Core Faculty



Venerable Burin is the Executive Director of The Middle Way Research Institute, a New York-based global non-profit organization that converges timeless wisdom and evidence-based science to tackle key problems facing humanity. Ordained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand in 2000, his quest is to provide holistic and cutting-edge solutions for people of all ages, races, religions, as well as those without religious beliefs, to achieve sustainability leading to global happiness. He is the Pioneer of “Inner Peace Education,” a groundbreaking curriculum modernizing ancient wisdom into simple and practical tools to help individuals cultivate the “Inner Peace Lifestyle.” He has taught in 30 countries throughout 6 continents. His “World Peace through Inner Peace” projects have touched more than 100,000 people from all walks of life.





Venerable Burin is the Executive Director of The Middle Way Research Institute, a New York-based global non-profit organization that converges timeless wisdom and evidence-based science to tackle key problems facing humanity. Ordained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand in 2000, his quest is to provide holistic and cutting-edge solutions for people of all ages, races, religions, as well as those without religious beliefs, to achieve sustainability leading to global happiness. He is the Pioneer of “Inner Peace Education,” a groundbreaking curriculum modernizing ancient wisdom into simple and practical tools to help individuals cultivate the “Inner Peace Lifestyle.” He has taught in 30 countries throughout 6 continents. His “World Peace through Inner Peace” projects have touched more than 100,000 people from all walks of life.




Allan Lokos is the founder and guiding teacher of The Community Meditation Center. He is the author of Through the Flames: Overcoming Disaster Through Compassion, Patience, and DeterminationPocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living; and Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living. He has been interviewed on more than one hundred radio and television programs. Places he has taught include Columbia University Teachers College, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, The Rubin Museum, Tibet House US, and Upaya Zen Center. Allan has practiced meditation since the mid-nineties and studied with many of the world’s most renowned teachers, including Thich Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Stephen Batchelor. Earlier in this life, Allan enjoyed a successful career as a professional singer.





Allan Lokos is the founder and guiding teacher of The Community Meditation Center. He is the author of Through the Flames: Overcoming Disaster Through Compassion, Patience, and DeterminationPocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living; and Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living. He has been interviewed on more than one hundred radio and television programs. Places he has taught include Columbia University Teachers College, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, The Rubin Museum, Tibet House US, and Upaya Zen Center. Allan has practiced meditation since the mid-nineties and studied with many of the world’s most renowned teachers, including Thich Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Stephen Batchelor. Earlier in this life, Allan enjoyed a successful career as a professional singer.




Andrew Olendzki, PhD, is a Professor at Lesley University, and Director of their Mindfulness Studies program. He is a scholar of early Buddhist thought and practice with a special interest in Buddhist psychology and its relevance to the modern world. He was the original executive director of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and then was executive director and senior scholar at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He has also held adjunct faculty positions at Amherst, Brandeis, Harvard, Lesley, and Smith, and was on the faculty at Wesleyan University and Hampshire College. Andrew was also a senior scholar at the Mind and Life Institute and has been a long-time board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. His books include Unlimiting Mind: The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism, and Untangling Self: A Buddhist Investigation of Who We Really Are. He writes regularly for Tricycle magazine and is the founder of the Integrated Dharma Institute.





Andrew Olendzki, PhD, is a Professor at Lesley University, and Director of their Mindfulness Studies program. He is a scholar of early Buddhist thought and practice with a special interest in Buddhist psychology and its relevance to the modern world. He was the original executive director of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and then was executive director and senior scholar at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He has also held adjunct faculty positions at Amherst, Brandeis, Harvard, Lesley, and Smith, and was on the faculty at Wesleyan University and Hampshire College. Andrew was also a senior scholar at the Mind and Life Institute and has been a long-time board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. His books include Unlimiting Mind: The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism, and Untangling Self: A Buddhist Investigation of Who We Really Are. He writes regularly for Tricycle magazine and is the founder of the Integrated Dharma Institute.




Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher and N Y Times best-selling author. She has played a major role in bringing meditation and mindfulness practices to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and the author of ten books including N Y Times bestseller, Real Happiness, her seminal work, Lovingkindness, and her most recent work, Real Love. Known for her humorous, down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them easily accessible. She is a regular columnist for On Being, a contributor to Huffington Post, and the host of her own podcast, The Metta Hour.





Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher and N Y Times best-selling author. She has played a major role in bringing meditation and mindfulness practices to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and the author of ten books including N Y Times bestseller, Real Happiness, her seminal work, Lovingkindness, and her most recent work, Real Love. Known for her humorous, down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them easily accessible. She is a regular columnist for On Being, a contributor to Huffington Post, and the host of her own podcast, The Metta Hour.


Principal Guest Teacher



Pilar Jennings, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and religion at the Union Theological Seminary and a lecturer at Columbia University. She is also a visiting lecturer at Weill Cornell University School of Medicine in their Integrative Health concentration. Through this program, associated with the Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Science, Pilar teaches medical students about mindfulness and psychodynamic techniques to be utilized for their own stress reduction and for their patients’ increased well-being. She is also a psychoanalyst with a focus on the clinical applications of Buddhist meditation; she has been working with patients and their families through the Harlem Family Institute since 2004. Pilar is the author of Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism, and To Heal a Wounded Heart: The Transformative Power of Buddhism and Psychotherapy in Action.





Pilar Jennings, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and religion at the Union Theological Seminary and a lecturer at Columbia University. She is also a visiting lecturer at Weill Cornell University School of Medicine in their Integrative Health concentration. Through this program, associated with the Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Science, Pilar teaches medical students about mindfulness and psychodynamic techniques to be utilized for their own stress reduction and for their patients’ increased well-being. She is also a psychoanalyst with a focus on the clinical applications of Buddhist meditation; she has been working with patients and their families through the Harlem Family Institute since 2004. Pilar is the author of Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism, and To Heal a Wounded Heart: The Transformative Power of Buddhism and Psychotherapy in Action.


Faculty



Rachel Hammerman teaches meditation and is an executive coach who helps people grow their business, set career direction and cultivate relationships with ease. She is a Meditation Faculty Member of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science and teaches Loving Kindness on Fridays at Tibet House in NYC. She graduated from the Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program and received certification to teach Mindfulness by the International Mindfulness Teachers Association and by Mark Coleman and Martin Aylward’s Mindfulness Training Institute. Rachel is grateful to offer practices and teachings as she’s received them from teachers including Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Joe Loizzo, Bob Thurman and her dharma mentors, Oren Jay Sofer and Mark Coleman. She has a BA in Sociology from Tufts University. 





Rachel Hammerman teaches meditation and is an executive coach who helps people grow their business, set career direction and cultivate relationships with ease. She is a Meditation Faculty Member of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science and teaches Loving Kindness on Fridays at Tibet House in NYC. She graduated from the Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program and received certification to teach Mindfulness by the International Mindfulness Teachers Association and by Mark Coleman and Martin Aylward’s Mindfulness Training Institute. Rachel is grateful to offer practices and teachings as she’s received them from teachers including Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Joe Loizzo, Bob Thurman and her dharma mentors, Oren Jay Sofer and Mark Coleman. She has a BA in Sociology from Tufts University. 




Helen Park (LMSW, MFA) first discovered the Buddhadharma as a teen growing up in the Midwest in a Korean-American, Catholic, immigrant family. First studying Zen, she later found her spiritual path within the Tibetan Buddhist schools, and considers herself an eternal student, grateful to share the gift of Dharma with others. She has had many teachers, role models, and mentors who have guided her practice, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Venerable Thubten Chodron, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi, Khenpo Pema Wangdak, Lama Rod Owens, Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Robert Thurman, Joe Loizzo, and Pilar Jennings. In addition to her ongoing growth as a Dharma practitioner, Helen is the Director of Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program and a family therapist. Her clinical practice draws from her professional and personal experiences in the arts, contemplative sciences, and social justice work.





