Who We Are

Community Dharma Leaders

Dharma Zephyr’s Community Dharma Leaders serve as organizers, teachers, and lay leaders for the community. Christy Tews and Kathy Schwerin, the original co-founders of DZIMC, completed the second Community Dharma Leaders training program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California in 2003. They currently co-lead the Carson City Monday 7 pm sitting group, and serve on Dharma Zephyr’s Board of Directors.

Christy Tews
Christy Tews, while traveling in Asia, discovered that her lifelong path had always been the Buddhist path. She has been meditating since 1985, relishing the straightforward way the Dharma addresses the difficulties of our daily lives. She loves the humor, wisdom and transcendence possible on the path and finds joy in sharing that with others. She was trained by Spirit Rock Meditation Center as a Community Dharma Leader and is also a licensed minister, an avid gardener and has traveled extensively in India, Nepal, Tibet and China. She lives in Carson City in a blended household with her husband, and her brother and his wife.
Kathy Schwerin
Kathy Schwerin began her Buddhist practice on an extended trip to Asia in 1986-87.  Never tiring of Buddha images and wanting to have the friendly ease embodied by the Buddhists she met, she was further inspired by a man who was learning meditation so that he could be a wise old man. Returning home, she read Being Peace, by Thich Nhat Hanh, which showed her the path of inner peace is not separate from peace in the world.  She went on to be a co-founder and Community Dharma Leader of Dharma Zephyr Insight Meditation Community, as well as a psychotherapist in private practice (currently not accepting new clients). She is a licensed minister in Nevada and blogs at AMindfulBreath.com .

Lay Leaders

As Dharma Zephyr matures as an organization, more members are stepping into leadership roles. In recognition, the Board of Directors has named Anne Macquarie and Denise Barclay as Lay Leaders. Lay Leaders are practitioners who have a committed daily meditation and/or mindfulness practice, retreat experience, are grounded in the Theravadan Buddhist teachings, participate broadly in the DZ community, and have taken on leadership and/or teaching roles. They embody personal and interpersonal maturity, ethical integrity, and the realization and application of dharma principles. Anne has co-facilitated Beginners Mind Sangha in Carson City as well as the Earth Care Group. She has taught meditation, sits on the DZIMC Board of Directors, and writes for DZ’s website and blog. Denise teaches day-long and residential retreats and meditation, as well as serving on the Board of Directors, currently as Treasurer.

Anne Mcquarie
Anne Macquarie was walking up the Khumbu Valley in Nepal in 1982 on her way to climb a beautiful peak named Ama Dablam, when Gyeltsen Khunde, the expedition’s cook, pointed up to the barren hillside above: My uncle lives in a cave up there meditating, he said. After growing up reading the poetry of Gary Snyder, that was Anne’s second introduction to Buddhism. They both stuck with her. In 1991 she got the opportunity to begin her own Buddhist practice when she discovered–through an announcement in the local paper–Dharma Zephyr Sangha, then meeting in Christy Tews’ house in Washoe Valley. She has attended almost every Monday sitting since then. Anne is committed to a daily practice supplemented by residential retreats. She is interested in early Buddhism, studying the Pali suttas as a member of two sutta study groups.
Denise Barclay
Denise Barclay has been practicing meditation since 1995 when she attended her first day long Vipassana retreat with John Travis. Her asana yoga practice began in 1996 and has continued with a variety of teachers including the completion of teacher trainings with Kim Orenstein and Doug Swenson. Her latest training at Spirit Rock, which combined her two loves of vipassana meditation and hatha yoga, helped to deepen her own practice, which she is now gratefully incorporating into her teaching.

Our Teachers

We are fortunate to be visited regularly by skilled and experienced Buddhist teachers from throughout the country who offer day-long and weekend retreats, residential retreats and workshops.

