Special Graduation

In a time of polarization and divisiveness, plus the on-going crises of fires, economic and racial injustice, and pandemic, there are bright rays of hope – people building a future of respect, dignity, generosity, love and understanding in a thousand different ways. One shining example is the retreat teacher training led by Gina Sharpe, Kate Lila Wheeler, and Larry Yang, recently joined by Rachel Bagby. This was first training to be organized around the profound teachings of meditation as well as treasured teachings on building a beloved and just community for ourselves and our world. Three of our wonderful InsightLA teachers, Tere Abdala-Romano, Alisa Dennis, and Gullu Singh, were part of a beautiful graduation ceremony yesterday. Congratulations, Tere, Alisa, and Gullu!

From the Lion’s Roar website:

“After an intensive four-year program, a diverse group of 20 practitioners graduated from the Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program on September 11.

Teachers and the cohort of the Spirit Rock Teacher Training program. Photo via Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

The Spirit Rock Dharma Teacher and Spiritual Leadership Program held an istoric graduation ceremony on September 11. After an intensive, four-year program of training and study, the most diverse class in the program’s history was empowered to teach the dharma. Every single graduate self-identifies as a member of a nondominant culture, whether by gender, orientation, race, ethnicity, or ability. Ninety percent are BIPOC and fifty-five percent identify as LGBTIQ. It is perhaps the most diverse group of new dharma teachers in the history of American Buddhism.

The members of this graduating cohort, says program co-leader Kate Lila Wheeler, “are insightful, smart, aware, and loving. They are culturally rich. They’re strong in being able to find the truth within and say what they know, and humble enough to say what they don’t know. They are deeply committed to the dharma of liberation as classically understood, and how the dharma and other medicines can be of help in the current predicament of our world.” 

This is good news. At InsightLA, our commitment is to bring forth teachings of wisdom and compassion, led by diverse teachers offering retreats and other programs to folks from diverse communities. All of our teachers are watering seeds of a wise and humane future, welcoming everyone as partners in awakening. This is what the world needs: leadership that clearly reflects different groups, carrying the lamp of dharma to free the hearts of all beings, including you and me!