Melissa McKay Chair

Melissa began her path of meditation in 1998 with a small group of dedicated practitioners in Oakland, CA with her beloved, though not known, teacher named Barbara Janus who introduced her to the teachings of Sayadaw U Pandita of Burma. Her first retreat was with Sayadaw U Pandita and the profound changes she saw in herself gave her a strong faith and dedication to the practice. She practiced with Sayadaw and his monks at centers in the U.S. and Burma.  She met Bhante Khippa Pano of Vietnam in 2000 and he became her main teacher.  She continues to attend intensive meditation retreats yearly and has trained for over 10,000 hours.  

Bhante gave her permission to teach, and since 2003. She has taught at centers all over the United States.

Jack Kornfield has said of her, “Melissa is one of the most experienced practitioners of the new generation of teachers.”  And Lodro Rinzler, “Melissa has a skillfulness in making esoteric teachings relatable to modern day living.”

After nearly two decades in New York City, she now resides in Las Vegas with her family.

For more information visit 

George Mumford Director

George Mumford Director

George T. Mumford has taught meditation since 1986 in a range of environments, from prisons to Harvard Medical School. Also known as The Mindfulness Performance Whisperer, George is a highly acclaimed and leading expert in sports psychology and performance.

He is the author of The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance and is Phil Jackson’s ‘Secret Weapon’ to winning eight NBA Championships. George’s passion is teaching mindfulness to high profile sports, business and academic teams alike; from the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, to senior global executives and systems. He is also Board President of Ivy Child International, a non-profit devoted to universal mindfulness education.

Jack Kornfield Director

Jack Kornfield Director

Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He began his training after graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967. Then he joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to the Public Health Service in northeast Thailand, which is home to several of the world’s oldest Buddhist forest monasteries. He met and studied under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. After returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein. He is also a founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California, where he currently lives and teaches. Over the years, Jack has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International Buddhist Teacher meetings with the Dalai Lama and worked with many of the great teachers of our time. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

His books have been translated into 20 languages and sold more than a million copies. They include, A Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology, A Path with Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry; Teachings of the Buddha; Seeking the Heart of Wisdom; Living Dharma; A Still Forest Pool; Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart; Buddha’s Little Instruction Book; The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness and Peace and his most recent book, Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are.

James Rosser, LCSW Secretary

James Rosser, LCSW Secretary

James has meditated for over 30 years, beginning in 1987 with James Baraz. He graduated from InsightLA’s Facilitator Training Program and  Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (Inaugural Class). James is also a  Trained Teacher for the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.

James leads secular and Buddhist- based mindfulness training, sits, and affinity groups (LGBTQI, Mental Health Professionals, Anti-Racism Practices for White People).  His interests are community building for the LGBTQI/LGBTQI senior mindfulness community and consciousness-raising around racism and heterosexism. He co-chairs InsightLA’s DEI Committee and sits on the Teacher’s Council.  He is a student in Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner Program. His primary teacher is Tempel Smith.

As a psychotherapist, James is the Director of Outpatient Programs for the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. He intensively trained in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Mentalization-based Therapy. 

Maria Egan Director

Maria Egan Director

Maria Egan is a veteran music industry executive, currently serving as President of Pulse Music Group in Los Angeles after eight years as Vice President of A&R at Columbia Records. Maria also founded a community for women creators and allies called Reboot. She came to InsightLA and began practicing mindfulness with Lisa Kring and Trudy Goodman in 2012.

She graduated from the InsightLA Facilitator Training Program and is undertaking Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Teacher Certification.

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