Insight Network Teacher Group*


Bobbi Allan has practiced meditation since 1974 and studied with leading US Buddhist scholar, social activist and deep ecologist, Joanna Macy. Bobbi co-leads Stillness in Action retreats, which emphasise engaged Buddhist practice. These retreats combine a focus on tranquility, insight and compassion with dynamic processes for reconnection and positive engagement with the world. She also leads “Natural Mind” retreats with her husband, John Allan, using Jason Siff’s ‘Recollective Awareness’ approach to meditation. Bobbi has trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (Jon Kabat-Zinn). She teaches mindfulness to school students, trains teachers to use mindfulness practices for their own wellbeing, and lead the practices in their classrooms with students of all ages.

Subhana Barzaghi is both a Zen Roshi and a teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition. She is a resident teacher of the Sydney Zen Centre and founding teacher of both the Bluegum Sangha in Sydney and the Kuan Yin Meditation Centre in Lismore. Subhana's teaching emphasises liberation here and now through the practice of calm abiding and inquiry. She leads Zen and Insight Meditation retreats in the Northern Rivers, Sydney, Melbourne and in New Zealand.


Michael Dash works as a counsellor and educator and has been a Buddhist meditation practitioner for over 20 years. He has studied in Australia, Thailand and Burma, where he practised satipatthana vipassana in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition. Michael has taught courses and retreats in Melbourne and Sydney, including courses at the Buddhist Library, Wat Buddha Dhamma and the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre. He teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), has a private counselling practice in Sydney and works as a bereavement counsellor at Sacred Heart and Calvary Hospices.


Ellen Davison has practiced in both the Zen and Vipassana traditions for over 30 years with teachers in Japan, India, North America, Hawaii and Australia. Ellen is a Zen teacher in the Diamond Sangha Lineage and teaches both Zen and Insight/Vipassana retreats in Australia. She is a guiding teacher at the Kuan Yin Meditation Centre in Lismore, NSW, and at Bay Insight in Byron Bay. Ellen is a Psychologist and has worked primarily as a counsellor in tertiary education.


Victor von der Heyde has been practising meditation for over thirty years. He studied with a wide range of dharma teachers in India, Nepal, the US, UK and Australia and has spent over two years in silent retreats. He has taken dharma teaching roles since the mid 1990s and has interests in engaged Buddhist practice and helping people understand the different types of meditation so that they're in a position to choose what works for them. Victor worked for many years as a counsellor.


Winton Higgins began meditating and practising the dharma in 1987. He took up teaching meditation in 1995. In 2003, he became a regular teacher at Bluegum Sangha. He also teaches at Golden Wattle and Beaches sanghas, as well as for Sydney Insight Meditators, which he helped found. Winton’s meditation teaching has developed towards non-formulaic insight practice based on the Buddha’s original teachings, while his dharmic orientation inclines towards a secular Buddhism. He fosters interest in the original teachings and their affinity with modern streams of thought and progressive social commitments. A writer and a social-science academic, he and his partner Lena have 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren. His website is here, and much of his dharma writing can be found here


Jess Huon has been engaged in meditative and embodiment practices since she was seventeen years old. She has trained in traditional Buddhist monastic settings and also within intensive periods of solitary forest practice. This training has taken place in Asia, Australia, Spain, and the USA. Jess holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a post grad in the therapeutic arts practice. She is a published author (The Dark Wet, Giramondo Publishing) and when based in Melbourne, writes and co-directs for rollercoaster, a theatre company comprising actors with intellectual disabilities. Whilst deeply informed by but not bound to tradition, her style is grounded in contemporary life. Jess teaches retreats in both India and Australia. She currently teaches regularly with the Melbourne Insight Group.


Malcolm Huxter began following the teachings of the Buddha in the mid 1970's and has mostly practised within the Theravada traditions. He ordained in Thailand and practised intensively as a monk for 2 years. After disrobing in 1979 he continued his commitment to meditation through daily practice, study with lay and ordained teachers and regular attendance at intensive retreats within the Mahasi tradition. He has also practised within Tibetan Mahayana and Japanese Zen traditions. Malcolm is a clinical psychologist and works in both public mental health and private practice. He has been sharing his understanding about the path of awakening in the form of individual psychotherapy, courses, retreats, and therapist supervision and workshops since 1991.


