Teaching Community Transitions

by Metta Programs’ Teachers Council

These are rich days for Metta’s teaching community. We are growing and changing, and we have multiple transitions to acknowledge and celebrate.

It is with great joy that we announce the matriculation of three Insight Dialogue teachers to the role of Full Teacher. After engaging in a discernment process with the Teachers Council, there is unanimous recognition that Bhikkhu Sukhacitto, Bart Van Melik, and Janet Surrey are able and willing to embody the role of Full Teacher. This transition reflects a level of maturity and facility in offering Insight Dialogue practice within our community and the world. We are grateful for their diligent and generous engagement with Metta over the years and celebrate their capacity and willingness to offer relational dhamma with a depth and range that will benefit all.

Since he began his teacher training with Metta in 2010, Bhikkhu Sukhacitto has become a prolific teacher of Insight Dialogue and Dharma Contemplation worldwide. He has taught or co-taught over 30 retreats and workshops throughout the United States and Europe, and even in Thailand and Israel.

Left to right: Bhikkhu Sukhacitto, Bart van Melik, and Janet Surrey.

Left to right: Bhikkhu Sukhacitto, Bart van Melik, and Janet Surrey.

While engaged in the teacher training process, Bart van Melik has nurtured the development of Insight Dialogue communities of practice through offerings in Metta’s online programs and in his local community. He offers practice to at least 17 different groups in New York, including the New York Insight Meditation Center and has taught long Insight Dialogue Retreats in Holland.

Janet Surrey has explored Relational Dhamma as a meditation teacher and in her professional role as a clinical psychologist. She has taught as a faculty member of Metta’s Relational Insight Meditation Program, offering Insight Dialogue to mental health professionals. Janet has facilitated a long-term practice group in the Boston area and has co-taught multiple retreats and the Introduction to Online Insight Dialogue.

In addition, Yowon Choi of Switzerland, and Jill Shepard, and Elizabeth Faria, both of Australia, are transitioning from their guest roles to full participation in Metta Programs’ teacher training practice community. We are happy to join them in their committed engagement in our community and in teaching relational dhamma.

Sharon 2012Finally, with tremendous gratitude, we are celebrating Sharon Beckman-Brindley. During the past few years Sharon has been transitioning from leadership in Metta Programs and the Teachers Council, to retirement from her various active roles. Although she will continue to teach Insight Dialogue, she will no longer engage as a program leader and advising teacher. Over the last decade she has played a vital role in forming our teachers community, helping to develop our programs, and directing the Relational Insight Meditation Program. Although we will miss her skillful engagement and wise leadership in our community, we know we will continue to receive countless benefits from her many years of contributions and we rejoice in ongoing spiritual friendship.

For a more complete biography on an individual teacher you can click on their name above, or visit the website via this link for a list of all Metta teachers: http://metta.org/about-us/teachers-bios/.