From the Teachers

The best teaching of all is the one that sheds light on our hidden defects.
~ Lama John Makransky

Our Mission

To empower people with profound contemplative practices that support their aspirations to become better people and to make a better world.


Meditation Teachers

Listing of Guiding Teachers

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Terry Conrad This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Since 2004 Terry has sponsored programs with Texas inmates, including meditation, a class on ethics based on the Dalai Lama's book Ethics for the New Millennium, and correspondence courses with incarcerated Buddhists that include a study of the Lojong, a ngondro practice, and the offering of Refuge.

The biggest challenge of Buddhist chaplaincy work in prison is guiding inmates to practice meditation in the crowed and noisy conditions of the prison environment. Terry is a Certified Volunteer Chaplains Assistant CVCA by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, (TDCJ) and sponsors a weekly Buddhist Meditation class on the Mark Stiles Unit in Beaumont, Texas.  He also sponsors a monthly meditation class at the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon, Texas.

Following up on a suggestion made by an inmate on the Stiles Unit, the class “Discovering Ethics” was established in 2008 to study His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s book “Ethics for the New Millennium.” The class is facilitated by inmates who are trained as peer educators for their role in the classroom. The facilitators have written a study guide for the class “Discovering Ethics: A Path to Virtue - A Study Guide for Inmates” using examples of prison culture to promote participation in the discussions of the Key Concepts presented in each chapter. The study guide is adapted from one developed through The Dalai Lama Foundation, who generously donates the textbooks used in the class.
In an effort to promote the replication of the Ethics Class in other prisons, the facilitators have written an Ethics Class Facilitators Training Guide, that includes An Ethical Toolbox, of homework assignments for each chapter,
At the request of the Dalai Lama Foundation, Terry sent a copy of the inmates' Study Guide directly to His Holiness [see transmittal letter]. The guide is currently available on The Dalai Lama Foundation web site;

In an effort to better outreach incarcerated Buddhists that do not have access to dharma based programs due to the lack of Buddhist chaplaincy volunteers, Terry created Project Clear Light under the sponsorship of the Foundation for Active Compassion.  PCL is a 501C3 organization that is a recognized source for Buddhist materials by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. PCL publishes a number of booklets available at no charge to inmates that request them that include: “The Four Nobel Truths,” “The Four Thoughts,” “Refuge,” “A Foundational Practice,” “An Inmates Guide to Buddhist Practice,” and “Lojong: Attitude Transformation in Seven Parts,.” This last booklet is a study guide and commentary for a correspondence course. The course involves "snail mail," at least seven one-on-one exchanges between Terry and the participant. Upon completion of the course, a mala is awarded to each participant. Over 100 inmates have participated in the Lojong course.
Project Clear Light also publishes a quarterly newsletter, “Anguilimala,” produced by members of the Mark Stiles Sacred Heart Sangha, that is mailed out to subscribers within and beyond Texas.

Terry teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Galveston, Texas and in the prison system in Texas.
Cathy Cornell  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Cathy Cornell is a licensed clinical social worker, currently serving as the clinical director of the Canopy Center’s Oasis program which provides treatment and support to children who have been sexually abused and their families in Madison, WI. Cathy  has served on the Board of Directors of Christians for Peace in El Salvador on since 1988.  A longtime Buddhist practitioner, she seeks to integrate contemplative practices into her social activism and into her healing work with others, especially with those who suffer from traumatic experiences. Cathy teaches innate compassion meditation practices to social service providers and social activists to help them prevent vicarious trauma or burnout as a teacher with the Foundation for Active Compassion.

Dawn-Starr Crowther ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Dawn-Starr Crowther practices as a Licensed Acupuncturist, working with people living with chronic pain, severe illnesses, survivors of trauma, and at end of life. She has practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 1996, when she attended her first retreat with Lama Surya Das. Since that time she has attended, and staffed, many silent retreats with both Lama Surya and Lama John, and has also studied with Charles Genoud, Brendan Kennedy, and Lama Palden Drolma. She has lead meditation groups in Portland from 1997 to 2017, and now is excited to partner with Marge Houey in bringing these compassion practices to the Tucson area.

Since 2001, at a retreat shortly after 9/11--when Lama John stressed the necessity of bringing compassion practices forward in the world--the heart-practices of compassion and lovingkindness have been her main practice and refuge. She is also a Certified Teacher of Stanford University's Compassion Cultivation Training course. She is passionate about creating beauty in the world through art, gardening, and cooking, and loves spending time on long walks with her husband, Dave, and Labrador, Katie-Bird. She also leads medical service trips to Fiji and the South Pacific to bring acupuncture to under-served populations.

These compassion practices are radically life changing--they foster a quiet revolution of the heart--which Dawn-Starr is dedicated to manifesting in business and health care. She teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Tucson, Arizona.

Tamara Daly This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tamara Daly has been practicing Lama John Makransky’s Innate Love and Wisdom meditations since 2004, since stepping onto the Buddhist path that same year, having taken Refuge and Bodhisatva vows at the Kalachakra with his holiness the Dalai Lama. She initially took up a serious meditation practice in 1999, after being diagnosed with a stage 3 malignant melanoma. She is a mother to two young adult children, and has been working as a psychiatric nurse for 10 years. She has also been actively involved with social and environmental justice issues, through her local Community Development Corporation.

Tamara teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom meditation in Cambridge, MA and Jamaica Plain, MA.
Al D'Andrea ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Al is a stage director, actor and writer who came to Tibetan Buddhism in the 90's. His teachers have included Lama John Makransky, Brendan Kennedy, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Lama Willa Miller, Anam Thubten and Lama Surya Das. He is currently Artistic Director of Snowlion Reperatory Company in Portland, Maine, whose mission is to inspire and delight Maine audiences of all ages by creating, developing and producing theatrical works of cultural, ethical, and spiritual value in an atmossphere of acceptance, enthusiasm and mindfulness.

Al teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Portland, Maine.
Julie Forsythe  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
For the last ten years I have been studying and practicing with John Makransky as the practices of Natural Awareness and Love/Compassion have emerged. During this time I've participated in many weekend and week long retreats devoted to study and practice of NWC, but none of that is really as interesting as the profound effect that doing all of this has had on my daily life. I reap immeasurable personal rewards, but find that more profoundly the communities around me benefit deeply as well. What a surprise to see the love and compassion mirrored back in my classroom, in department meetings and just in the hall way!

Julie teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Putney, Vermont.
Jona Genova ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Jona has practiced meditations from Tibetan traditions with Lama John Makransky since 1996 and is the founder of Samadhi for Peace ( Jona started meditating in yoga classes with her parents before the age of ten and began a formal study of Buddhism and meditation with Lama John while attending Boston College. Jona has received teachings from several Tibetan lamas including Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Phakchok Rinpoche, Lama Surya Das, Lama Willa Miller, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Her approach is personalized and compassionate, offering Innate Compassion and Wisdom classes and workshops throughout Southern California as well as a weekly live-streamed meditation class, Community Meditation.

Jona's weekly classes:
Mondays: Ra Yoga, Costa Mesa7:30-8:30pm
Tuesdays: Equinox, Newport Beach* 6:30-7:15pm
Wednesdays: Online - "Community Meditation"6-6:30pm PT
Join by going to my website: or by searching GoogleHangouts for "Community Meditation with Jona Genova".
Fridays: Equinox, Newport Beach* 10:30-11:15am
*These classes happen at a members only health club.
Jona teaches meditation in Newport Beach, CA
David Gilner  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
David Gilner is Director of Libraries for the four campus library system of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He has been practicing Natural Wisdom and Compassion meditations under the guidance of Lama John Makransky since 2003.

David teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Aaron Goldstein  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Aaron Goldstein
Aaron Goldstein is a certified Feldenkrais Awareness Thru Movement teacher, a licensed massage therapist,  and a meditation teacher.  His focus includes bringing ease and care into the way we move, live, and interact with the world.

Aaron teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Patricia Hagge ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Patricia Hagge (Patty) started meditating when she took a Transcendental Meditation class a couple of years after the Beatles returned from India, but she didn’t maintain a meditation practice until she found Jane Burdick’s meditation group in Portland, Maine many years later. There she found her home with Jane, Lama John Makransky and Lama Willa Miller. She has learned much about love and compassion from her three children and two grandsons and as the teaching artist in residence at the non-profit writing center, The Telling Room. There Patty works with students, aged 8 to 18, from Maine and from many foreign countries to find and write their stories and share them with others to build community.

Patty teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Portland, ME.
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