Teachers Council

erintreat2017-200

Erin Treat, Guiding Teacher

Durango, CO

Erin’s love for wild nature, her passionate commitment to serving collective liberation, and decades of working as a somatic bodyworker are all palpable in the way Erin shares the Dharma. Erin is Guiding Teacher at both Vallecitos and the Durango Dharma Center. Erin serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and as core faculty of the sixth Community Dharma Leaders (CDL) Program.  She has also completed Thanissara and Kitissaro’s Dhammapala Training to bring forth an embodied bodhisattva ideal within the lineage of Theravada Buddhism.

Erin was born and raised in the prairie of Fargo, North Dakota to a family of Irish, British, French, German, and Scandanavian heritage. After attending college in New York, she moved to Santa Fe to attend massage school. She felt an unexpected sense of homecoming – an immediate connection to the cultures of the southwest as well as the magic of the red rocks, high desert, and alpine landscape of the Four Corners area. She’s lived in Durango for 25 years.

Erin is committed to fostering communities of belonging. In both her teaching and Dharma leadership, she works to decenter whiteness and heteronormative culture. In her hometown of Durango, she teaches classes that help practitioners understand and deconstruct whiteness in their own minds and acts as a resource for other dharma teachers engaging these issues. In 2018, she was part of a team that developed the groundbreaking “Race and Dharma” course for the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Erin is also committed to practicing and sharing the depth of the dharma, including teachings on emptiness and not-self, and loves mentoring students over time as their practices deepen and mature. Erin is happiest dancing, hiking, cooking, and being in the mountains and rivers she calls home.

Seb 2021

Sebene Selassie

Brooklyn, NY

Sebene Selassie is a teacher & author who guides people to remember and trust their belonging. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Washington DC, she began studying Buddhism 30 years ago as an undergraduate at McGill University where she majored in Comparative Religious Studies. She has an MA from the New School where she focused on race and cultural studies. For over 20 years, she worked with children, youth, and families nationally and internationally for small and large not-for-profit organizations. She teaches classes, workshops and retreats regularly and is one of the most popular teachers on the Ten Percent Happier app. Sebene is a three-time cancer survivor of Stage III and IV breast cancer. Her first book “You Belong: A Call for Connection” is published by HarperOne.

bonnie

Bonnie Duran

Seattle, Washington

Bonnie Duran, PhD met the Dharma in 1982 when she sat a month in Nepal and learned Vipassana in Bodh Gaya India. Since then, she has taken teachings from many western teachers as well as Thai, Burmese, and Tibetan Monastic teachers. Bonnie attended the very first People of Color Mediation Retreat at Vallecitos decades ago and we are proud to have her sit on our Teachers’ Council today. Bonnie is a core-teacher of the IMS Teacher Training Program, the SRMC Dedicated Practitioners Program and is on the SRMC Guiding Teachers Council. Bonnie teaches long and short retreats at IMS, Spirit Rock and in other communities, and is also involved in Native American spiritual practices and traditions.

Bonnie is a Professor in the Schools of Social Work and Public Health at the University of Washington and is also faculty at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute. Her academic work is primarily with Tribal, Urban Indian and International Indigenous communities.

mark

Brian Lesage

Flagstaff, AZ

Brian has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1988 and has taught since 2000. He has studied in the Zen, Theravada, and Tibetan schools and was ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1996.  His training in Vipassana Meditation includes doing extended meditation retreats in Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, and India as well as numerous retreats in the U.S.  He leads retreats and teaches meditation courses nationwide.  Brian also has a private practice in Somatic Experiencing, which is a naturalistic approach to healing trauma.

mark

Mark Coleman

Mill Valley, CA

Mark is a psychotherapist, coach, and mindfulness consultant, has taught mindfulness meditation retreats internationally since 1997. He is a meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and teaches regularly with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg in the vipassana (insight meditation) tradition. Coleman leads wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru and is author of Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path to Self-Discovery. www.awakeinthewild.com