Meet Our Teachers

IMCC's teachers are revered for their depth of practice, breadth of understanding, and compassionate hearts. Keenly attuned to our participants, they consistently deliver invaluable teachings reflecting their unique perspective and personal style. They also continue as students themselves, dedicated to ongoing study and dharma practice and to deepening their understanding and embodiment of the Buddha's teachings.

Teacher consultations are available for meditation students interested in receiving one-on-one assistance with their spiritual practice and developing a more compassionate and wise perspective on their life and relationships. The consultation provides a forum to discuss current practical and ethical issues and also may include helping students find meditation techniques that suit them individually. Use the Contact Us from to send a message to a teacher.

Our teachers adhere to a code of ethics reflecting their belief that as dharma teachers they become stewards of the trust students place in them. Read the code of ethics to learn more about their commitment to personal integrity and clear teacher-student boundaries.

Their training has been at respected programs such as: Spirit Rock Meditation Center and its Community Dharma Leaders Program, the Meditation Teacher Training Institute, and the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program.


IMCC Teachers

Sharon Beckman-Brindley, a clinical psychologist, is an IMCC co-founder and a current IMCC teacher.  Her offerings blend deep inquiry into the Dhamma with practical insights from modern western psychology.  She is also a senior teacher of the relational meditation practice of Insight Dialogue. (www.metta.org) Sharon enjoys developing programs for mental health professionals and she writes a blog (sharonbb.org) whose aim is to integrate western psychological understandings with the wisdom teachings of Buddhist psychology. She is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif. Sharon is a stepmother, and a grandmother and she lives with her husband in Charlottesville. 


Pat Coffey began his meditation practice over 40 years ago and has taught meditation since 1996. He studied with numerous Asian and Western teachers in the Theravada, Tibetan, and Zen traditions. Pat was selected and trained as a meditation teacher in the joint teacher training program of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center under the tutelage of Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. He is a founder of IMCC and the Blue Ridge Prison Project, and co-founder of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute. Currently Pat has partnered with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield in establishing The Awareness Training Institute.

Down-to-earth, real-world, practical dharma is the hallmark of his teaching. The father of two children, owner of several businesses, and holder of several patents, he draws on his varied and rich life experience to articulate the dharma. 


Jeffrey Fracher, PhD, has been meditating since 1972 and practicing Insight Meditation since 1994. Of the many blessings in his life, he says, the gift of the Buddha Dharma ranks highest for the positive impact it has had in all other aspects of his life. Jeff’s teaching style is a synthesis of modern psychological theory with the ancient wisdom of the Buddha's teachings. He is retired from a career as a clinical and forensic psychologist. He is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute. Jeff serves as the president of IMCC's Board of Directors. 



Teresa Miller, MEd, a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leaders Program, uses a background in experiential facilitation, life coaching and a love of nature in her teaching, retreats, workshops and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses at UVA - all aimed at easing suffering, cultivating resilience, and allowing life to be met with kindness, wisdom, and joy. 




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David Silver, MD, a retired psychiatrist, has meditated for 25 years, is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute, and is trained in MBCT and MBSR. David’s teaching interests include introducing others to mindfulness and meditation and helping individuals use these practices to live more skillfully and with less suffering in the face of difficult emotions such as anxiety and depression.




Susan Carol Stone, PhD, has been engaged in Buddhist meditation for more than 30 years, 3 of them in monasteries. She offers teachings focusing with kindness and humor on awakening through the forms of life into formless awareness. A graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leaders Program and ordained as a Zen priest, Susan also teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of Virginia Mindfulness Center. She has taught mindfulness in middle school and prisons. She is a Reiki master and author of multiple books, including The Sati Trilogy, Buddhist historical fiction, available on Amazon. 


Jeanne van Gemert, MFA, LMBT, LPC came to meditation 30 years ago through art; she co-founded McGuffey Art Center and taught art at PVCC.  She is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leader Program and studied Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Jeanne was on staff as a psychotherapist (incorporating meditation, body-oriented and expressive modalities) and taught MBSR at Duke Integrative Medicine for 16 years.  Jeanne co-founded and served as a guiding teacher for Triangle Insight Meditation Community in Durham, NC until she moved back to Charlottesville in May, 2018.  Jeanne enjoys teaching the integration of Buddhism into our everyday thoughts, emotions and interactions so that we can see how the extraordinary and the wise is hidden in the ordinary.


Affiliated Teachers

Heather Karp is a devoted Insight Meditation practitioner and seeker. After many years of training in Raja Yoga, she encountered Vipassana in 1992 through the teachings of Shinzen Young with whom she still studies, even as she has had the good fortune to encounter and learn from many contemporary teachers in the Theravadan tradition. She enjoys looking for the universal in the world's mystical traditions and incorporating present day research from neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology with the 2500 year old findings of the historical Buddha in the quest to train our minds and open our naturally good, kind and compassionate hearts. 

Heather grew up in apartheid South Africa, where she came to understand suffering and social injustice at an early age. She has a professional background in Health Promotion Education and Counseling and basks in the sweetness of being a Grandmother. Heather is a long time member of the Mindful Meditation teaching team at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. She is a graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute under the tutelage of Tara Brach, Pat Coffey, Jonathan Foust and Hugh Byrne.  


Kristina Weaver, PhD, discovered Vipassana meditation in 2003 and began teaching in 2012. Kristina is particularly interested in how meditation practice can support people in developing sustainable and committed work for social justice. A long time community organizer, Kristina helped found Community Roots Coop, a homeschooling collective with a mission to provide a safe and affirming learning community for kids of color. She has facilitated a mindfulness class for the children at Community Roots since 2015. A graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute, Kristina teaches occasionally at IMCC and looks forward to more service as her young daughter gets older. Prior to moving to Charlottesville, Kristina earned degrees at Yale, Cambridge, and Glasgow universities, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar. She now works as a mediator and researcher with the Institute for Engagement and Negotiation at the University of Virginia.


Mindfulness Instructors

Julie Convisser, Laura DeVault, Philip Dupont, Barbara Maille, Fred Maus, and Philip Schrodt
Our mindfulness instructors lead weekly, mid-day sittings at Common Ground Healing Arts and assist in teaching introductory mindfulness classes in the IMCC community.

Visiting Teachers

Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Tara Brach, Leigh Brasington, Ven. Pannavati, Bhante Gunaratana, Ajahn Thanasanti, Rick Hanson, Ruth King, Kevin Griffin, Hugh Byrne, George Mumford, Kay and Philip Davidson, Chas DiCapua, Kate Lila Wheeler, Jeanne van Gemert, Charmi Neely, Susan Bauer-Wu, Allie Rudolph, Robert Hodge, Laura Good, Helen Knight Farrar, Caverly Morgan.


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