Helen Park (LMSW, MFA) first discovered the Buddhadharma as a teen growing up in the Midwest in a Korean-American, Catholic, immigrant family. First studying Zen, she later found her spiritual path within the Tibetan Buddhist schools, and considers herself an eternal student, grateful to share the gift of Dharma with others. She has had many teachers, role models, and mentors who have guided her practice, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Venerable Thubten Chodron, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi, Khenpo Pema Wangdak, Lama Rod Owens, Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Robert Thurman, Joe Loizzo, and Pilar Jennings. In addition to her ongoing growth as a Dharma practitioner, Helen is the Director of Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program and a family therapist. Her clinical practice draws from her professional and personal experiences in the arts, contemplative sciences, and social justice work.




Vera Ruangtragool is the founder and director of the non-profit, Truly Well.  Believing that world peace starts with inner peace, she leads guided meditations in English and Spanish and brings people together through events that foster meaningful social connection in the US and abroad. Vera has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from UC Berkeley, a Master’s degree in Spanish Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University. As a lifelong Buddhist practitioner in the Theravada tradition, she learned meditation at a very young age and has developed her practice over 20 years.  Through her work and everyday interactions, Vera is committed to advancing peace and justice through individual, community, and systemic change.





Vera Ruangtragool is the founder and director of the non-profit, Truly Well.  Believing that world peace starts with inner peace, she leads guided meditations in English and Spanish and brings people together through events that foster meaningful social connection in the US and abroad. Vera has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from UC Berkeley, a Master’s degree in Spanish Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University. As a lifelong Buddhist practitioner in the Theravada tradition, she learned meditation at a very young age and has developed her practice over 20 years.  Through her work and everyday interactions, Vera is committed to advancing peace and justice through individual, community, and systemic change.


Guest Teachers



Stephen Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist scholar, teacher, and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. He considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. Through his writings, translations, and teaching, he engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism’s role in the modern world. He is the translator and author of numerous books and articles on Buddhism including the bestselling Buddhism Without Beliefs, Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, and After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age.





Stephen Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist scholar, teacher, and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. He considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. Through his writings, translations, and teaching, he engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism’s role in the modern world. He is the translator and author of numerous books and articles on Buddhism including the bestselling Buddhism Without Beliefs, Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, and After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age.




Rev. Cathy Bristow, an ordained Interfaith Minister, is the founder and principal of Bridges, a consulting firm whose mission is “Relanguaging the conversation around diversity and giving the topic a contemporary paradigm that reflects the complexity of people and change.”  In particular it aims to initiate a fresh conversation about race and gender. Cathy’s professional career includes senior corporate roles and international assignments. She has practiced meditation for several years, and with the CMC for four years. She is also actively involved in her Harlem-based church, First Corinthian Baptist.





Rev. Cathy Bristow, an ordained Interfaith Minister, is the founder and principal of Bridges, a consulting firm whose mission is “Relanguaging the conversation around diversity and giving the topic a contemporary paradigm that reflects the complexity of people and change.”  In particular it aims to initiate a fresh conversation about race and gender. Cathy’s professional career includes senior corporate roles and international assignments. She has practiced meditation for several years, and with the CMC for four years. She is also actively involved in her Harlem-based church, First Corinthian Baptist.




Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and lovingkindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MS, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. In 1989, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Joseph first became interested in Buddhism as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in 1965. Since 1967 he has studied and practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation under eminent teachers from India, Burma and Tibet. He is the author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, A Heart Full of Peace, One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism, Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, The Experience of Insight, and co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom and Insight Meditation: A Correspondence Course.





Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and lovingkindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MS, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. In 1989, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Joseph first became interested in Buddhism as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in 1965. Since 1967 he has studied and practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation under eminent teachers from India, Burma and Tibet. He is the author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, A Heart Full of Peace, One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism, Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, The Experience of Insight, and co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom and Insight Meditation: A Correspondence Course.




Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist and New York Times best-selling author. He has written and taught about the essential inner skills of personal well-being, psychological growth, and contemplative practice, as well as about relationships, family life, and raising children. He’s been a speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and meditation centers worldwide. His books are available in 28 languages and include Resilient, Hardwiring HappinessBuddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR.





Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist and New York Times best-selling author. He has written and taught about the essential inner skills of personal well-being, psychological growth, and contemplative practice, as well as about relationships, family life, and raising children. He’s been a speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and meditation centers worldwide. His books are available in 28 languages and include Resilient, Hardwiring HappinessBuddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR.




Nancy Napier has been a marriage and family therapist since 1981, and a Somatic Experiencing (SE) Practitioner since 2001. SE is a mind and body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. Nancy is emeritus faculty of the SE Trauma Institute, and the author of Recreating Your Self, Getting Through the Day, and Sacred Practices for Conscious Living.





Nancy Napier has been a marriage and family therapist since 1981, and a Somatic Experiencing (SE) Practitioner since 2001. SE is a mind and body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. Nancy is emeritus faculty of the SE Trauma Institute, and the author of Recreating Your Self, Getting Through the Day, and Sacred Practices for Conscious Living.




Gina Sharpe has an A.B. in Philosophy from Barnard College and a J.D. from NYU School of Law. Before practicing law, she worked for the New York City government, in the motion picture industry, as well as conducting research in public not-for-profits. After retiring from the practice of law, she co-founded New York Insight Meditation Center. She teaches at various venues around the United States including Spirit Rock, Insight Meditation Society, Vallecitos Mountain Refuge, Mid America Dharma, Garrison Institute, Asia Society, Tibet House, the NY Open Center, the Katonah Yoga Center and a maximum security prison for women. She has been teaching the Dharma since 1995 and has served on the boards of directors of several organizations.





Gina Sharpe has an A.B. in Philosophy from Barnard College and a J.D. from NYU School of Law. Before practicing law, she worked for the New York City government, in the motion picture industry, as well as conducting research in public not-for-profits. After retiring from the practice of law, she co-founded New York Insight Meditation Center. She teaches at various venues around the United States including Spirit Rock, Insight Meditation Society, Vallecitos Mountain Refuge, Mid America Dharma, Garrison Institute, Asia Society, Tibet House, the NY Open Center, the Katonah Yoga Center and a maximum security prison for women. She has been teaching the Dharma since 1995 and has served on the boards of directors of several organizations.




Robert A.F. Thurman, PhD, is a scholar, author, and academic who has written, edited, and translated numerous books on Tibetan Buddhism. He is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, holding the first endowed chair in this field in the United States. He also is the co-founder and president of the Tibet House New York. Time Magazine chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997. He is the author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics, and culture.





Robert A.F. Thurman, PhD, is a scholar, author, and academic who has written, edited, and translated numerous books on Tibetan Buddhism. He is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, holding the first endowed chair in this field in the United States. He also is the co-founder and president of the Tibet House New York. Time Magazine chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997. He is the author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics, and culture.


A Selection of Books by CMC Teachers

PILAR JENNINGS
• To Heal a Wounded Heart: The Transformative Power of Buddhism and Psychotherapy in Action
• Mixing Minds: The Power of Relationship in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism

ALLAN LOKOS
• Through the Flames: Overcoming Disaster Through Compassion, Patience, and Determination
• Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living
• Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living

ANDREW OLENDZKI
• Unlimiting Mind: The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism
• Untangling Self: A Buddhist Investigation of Who We Really Are

SHARON SALZBERG
• Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness
• Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection
• Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program
• Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience
• Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit and Be a Whole Lot Happier

“To me CMC is teachers who have a knack for explaining complex concepts in a down-to-earth way; teachings that help me to reduce the many levels of stress in my life.” 

Sunday sessions: 10:30 AM–Noon   593 Columbus Ave. (NE corner of 88th)
Wednesday sessions: Note new time: 6:45–7:45 PM   150 West 83rd St. (Columbus–Amsterdam)
Both locations are ADA compliant    No registration required
10:30 AM–Noon
593 Columbus Ave. (NE corner of 88th)
 
Note new time: 6:45–7:45 PM
150 West 83rd St. (Columbus–Amsterdam)
 
Both locations are ADA compliant
No registration required

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