As a child growing up in a Christian home, Jim Bedard was quickly labelled a “doubting Thomas.” He questioned everything. In his mid-twenties, his spiritual angst led him to the experiential practice of meditation: Christian meditation, Transcendental Meditation (TM), and then Buddhist meditation.
In 1980, Jim began practicing Zen with Roshi Kapleau of the Rochester Zen Center. Jim practised with Roshi Kapleau and his dharma heirs for the next 20 years. After completing his formal training in Zen, Jim spent several years practising with senior Vipassana teachers in the Theravada Buddhist tradition.
Jim has been leading retreats and offering private instruction for over 20 years. Today, Jim offers a balanced, direct approach to practices that point directly to the heart of the Buddha’s teachings.
Randall Baker began practising Zen meditation in 1977 as a student of Roshi Philip Kapleau. His Zen training included 10 years on staff at the Rochester Zen Center.
After practising Zen for 20 years, Randall took up the practice of Vipassana. He has since worked with a number of well-known Western Vipassana teachers.
Today, Randall offers a clear and direct approach to the meditation practices of mindfulness and goodwill (metta).
Community Dharma Leader
Chris Freypons has been interested in spiritual practice for decades. For the past 20 years he has been attending meditation retreats, meditating regularly, and steadily integrating mindfulness practice into his daily life. Prior to his retirement, Chris spent many years in social work and community service where he spent countless hours engaged with others in the struggles and strengths of being human.
Chris has played an active role as a volunteer with SIMT since its inception, managing numerous retreats and serving on the board of directors. In 2018, Jim asked Chris to begin training as a Community Dharma Leader.