John Travis
John Travis, senior teacher at Spirit Rock and founder of Mountain Stream Meditation Center in Nevada City, CA, has been our mentoring teacher since 1993. John leads a 5-day residential meditation retreat for us at Lake Tahoe’s Camp Galilee in August (see retreat schedule), as well as offering one or two weekend nonresidential retreats in northern Nevada each year.
Steve Armstrong
 Steve Armstrong has studied the dhamma and practiced insight meditation since 1975. He served for many years at the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts as Executive Director, Board member and senior teacher of the annual three month retreat. As a monk in Burma for 5 years under the guidance of Sayadaw U Pandita he undertook intensive, silent practice of insight and loving-kindness meditations.Steve is a co-founding teacher of the Vipassana Metta Foundation’s dharma sanctuary and hermitage on Maui. He directs the Burma Schools Project, building schools and clinics in Burma and supporting monastics and nuns.
Leigh Brasington
Leigh Brasington has been practicing meditation since 1985 and is the senior American student of the late Ven. Ayya Khema. She confirmed his practice and requested that he begin teaching. Leigh assisted Ven. Ayya Khema starting in 1994, and has been leading retreats on his own since 1997 in both Europe and North America.
Shaila Catherine
Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in northern California. She has authored two books on concentration and insight practices: Focused and Fearless and Wisdom Wide and Deep. Shaila offers weekend nonresidential retreats for Dharma Zephyr and leads a residential retreat for us every other November at Lake Tahoe’s Camp Galilee, in addition to teaching in California and Europe.

Michael Freeman
Michael Freeman (whose root teacher is Bhante Gunaratana, the Sri Lankan monk), runs the Southwest Sangha Center in San Lorenzo, New Mexico, near Silver City. He has taught courses at Barre’s Intensive Studies Program, (a branch of I.M.S.), at Esalen Institute, and at Lama Foundation in New Mexico.
Dori Langevin
Dori Langevin has a MA in creative arts therapy (1977), PsyD in clinical psychology (2001) and is certified in Holotropic Breathwork™ (1988) which together with her meditation practice inform and guides her work with others. She works with groups and individuals using experiential mind-body-spirit approaches for healing and creating ceremonies for life passages including mindfulness, loving-kindness and compassion practices; guided imagery; artwork; ritual; psychodrama; emotional release work; and Holotropic Breathwork™. One special interest is the interface between mindfulness practice, addiction recovery and emotional healing. Dori has been in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction since August 1980. She serves as an Advisory Council Member for Buddhist Recovery Network.
Donald Rothberg
Donald Rothberg is a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life. Donald visits us annually to offer weekend nonresidential retreats.
Amita Schmidt
Amita Schmidt is a meditation teacher who has been leading retreats nationally since 1998. Her training includes over two decades of meditation practice in Buddhism (Vipassana) and numerous three-month, silent retreats. She was the resident teacher at Insight Meditation Society (Massachusetts) from 2000-2006. Amita’s teaching has been deeply impacted by teacher Adyashanti. She currently combines her history of mindfulness practice with the non-dual teachings of inquiry and resting in stillness/true nature.Amita is the author of Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master (BlueBridge, May 2005) and a contributor to Buddha Laughing: A Tricycle Book of Cartoons. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and works as a psychotherapist.
Heather Sunderburg
Heather Sundberg is a visiting teacher at Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center and a resident teacher at Mountain Stream Meditation Center. Heather visits us annually to lead weekend nonresidential retreats.

Marv Treiger

Marv Treiger has been meditating since 1972 and has led meditation retreats and courses at the Bodymind Institute in Los Angeles and Antioch University since 1995. His teaching integrates the Tibetan and Theravada Buddhist traditions. He offers a range of clearly presented practical methods for enriching meditation practice. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Cathy. Marv will lead a 5-day residential retreat at Lake Tahoe’s Camp Galilee in the summer of 2014. He also offers a weekend nonresidential retreat once every other year.
Santikaro
Santikaro Upasaka,  is founder and lead teacher of Liberation Park Buddhist Community and Meditation Center in Wisconsin. Santikaro visits northern Nevada annually to offer a weekend non-residential retreat.

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