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).
Margo McLoughlin has been a student of Theravada Buddhism since 1986. She served on staff at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and completed her Community Dharma Leader training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School. Margo has been translating, adapting, and performing stories from the Buddhist tradition for a number of years.
For more, please visit Margo’s website.
Community Dharma Leader
Chris has been interested in spiritual practice for decades. He has been meditating regularly, attending meditation retreats, and steadily integrating mindfulness practice into his daily life for over 20 years. 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 2021, Chris completed his training as a Community Dharma Leader. He continues to serve our community by giving Dharma talks, leading non-residential retreats, and offering guidance.
Community Dharma Leader
During his childhood Eric often wondered about the purpose of life and why there was so much suffering in the world. He also knew he wanted to be a doctor and practiced cardiology for almost 30 years.
After years of deep spiritual yearning. Eric began practicing in the Zen tradition, where he stayed for 27 years, He found his training in Zen to be beneficial and transformative. Eric retired early to allow more time for spiritual practice and attending retreats. He is also a sanctioned Tai Chi teacher with many years of experience.
After completing formal training in Zen his attention turned to the Early Teachings of the Buddha, (Theravada). Eric has learned Pali and has attended multiple retreats with well-respected Western Vipassana teachers.
Eric is delighted and grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Community Dharma Leader at SIMT.