Erin Treat, Guiding Teacher
Erin’s love for wild nature, her passionate commitment to serving collective liberation, and decades of working as a bodyworker are all palpable in her Dharma. Erin is Guiding Teacher at both Vallecitos and the Durango Dharma Center, and is a Core Teacher at Spirit Rock. She served as core faculty of the sixth Community Dharma Leaders (CDL) Program, and is a graduate of Thanissara and Kitissaro’s Dhammapala Training, designed 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 and British heritage. When she first came to the San Juan Mountains, 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 26 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.
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.
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.
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
El Cerrito, CA
Victoria Cary has been practicing Insight Meditation and studying the Dharma since 2006. In 2017 She completed Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader program and went on to become a fully empowered Dharma Teacher. In 2016 she co-founded the San Francisco People of Color Insight Sangha and continues as one of the core teachers. She is a San Francisco Bay Area Native. She left her workplace of 20 years in 2017 to deepen into the Dharma. Since then she has spent time in and out of intensive silent meditation practice, including a 3 month retreat at IMS, 6 week & 3 month retreats at Panditarama Monastery (in Lumbini, Nepal, birthplace of the Buddha) and a month long retreat at Spirit Rock. Victoria is particularly interested in the integration of the Mindfulness in everyday life. Victoria is (among other things) a bi-racial (black identified), queer, cis-gender woman, nature lover, and vegetarian.
Elvina Charley (Diné)
Elvina Charley, Ed.S. is Diné (Navajo) school psychologist practitioner and integrates mindfulness as a part of serving children and youth. Charley has been practicing mindfulness since 2013, introduced to her by Bonnie Duran, Ph.D. as a way to heal from historical trauma. She found parallels between her Diné philosophy of life – Sa’ah naaghái bik’eh hózhóón and Buddhism. Charley continues to cultivate her practice through people of color retreat programs through the Insight Meditation Society and Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center. Charley received training through Mindful Schools to bring back mindfulness to reservation schools.