MFD Teaching Council
Sarah Bryce has been practicing in the Insight Meditation tradition since 1998. She has attended annual silent retreats, at Insight Meditation Society, Spirit Rock, Southern Dharma, and the Forest Refuge. She is currently enrolled in the two-year Meditation Teacher Training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. She has also been a child, adolescent and adult Psychiatrist in private practice for twenty five years in Durham, NC. She is married to Scott Bryce, and is the mother of three daughters.
Holly, the former president of the MFD board, is one of the developers of the Koru Mindfulness program. A psychiatrist at Duke University, she is the co-author of Mindfulness for the Next Generation: Helping Emerging Adults Manage Stress and Lead Healthier Lives. Her newest book, The Mindful Twenty-Something, is a handbook for young adults who wish to learn about mindfulness and meditation. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband, daughter, Great Dane, three chickens, two cats and rabbit.
Mary has been teaching in Duke’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program since 2000. She also teaches in the Distance Learning phone Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes, and has developed a class based on loving-kindness meditation. In addition she teaches in various research projects at UNC-Chapel Hill in collaboration with Dr. Barbara Fredrickson. She has been practicing meditation for thirty years and attends yearly intensive retreats, many at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. She has practiced with luminaries, including Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Joan Halifax, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rodney Smith and Leigh Brasington, and completed the professional training for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. She is co-author of The Gift of Loving- Kindness: 100 Meditations on Compassion, Forgiveness and Generosity, and until recently, worked as a psychotherapist in private practice (25 years).
Introduced to a mantra/prayer practice by his Lutheran mother during his early teens, John was drawn to California for graduate studies in psychotherapy and spirituality. While in the Bay Area, he practiced with wonderful meditation teachers from a range of spiritual traditions. Nearly 30 years ago, he found a home in Tibetan Buddhism and met his teacher, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, the abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery in New York. He is a graduate of the KTD Meditation Instructors Program and the director of Karma Thegsum Choling Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center in Carrboro. He is committed to help others wanting to integrate mindfulness practices into their daily lives with mindfulness-based Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. He has led the Triangle Area DBT Family Skills Training program since 2004.
Ron Vereen is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 1992. As an instructor in the Duke Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program, he has been teaching mindfulness to others since 1999. He is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock, and has completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. In 2009 he co-founded the Triangle Insight Meditation Community. His principal teacher is Rodney Smith. He has also studied extensively with Shinzen Young, and more recently, Leigh Brasington, Taraniya Ambrosia, Andrew Olendzki, and Narayan Helen Liebenson. His interests include exploring the interface between Western and Buddhist psychology.
Sasha Loring, M.Ed., LCSW is a Buddhist Minister, psychotherapist and author. She has trained extensively in the Tibetan Buddhist and Vipassana traditions, and has taught meditation for over 30 years. For the past 10 years she has been teaching the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program at both Duke and UNC Medical Centers, and co-created the Mindfulness Training for Professionals course for Duke Integrative Medicine. Her books include a stress reduction guide that arose out of her work as a Stress Management Consultant at the Duke Executive Health Clinic (RELIEF: Release Stress and Harmful Habits and Awaken Your Best Self), and a book on Mindful Eating. She has also written two Buddhist murder mysteries under the pen name Sachi Deleg.
John received Theravada Buddhist ordination and training for a period of eight years while living in Thailand and India. He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats around the country since 1980. John is an Interfaith minister and teaches at Duke University. He is the guiding teacher for the New Hope Sangha.
Elizabeth Brownrigg has been a practitioner in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage since 2004. She is a former director of the Durham Shambhala Center, and currently a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor. She writes about the experience of Buddhism in contemporary life. Her essay, "Care Taking," published in Shambhala Sun magazine, is included in The Best Buddhist Writing 2010.
Scott Bryce has been a psychotherapist and Buddhist practitioner since the mid-1990s, and he continues to explore how these two practices intersect. Previous to becoming involved with Triangle Insight, he served for a number of years as a practice leader with the Eno River Buddhist Community. His principal meditation practices have been Insight Meditation, Insight Dialogue, and Concentration. In addition, he has found great value in sutta study, the precepts, and the five daily reflections. Some of the teachers toward whom he feels particular gratitude are Ayya Sobhana, DaeJa Napier, Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia, Greg Scharf, Greg Kramer, and Leigh Brasington. He also is grateful for Southern Dharma Retreat Center here in North Carolina, and for the study and retreat centers located in Barre, Massachusetts. Scott has lived in Durham since 1984. He is married, with three children and two kids-in-law.
Susan Gaylord, PhD, is the Director of the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine and Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UNC School of Medicine, as well as Director of UNC’s Mindfulness Based Stress and Pain Management Program. She studied under the Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and founded the Durham Shambhala Meditation Center in 1978, where she served as director for over 20 years. She iscurrently a senior teacher and meditation instructor there. She received her PhD in research psychology from Duke University, and focuses her research activities on effectiveness and mechanisms of non-pharmacological and complementary approaches for promoting health and healing illness, with particular emphasis on mindfulness-training interventions.
Bill Price has the good fortune of being part of mindfulness groups in Durham for a few decades and has participated in the Family Meditation weeks at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Massachusetts, and has been greatly inspired by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. He uses mindfulness-based psychotherapies in his psychiatric practice in Durham and has made many beautiful meditation benches, only a few of which have shown signs of impermanence, so far.
Betsy began meditation practice at a yoga retreat in 1971. She has been a member of the Karma Thegsum Choling Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center in Carrboro since 2007, when she took refuge with Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin. She became a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in 2014, and is the Practice Coordinator of Nalandabodhi's online At-Large community. She is married with two adult daughters and wishes MFD had been here when her children were growing up.
Shahar Link has had a more-or-less regular meditation practice for 15 years, and has sat several retreats with Gil Fronsdal of the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California. After teaching high school for 10 years, he founded Mindspire Tutoring and Test Prep, a tutoring company based in Durham, NC. He has an 8 year old son who keeps Shahar’s “Daily Life Practice” very much alive. He has guest-led several Dharma talks at MFD in the past and currently facilitates an informal weekly sitting group in his co-housing community in Durham, Solterra.
Rev. Zenki Kathleen Batson
Reverend Zenki Kathleen Batson is a Soto Zen Buddhist priest who practices at the Chapel Hill Zen Center where she is the Ino, or head of the meditation hall, and works as the Abbess’s Assistant. She has been studying with her teacher Josho Pat Phelan Sensei for 17 years. She first tried meditating in sixth grade after reading Shunryu Suzuki’s book, en Mind, Beginner’s Min, and began developing a consistent meditation practice in her early 20’s. She is also a Montessori Toddler teacher, and has been working with children of a variety of ages for over 20 years. She lives in Durham with her husband and teenage son.