Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and mindfulness meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness practices, especially mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and founder (in 1979) and former director of its world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic. Prominently featured in the Bill Moyer's PBS special Healing and the Mind in 1993, the clinic and its research has continually demonstrated that most participants in its programs achieve long-lasting improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms, as well as major positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors. More than 200 medical institutions nationwide and abroad now use the clinic's mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) model to teach mindfulness meditation.
The founder and most senior teacher of the organization Tovana, Stephen has been practicing vipassana meditation since 1975. Steven is a scientist who has dedicated his life to studying spirituality and therapy for the body and the inner self, specializing in the field of herbal medicine. He has also published twelve academic works and leads courses in meditation and Dharma throughout Israel. Steven was an early supporter of using Dharma to promote peace in society. He is one of the founders and directors of the Golden Path, a non-profit organization that promotes nonviolence, compassion and peace. In addition, he is also a director of Citizens for the Environment.
One of the most senior Dharma teachers in the West. In the 1970's, Christopher lived as a Buddhist monk in Thailand and India for six years as the student of Ajhan Buddhadasa. Since then, he has taught insight meditation courses across the world. Christopher is the co-founder of the Gaia House in England, the initiator of a training program for Dharma teachers in Europe and Israel, one of the founders of an international advisory organization for the spreading of peace in the Buddhist spirit, and an active participant in peace marches.
Video recording of Joseph Goldstein's Dharma evening for Tovana - Israel April 2013
Has practiced vipassana meditation since 1988, including four years as a nun in Thailand. Simi leads seminars and retreats in vipassana meditation in Israel. In her work, she emphasizes bringing awareness to everyday life.
Simi is also the founder and coordinator of "The Language of Listening," a program in the Israeli educational system designed to cultivate the skills required to pay attention and listen for children and adults.
Has studied and practiced insight meditation (vipassana) since 1997. Since 2002, Yonathan has led meditation and Dharma events, with an emphasis on internalizing and applying the principles of the Dharma to everyday life. To support himself and his family, he also leads courses and seminars on creative problem-solving. Yonathan is married and has two children.
Has been on a spiritual journey since 1986. Rakefet lived for seven years in the Kripalu Ashram, a yoga and meditation center in the United States, and taught there seminars on meditation and personal development. Over the years, her curiosity and drive for knowledge has led her to explore various Buddhist, Hindu, and Indian methods. Rakefet teaches meditation and the Dharma to individuals, groups and at retreats.
Has been practicing, studying and teaching meditation and Buddhism for the past ten years in Asia, Australia, Europe and Israel, where he lives today with his family in the settlement of Clil in the northern Galile mountains. For the past five years, Eran has also been one of the heads of Tovana.
Has practiced and taught meditation and Buddhist thought in the vipassana tradition in Tovana and other places in Israel and abroad. Lila spent extended periods in monasteries and meditation centers in the East and the West, where she studied and practiced with different teachers, in various Buddhist and Nondualist Hindu traditions.
Zohar fell in love with meditation in 2000 and has been following after her heart ever since. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love. She now spends most of her time dreaming up and facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world.
Her practice involves relaxing into life with love.
Zohar is one of the founders of SanghaSeva who offer a "meditation in action" retreats.
Shinzen Young will visit Israel and lead a Tovana's retreat at February 2012
Shaila Catherine has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has taught since 1996 in the USA and internationally, and since 2003 in Israel.
Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored "Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity."
Shaila has been practicing under the guidance of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw since 2006. She authored "Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook" for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana to help make this traditional approach to meditative training accessible to western practitioners.
She is the founder of Insight Meditation South Bay, an American Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley - www.imsb.org
Shaila will visit and teach in Israel at May 2012
Yanai Postelnik has practiced and studied insight meditation in Asia and the West and has been teaching worldwide since 1992. He was IMS resident teacher 199596. Originally from New Zealand, he lives in Devon, England and is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council.
Yanai will visit and teach in Israel at July 2012
Charles Genoud is a meditation master in both the Dzogchen and Vipassana traditions and is perhaps best know for his "Gesture of Awareness" practice.
a major mind of Buddhism today comes this unique philosophical work, which hearkens back to the classical verse-form, but in a modern voice that speaks directly to the 21st-century reader and practitioner. Gesture of Awareness involves a fascinating
philosophical exploration of time, space, and movement but at the same time is a manual for an embodied 'practice of exploration.' Genoud is very well known to the leading lights of Buddhism today. He and his work are continuingly praised for their invention and importance. Well-versed in French and continental philosophies, as well as Eastern thought, he has produced a work that will be welcomed as a Buddhist book and a noteworthy contribution to the larger philosophical community.
Charles Genoud will visit Israel as a guest of Tovana in September 2012
Patricia has been practicing Buddhist meditation (Vipassana and Dzogchen) in Asia and the West since 1984. She received numerous teachings from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and practiced under the guidance of Sayadaw Upandita. She has also completed her teacher training at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. USA under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein and other senior teachers. She is teaching Vipassana meditation since 1997 in Europe, Israel and the US.
Stephen Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. Stephen considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. In particular, he regards the doctrines of karma and rebirth to be features of ancient Indian civilisation and not intrinsic to what the Buddha taught. Buddhism has survived for the past 2,500 years because of its capacity to reinvent itself in accord with the needs of the different Asian societies with which it has creatively interacted throughout its history. As Buddhism encounters modernity, it enters a vital new phase of its development. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world, which has earned him both condemnation as a heretic and praise as a reformer.
MARTINE BATCHELOR was born in France in 1953. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in Korea in 1975. She studied Zen Buddhism under the guidance of the late Master Kusan at Songgwang Sa monastery until 1984. Her Zen training also took her to nunneries in Taiwan and Japan. From 1981 she served as Kusan Sunim's interpreter and accompanied him on lecture tours throughout the United States and Europe. She translated his book 'The Way of Korean Zen'. Following Master Kusan's death she returned her nun's vows and left Korea.
Kittisaro from Tennessee USA, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford before going to Thailand to ordain with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He was a monk for 15 years and during that time helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the UK. He also taught extensively during this time and was involved in the training of monks. He disrobed in 1991 and since then has taught internationally in the States, Europe, South Africa, and Israel. He has studied and practised Chan and Pure Land for 20 years informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua. Kittisaro has completed two one year long silent self retreats and is currently writing in between continuing his teaching engagements.
Kittisaro will visit and teach in Israel at October 2013
Thanissara, a practitioner since 1975, was a Theravada nun for 12 years in the tradition of Ajahn Chah and has taught internationally the last 20 years. She is co-founder and director of Dharmagiri Hermitage and Outreach in South Africa and spends time between there and the US.
She has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice from Karuna Institute and Middx University UK and is currently co-facilitator of the Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock.
Radha Nicholson teaches the cultivation of wisdom and compassion through Insight. Her teachings focus on Inquiry and the non-dual nature of reality.
She is a guiding teacher for Bay Insight in Byron Bay and teaches retreats in India and Australia and regularly co-teaches with Christopher Titmuss. Her annual pilgrimage to India includes programs in Bodh Gaya, Tiruvannamalai and Sarnath. Radha leads the Australian Dharma Facilitators Program. She has also been a guest teacher in France, the UK, Germany and New Zealand.
Radha is a registered psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society with a private practice in Bangalow in northern New South Wales. Radha is the mother of four children and also has grandchildren.