Visiting Teachers

Skilled and Compassionate Guidance Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center guided meditation retreats are led by the most skilled and capable teachers...

Carole Melkonian

Carole Melkonian has been practicing meditation for decades; spending four years in residence at Zen Mountain Monastery and 12 years studying closely with Thich Nhat Hanh, helping start his publishing company, Parallax Press. She has attended many three-month Winter Retreats at monasteries in the Ajahn Chah lineage in the UK and dedicated all of 2015 to practicing meditation at monasteries. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock/IMS Community Dharma Leader Program. She draws inspiration most deeply from the nuns and monks in the Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah, is especially drawn to the teachings of Ajahn Sucitto and former nun Willa Thaniya Reid, and continues to study with both.

Her current work and practice include teaching residential retreats, meditation programs at hospitals, and serving as a mentor for students enrolled in the online Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program led by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. She also works in hospice as an RN and Licensed Acupuncturist where for the past 15+ years, she has accompanied many patients and families at this end-of-life transition.

In her meditation practice, she emphasizes embodiment, metta/loving friendliness, and energy-based body work (qi gong and yoga). To the ebbs and flows of daily life, she directly applies the liberating teachings of the Buddha and encourages bringing faith, curiosity and kindness to meditation practice and life.

Events with Carole Melkonian

Application for Being Blessed by the Land of Vallecitos: Gently Held Self-Retreat
May 25 - June 1, 2023

We invite you to be our guest at Vallecitos this spring for self-retreat time on the land gently held by our beloved visiting teachers, Anne Cushman and Carole Melkonian. Please join us to connect with your practice alongside the depth and magic of the land. We are offering you the simple experience of being on the land, safely using our facilities, receiving three nutritious meals a day along with daily guided sits in the mornings and evenings. Aside from optional morning and evening sits and meals, your time is your own to structure. Enjoy ample time to rest, explore, hike…