From the Teachers

Great powers of goodness are hidden in us, but our habits of thought obstruct and hide them from us.
~ 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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Ilona O'Connor  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Ilona grew up in the Catholic tradition. Her spiritual benefactors include Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton and Daniel Berrigan.  She lived and worked at Haley House, the Boston Catholic Worker, in the 1980s.  This experience of spiritual community inspired a deeper commitment to the path of contemplation and action.  IIona has practiced as a home health nurse in inner city Boston for almost 30 years. She has also taught  Enneagram studies to a variety of organizations beginning in 1995.  Since learning the meditations of Natural Wisdom and Compassion in 2008, she has felt a strong sense of connection to the teachings and joy in the practice.

Ilona teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
Philip Osgood  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Philip Osgood has been a Buddhist practitioner over the last 3 decades and has experience in the Vipassana, Zen and Tibetan traditions. For the last 10 years, he has practiced intensely in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and has studied with John Makransky since he first introduced his teachings on Natural Wisdom and Compassion. Philip is a freelance writer and assisted with the editing of Lama John's book, Awakening Through Love.

Philip teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Brooksville, Maine.
Catherine Rotchford ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Catherine began studying Tibetan Buddhism and practicing meditation with Lama John Makransky, at Boston College in 1995. When teaching, Catherine blends Tibetan Buddhism with scientific research on meditation as well as her experience with other contemplative traditions such as Zen Buddhism, Vipassana, and the Vedic traditions. Catherine is inspired to share the practices for innate compassion with both beginners and experienced meditation students, because of their power to deepen the meditation experience by bringing it off the cushion and into life. Through the practices, students access a deeper, more accepting, more present way of loving themselves and others, which has always been within them.

After many years working on Wall St, Catherine now enjoys combining her purpose and passion in finance and Buddhism, by funding local social enterprises. She lives and surfs in the paradise of Encinitas, just north of San Diego, California. She teaches a public class for students there, as well as volunteering her time teaching social workers in local domestic violence service agencies.


Innate Compassion and Wisdom

Sandra Talansky  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Sandra is a practicing psychotherapist in Pollenza, Italy. She has been a contract professor for 8 years at the University of Bologna and University of Macerata, Italy. She has been a practicing buddhist since 2002, having as her teachers Lama Denys Rinpoche, Adzom Gyalse Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, Lama Surya Das, Lama Willa Miller and Lama John Makransky. She has taken the initiations of Ngondro, Phowa, Shitro, the Sadhanas of Green Tara and Chenresig, and practices regularly the Meditation of Natural Wisdom and Compassion as taught by Lama John. She is "full of gratitude to the Awakened Ones, my teachers and heart friends for their on-going guidance and love."

Sandra teaches NWC Meditation in Pollenza, Italy.
Jane Vecchio
Jane Vecchio, LMHC, is a licensed psychotherapist and professor of psychology at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA. After a decade of exploring a variety of Buddhist teachings and practices, a Fulbright-Hays summer educational trip to India and Nepal led her on the path to finding the NWC practices and her heart teacher Lama John Makransky in 2008. In 2011 she attended the Buddhist Studies Summer Program at Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal, and finds great joy in continuing to learn and grow as a Buddhist practitioner.

Jane teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in Northampton, MA and Putney, VT.
Leah Weiss Ekstrom, LCSW, PhD

Leah is a contemplative scholar and writer specializing in the application of meditation in secular contexts. She leads courses on compassionate leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is Principal Teacher and Trainer for Stanford’s Compassion Cultivation Program, founded by HH the Dalai Lama. She also leads Compassion Education and Scholarship at HopeLab, an Omidyar Group research and development nonprofit focused on resilience. Her current book distills evidence-based approaches to Mindfulness, self-compassion, and compassion meditation along with complementary, easily integrated exercises that can be readily applied in work-place contexts.
Dr. Weiss teaches in a variety of settings, including Stanford Business School, Harvard-affiliated hospitals, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Bing Institute, Young President’s Organization, the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley, Wisdom 2.0, Esalen Institute, Omega Institute, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and at the Department of Veterans Affairs specializing in running groups with veterans with post-traumatic stress.
Leah received her B.A. from Stanford University, her M.A. degree in clinical social work from Boston College, and her Ph.D. in Buddhist studies and education from Boston College. Concurrent with her graduate work, she completed the traditional Tibetan Buddhist teacher-training curriculum in the context of four silent, cloistered 100-day meditation retreats, one 6-month retreat, and dozens of weeklong retreats. She lives in Palo Alto with her husband and three children.
Andria L. Whited ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Andria was introduced to Lama John and natural wisdom and compassion meditation at her first Dzogchen retreat in 2003. In 2006 Andria completed Lama John's Vajrayana retreat. Lama John's accessibility and expert pith instructions quickly established him as her teacher. Andria works at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) for the Institutional Review Board and teaches a research class to graduate students at Columbia School of Social Work. She corresponds with inmates enrolled in the Lojong Course through Project Clear Light, founded by Terry Conrad, regularly volunteers at her son’s school, and sponsors a nun at Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery founded by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. She lives in the Bronx with her husband, son, dog, and several tetras.

Andria teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in New York City at NYSPI and Union Theological Seminary on some First and Third Sundays of each month.
Eric Zeeb  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Eric Zeeb has had a meditation practice since 1999 and has been a student of John Makransky’s since 2006. The meditation of Natural Wisdom and Compassion has been his primary access point to the Dharma and it continues to be the foundation of his practice. He loves how this profound practice transcends differing worldviews and he enjoys sharing it from either a Buddhist, Christian or secular perspective. Eric lives on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo with his wife and two children where he is a practicing Anesthesiologist.

Eric teaches Innate Compassion and Wisdom Meditation in San Luis Obispo, California.
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