Meet Our Teachers
IMCC's teachers are revered for their depth of practice, breadth of understanding and compassionate hearts. Keenly attuned to our participants, they consistently deliver invaluable teachings reflecting their unique perspective and personal style. They also continue as students themselves, dedicated to ongoing study and dharma practice and to deepening their understanding and embodiment of the Buddha's teachings.
Teacher consultations are available for meditation students interested in receiving one-on-one assistance with their spiritual practice and develop a more compassionate and wise perspective on their life and relationships. The consultation provides a forum to discuss current practical and ethical issues and also may include helping students find meditation techniques that suit them individually.
Our teachers adhere to a code of ethics reflecting their belief that as dharma teachers, they become stewards of the trust students place in them. Read the code of ethics to learn more about their commitment to personal integrity and clear teacher-student boundaries.
Their training has included Spirit Rock Meditation Center and its Community Dharma Leaders Program, the Meditation Teacher Training Institute, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
Sharon Beckman-Brindley has over 25 years of meditation experience. A clinical psychologist, she has for many years taught seminars and retreats that are specially designed for psychotherapists. She is also a senior meditation teacher with the Metta Foundation, with whom she teaches worldwide the relational meditation practice of Insight Dialogue. (see www.metta.org) She is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif.
Pat Coffey, MEd, began his meditation practice over 30 years ago and has taught meditation since 1996. He studied with numerous Asian and Western teachers in the Theravada, Tibetan, and Zen traditions. Pat is founder of IMCC, co-founder of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute, and co-founder of the Blue Ridge Prison Project. Pat was selected and trained as a meditation teacher in the joint teacher training program of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center under the tutelage of Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. Down-to-earth, real-world, practical dharma is the hallmark of his teaching. The father of two children, owner of several businesses, and holder of several patents, he draws on his varied and rich life experience to articulate the dharma.
Jackie Erskine, MSW, has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1992. Her major teacher has been Tara Brach and she has studied with many well-recognized Western Buddhist teachers. She has been teaching Insight Meditation classes and retreats for over 10 years and completed Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leaders Program in 2003. Jackie is a retired social worker, with extensive experience as a psychotherapist for couples, families, and groups.
Helen Knight Farrar, LCSW, has practiced meditation since 2002, including Vipassana, and Insight Dialogue/Interpersonal Presence based on the work of Gregory Kramer. Helen’s current practice interests are those of the heart, impermanence, and mindful presence in relationship. Her work as a community health psychotherapist and hospice consultant is highly influenced by her practice. In 2007, she completed the certificate program for teaching “Being with Dying” at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe with Roshi Joan Halifax. Helen looks forward creatively offering the benefits of these practices to IMCC and in her home community of Lexington, Va. She is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute.
Jeffrey Fracher, PhD,
has been meditating since 1972 and practicing Insight Meditation since 1994. Of the many blessings in his life, he says, the gift of the Buddha Dharma ranks highest for the positive impact it has had in all other aspects of his life. Jeff’s teaching style is a synthesis of modern psychological theory with the ancient wisdom of the Buddha's teachings. He teaches Insight Meditation at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women through the Blue Ridge Prison Project. He is retired from a 42-year career as a clinical and forensic psychologist. He is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute. Jeff serves as the president of IMCC's Board of Directors. Contact Jeff. : firstname.lastname@example.org
is a devoted I
nsight meditation practitioner who has studied with Shinzen Young since 1992. Heather grew up in apartheid South Africa, where she came to understand suffering and social injustices at an early age. She has a professional background in health promotion education and counseling. Heather is part of the mindfulness teaching team at the Fluvanna Women’s Correctional Center. She believes mindfulness can make the hard things of life a little easier, and the good things more delicious. She is a graduate of the the Meditation Teacher Training Institute. Contact: email@example.com
Teresa Miller, MEd,
has studied with Western Buddhist teachers and is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leaders Program. She offers teachings so that life’s challenges can be met with some kindness, wisdom, and joy. Using a background in experiential facilitation, life coaching, and love of nature, Teresa teaches in the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women and at UVA (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charmi Neely, a psychotherapist in Staunton, was introduced to the dharma through the Buddhist-infused tales that her Aunt Charmi Mori read to her as a child. Visiting the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, NY, in the 1980s, Charmi deepened her practice through readings and teachings across traditions. In 2004 she began teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, having completed its Teacher Development Intensive. In 2008 she co-founded the Mindfulness Meditation Group of Staunton. Drawing on secular and classical traditions, Charmi’s teachings are about “letting go” and “lightening up,” opening to the experiencing self as wakeful, loving presence. She is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute and, since 2013, a student of Leigh Brasington and the jhanas.
Amy Predmore discovered yoga and meditation in 1998 after graduating from law school and realizing she did not want to practice law. Since then, she has augmented her daily practices with such things as weeks-long silent meditation retreats, immersion in nature through outdoor activities and a wilderness fast, and Holotropic Breathwork retreats. These experiences have led her to pursue a life of balance, with space to enjoy quiet time, to connect meaningfully with others, and to engage with her community. In addition to teaching yoga and meditation, she is a math tutor for students in middle and high schools. She is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute.
Holly Balow Robedeau, PsyD,
has practiced Insight meditation since the 1980s. Insight meditation informs her life both personally and professionally: as a mother and friend, as an adjunct assistant professor in psychology (part time), within her private practice as a psychologist, and in her role as an organizational consultant providing wellness and productivity training to both for-profits and nonprofits. Holly has a master’s in business and a doctorate in clinical psychology. She holds a deep respect for the benefits of meditation not only on the cushion, but off the cushion, as translated to everyday life, within ourselves, with our intimate others, at the workplace, and with nature. She is a 2013 graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute. Contact: email@example.com.
Allie Rudolph, LCSW, has studied and practiced meditation for over 25 years. She also served on the faculty of the University of Virginia Health System for over 25 years, where she co-founded the UVA Mindfulness Center and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. She applies principles of mindfulness to teaching, consulting, and a psychotherapy practice and is currently involved in several meditation-based research projects. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leaders Program.
David Silver, MD, has meditated for 25 years, is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute, and is trained in MBCT and MBSR. He practices psychiatry in Charlottesville, working with individuals experiencing severe emotional distress. David’s teaching interests include introducing others to mindfulness and meditation and helping individuals use these practices to live more skillfully and with less suffering in the face of difficult emotions such as anxiety and depression.
Susan Carol Stone, PhD,
has been engaged in Buddhist meditation for more than 25 years, 3 of them in monasteries. She offers teachings focusing with gentleness and kindness on awakening through the forms of life into formless awareness. A graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leaders Program and ordained as a Zen lay priest, Susan also teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of Virginia Mindfulness Center. She has taught mindfulness in middle school and in men’s and women's prisons. She is a Reiki master and author of multiple books, including Buddhist fiction.
Kristina Weaver, PhD, discovered Vipassana meditation in 2003 and began teaching in 2012. A writer, geographer, and community organizer, Kristina is passionate about how meditation can support social justice as well as greater happiness at the individual and relational levels. Kristina is a Marshall Scholar and has studied at Yale, Cambridge, and Glasgow universities. But her most important teacher has been her young daughter: a joyful being who extends ample invitations every day to open the heart and dwell in the present. Having traveled the world, Kristina is settling down in Charlottesville. She is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute.