yongdu Chokyi Gyaltsen) has been studying and teaching Buddha Dharma (the teachings of Liberation through the traditions of Buddhism) for over forty years. He was born in 1956 in Toronto. Through a strong interest to understand awareness by using the mind to study the mind, he started practicing meditation at the age of 16. He used the only book on meditation in his local library for his instruction; “Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines” edited by Evans-Wentz, a collection of Kagyu, Nyingma and Mahayana meditation texts and teachings. In the same year, determining that he needed an accomplished spiritual teacher,…
Leah is a lifelong adventurer of music, sound and listening—as a group facilitator, community choir leader, vocalist, pianist, improviser and singer/songwriter. She is co-founder (with Lynette Jackson) of Sound, Belonging & Wholeness, offering programs that explore vocal sounding and focused listening as portals to Presence, healing and transformation. She also directs the Song Keepers Women’s Choir and the JoySounds choir, both on Gabriola Island. 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 has served in music ministry for various…
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 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…
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 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 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…
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…
Pearl is a teacher, writer, and speaker, based in Nanaimo, BC, who facilitates a variety of spiritual retreats and workshops and has expertise in the Enneagram typology of human personality and in Enneagram spirituality. Pearl has travelled widely and co-operated as an associate in ministry for many years with Bishop Remi De Roo. Together with Remi and Diane Tolomeo, she is co-author of Biblical Characters And The Enneagram: Images of Transformation. Pearl sees Vatican II as an inspiration for all humanity, and a call to action for lay and ordained ministry development and leadership, in helping us embrace our calling…
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 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/
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.
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 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 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 is a member of the first wave of Theravada Buddhist teachers who brought Mindfulness from Asia in the 1970s. 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 in 1983. He has worked with thousands of students and created a unique synthesis of Buddhist…
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 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’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…
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…
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’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.
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.…
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 Pawlowski M.Ed., R.C.C.
Registered Clinical Counsellor | Certified Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion I offer a compassion-focused, mindfulness-based holistic approach to counselling that integrates over 30 years of practice, education, professional training, life experience and a passion for health and healing. I started my career as a Nutritionist with different levels of government and industry focusing on food security, workplace wellness and school food programs. As I became increasingly interested in the bio-psycho-social aspects of health, I pursued graduate studies in Counselling Psychology and postgraduate work in Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, IBP (integrated body psychotherapy) and EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy). I have had the privilege…