Claire Stanley, Guiding Teacher and Co-Founder
Claire attended her first seven-day meditation retreat in 1986 at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. After fifteen years of practice, she received training through the Community Dharma Leader program in the teaching of meditation and scholarly inquiry. That three-year program took place at Spirit Rock Meditation Center with Jack Kornfield and her mentor was Gil Fronsdal. Her main teachers have been Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Carol Wilson, the Venerable Sayadaw U Janaka, and the Venerable Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
In 2001 and 2002, Claire traveled extensively in Asia and ordained as a nun for three months in Burma. In 2004, Claire completed six months of intensive silent meditation practice at The Forest Refuge program of Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She has been teaching Vipassana meditation in the Southern Vermont area for ten years. Former Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics for fifteen years, she now teaches meditation and reflective inquiry in the context of Buddhism throughout New England.
Claire is passionate about the development of kindness of heart and its role in all aspects of daily life through the investigation of non-harming and non-violence in thought, word and action. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a specialization in reflectivity.
Jack Millett, Teacher and Co-Founder
Jack Millett, Teacher and Co-founderJack Millett has been a student of Buddhist meditation since 1990. He began his studies at SN Goenka’s center in Shelburne Falls, MA and then continued studies at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. His main teachers have been Carol Wilson, Steve Armstrong, Joseph Goldstein, the Venerable Sayadaw U Janaka and the Venerable Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
In 2001-2002 Jack traveled extensively in Asia completing a three-monthly retreat in Burma, a pilgrimage to major sites of the Buddha with Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and a one-month retreat at Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s monastery in Katmandu, Nepal. In 2004, Jack sat a six-month silent meditation retreat at the Forest Refuge in Barre, MA. Former Associate Professor in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the School for International Training, he now teaches courses for language teachers and teacher educators in reflective inquiry, feedback, and supervision through the Teacher Training Institute at the School for International Training.
Cheryl Wilfong, Teacher and Co-Founder
Cheryl Wilfong attended her first 10-day retreat at Insight Meditation Society in 1977. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch New England, with a concentration in Mindfulness and completed an internship with Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.
Cheryl completed the Community Dharma Leader training program at Spirit Rock in 2008 and the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in 2009. She is currently studying Matt Flickstein’s 2-year curriculum.
Cheryl is a devoted gardener and the author of The Meditative Gardener: Cultivating Mindfulness of Body, Feelings, and Mind. She is also the author of Following the Nez Perce Trail: a guide to the Nee-Me-Poo National Historic Trail with eye-witness accounts, 2nd edition.
Kate Wylie, Teacher
Kate Wylie has practiced meditation since 1975 in many settings including Insight Meditation Society, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and with her current teacher, Venerable Tsoknyi Rinpoche. She has taught Insight Meditation around New England since 1997.
Kate is particularly interested in teaching people who are engaged in the everyday life of the society in which they live. She has taught and trained in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center under the guidance of Jon Kabat-Zinn. Kate brings to her work an awareness of the suffering of social oppression in peoples’ lives. She is a long time resident of the Brattleboro area and worked as a psychotherapist in England and this country for more than thirty years.
Manny Mansbach, Teacher
Manny Mansbach has been practicing and studying Insight Meditation since 1980. He is a graduate both of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Dedicated Practitioner Program and its Community Dharma Leader Program. Manny began as a somatic and mindfulness-oriented psychotherapist in 1989. He is the former Director of the Center for Somatic Psychotherapy in San Francisco and was a core faculty member at JFK University’s Somatic Psychology and Holistic Health Programs.
In recent years Manny has spent many months in silent meditation retreats, and has practiced and been on pilgrimage in India, Tibet, Nepal, Burma and Thailand. In addition to practice with revered western Vipassana teachers, he has also been influenced by Dzogchen practice and the teachings of Adyashanti.
Manny is committed to helping people remember and express their basic goodness, and to gain confidence in the beauty and power of the Buddha’s teachings of profound understanding and boundless kindness. He believes in nurturing the connections between transformative inner work such as meditation and therapy; community/sangha; and nonviolent social transformation. One of his greatest interests is in applying the Buddha’s Middle Way to the area of communication, integrating the core skill of nonviolent assertion and learning to speak from wisdom and with kindness.
Drew Kovach, Practice Leader and Co-Founder
Drew Kovach started practicing Buddhist meditation at the New York City Zen Center in 1977 under the guidance of Zen Master Reverend Kanno Nakajima. Although Drew is willing to hitch a ride with any of the three vehicles, he maintains a connection with San Francisco Zen Center and the Soto Zen tradition. Drew is the President of the Board of Directors of Vermont Insight Mediation Center.