Will James Will attended his first Insight Meditation Retreat in the late 1970s with Christopher Titmuss, this meeting kindled a deep interest in meditation and a great love for the Dharma teachings and practices. Will is the guiding teacher at the Tallowwood Sangha in Bellingen N.S.W, he regularly leads retreats in Bellingen, Byron Bay and annually in Bali. Will has taught at the Dharma Gatherings in Australia and India, taught the Australian Dharma Facilitators Program and teaches Dharma Study and Inquiry.Will's teaching lays great emphasis on seeing into the ‘dependent arising' and empty nature of all phenomena. This seeing makes possible a deep understanding that frees the mind and opens the heart.


Patrick Kearney is an independent dharma teacher in the lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw. He has trained extensively in the Mahasi approach to insight meditation, where his principal teachers were Panditarama Sayadaw and John Hale. He has also trained in the Diamond Sangha lineage of Zen Buddhism, his principal teachers being Robert Aitken Roshi and Paul Maloney Roshi. Patrick has a particular interest in the original teachings of the Buddha, before Theravada or Mahayana were thought of. He studies Pali, the language of the earliest surviving Indian recension of the Buddha's teachings, and seeks to bring his understanding of the early texts to the practice of dharma in the contemporary world.


Anna Markey was introduced to Buddhist practice in India in 1983. She took teachings from a variety of Tibetan teachers and attended retreats with insight teacher, Christopher Titmuss, the same year. She has practised insight meditation ever since. Anna also practised for a number of years with a Zen group in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, and in the Burmese Mahasi method of practice with Patrick Kearney. Since 2007 she has been studying with Jason Siff. She now uses his Recollective Awareness approach in her retreats and groups and she runs an annual retreat with Jason in the Adelaide Hills. Anna leads two ongoing Dharma groups in South Australia and she supports 6 local Recollective Awareness groups. Anna is interested in the early teachings of the Buddha and in using a gentle, open approach to meditation to clarify, enrich and refine our experience in order to bring about change and liberation in our daily lives.


NeLi Martin practised meditation in the UK for years, predominantly at Gaia House, before starting to teach in the Western Insight tradition in 2005. She was mentored in the early period by Catherine McGee and draws on the secular Buddhist perspective developed by Stephen and Martine Batchelor. Her teaching focuses on cultivating awareness in body, mind and heart; exploring embodied freedom. Neli has practising yoga since 1992 and has taught yoga since 1998. She also teaches other movement meditation via dance and leads silent forest walks (yatras). Neli is a registered psychologist with a private practice in Brisbane and Noosa.


Radha Nicholson teaches the cultivation of wisdom and compassion through insight. Her teachings focus on inquiry and the non-dual nature of reality. Radha first met Christopher Titmuss in India in 1975 where she participated in extended retreats. She is a guiding teacher for Bay Insight in Byron Bay. Radha teaches retreats in Australia and regularly teaches with Christopher in Sarnath, India, at the annual Dharma Gathering. She is a Registered Psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society with a private practice in Bangalow, in Northern NSW. Radha is the mother of four children and also has grandchildren.


Carol Perry leads retreats, weeklong bush yatras (mindfulness walks) & dharma workshops. She has 30 years of Insight meditation experience and is a mentor for the web-based Living Dharma program. Carol is the co-founder of Dharmananda a sustainable community in northern NSW. She has lived in community for 35 years. Her commitment to community led to her work as a dispute mediator and teacher of mindful communication workshops. In addition Carol has a mindfulness- based psychotherapy (Hakomi) practice in Lismore NSW & Melbourne.


Jenny Taylor has been a dharma practitioner for 30 years, studying with a range of teachers, initially in the Thai forest tradition and the Mahasi tradition. She began teaching 10 years ago and participates in teacher training retreats with Jason Siff. She lives in Alice Springs, works as a visual artist and teaches art in remote communities. She has a particular interest in the affinity between unstructured meditative experience and the practice of creative arts.

  Lizzie Turnbull has been engaged in Buddhist practice since 1985, beginning in the Tibetan tradition and later in Zen and Insight. The approach Lizzie takes to teaching meditation is open and non-sectarian, encouraging embodied awareness, a compassionate and loving heart and creative inquiry into the possibilities of freedom. She has long been interested in the integration of the Buddha Dharma with the social sciences and psychotherapy. She is a somatic psychotherapist in private practice in Byron Shire, Northern NSW.

Sexton Bourke was one of the teachers on this list before his death in May 2011. An obituary for Sexton is here and there is a 6 minute video of Sexton talking to other teachers about meditation.

*There are many good dharma teachers. Teachers in this group have been part of a long-standing dharma community and have, as part of their practice, a commitment to ethical conduct.


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