Shaila Catherine

About Shaila Catherine

Shaila Catherine is the founder and principal teacher of both Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation center in Silicon Valley, and Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom. She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has taught since 1996 in the USA, India, Israel, England, Europe, and New Zealand. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, (Wisdom Publications, 2008). She has extensive experience with the practice of metta, including seven months exploring metta as the meditation subject in retreats. Since 2006, Shaila had continued her study of jhana and insight with the guidance of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw of Burma. She authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011) to help make this traditional approach to meditative training accessible to western practitioners.

Help local foster kids with our school supplies drive!

Each summer IMSB helps needy children get a good start in their school year by filling backpacks with useful school supplies. You may bring materials (or a check/cash made payable to IMSB) to any IMSB event in July and give to either Shaila or Sharon (teachers), Farzaneh (project coordinator), or Ed (treasurer). Deadline for collections is Tuesday [...]

2016-07-17T08:27:20-07:00July 17th, 2016|News|

An in-depth podcast interview with Shaila was just published.

Wisdom Publications just published an in-depth interview with Shaila Catherine that emphasizes the early period of her practice, and covers a wide range of topics. She discusses her experiences living in India with Poonjaji, and the significance of the deep absorption states of jhana. You will find the interview at:

2016-05-02T10:59:17-07:00May 2nd, 2016|News|

Mindfulness Class on Tuesday Mornings

IMSB’s first daytime Introduction to Mindfulness class is coming to Saratoga Tuesday mornings February 23 through March 22, 2016, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Registration is required. See IMSB's event calendar for details and registration information.

2016-01-03T23:26:48-08:00January 3rd, 2016|News|

Voices for a Contemplative Life heard in Saratoga

On September 24th, Shaila Catherine, principle teacher of IMSB, and Erik Swanson, pastor of Westhope Presbyterian Church, spoke about living a contemplative life in Silicon Valley. They guided the meditation together that included mindfulness and Lectio Divina, and then led an inspiring discussion. Study, reflection, and silence are practices common to both traditions. Shaila and [...]

2015-10-02T19:03:54-07:00October 2nd, 2015|News|

Mid-America Dharma hosts Shaila in Kansas

Shaila Catherine just returned from an annual retreat in Kansas City, co-lead with Philip Jones of Mid-America Dharma. Deep teachings were given on insight meditation and the commitment to awakening to a full house of meditators. People came from all levels of experience — some were nervously attending their first retreat and other participants welcomed [...]

2015-09-16T07:58:52-07:00September 16th, 2015|News|

Windmills, Rembrandt, Bicycles, and Meditation in the Netherlands

In August 2015 Shaila taught three retreats in Holland — all were filled to capacity with eager meditators. The meditation community is strong in the Netherlands, and Shaila's teachings were well received. Before and after the retreats she enjoyed visiting museums, bicycling on the dunes, and seeing windmills, castles, bridges, and dikes. She has been invited [...]

2015-09-16T07:49:50-07:00September 16th, 2015|News|

American author and Lama, Surya Das visited IMSB in September

Early this September 2015, IMSB was delighted to host Lama Surya Das for two wonderful speaker events.  Tuesday September 1st, Surya Das spoke about his latest book Make Me One with Everything: Buddhist Meditations to Awaken from the Illusion of Separation and was available for book signing. On Thursday in Saratoga he spoke as part of our series [...]

2015-09-16T07:29:29-07:00September 16th, 2015|News|

A day of poetry and meditation in Saratoga

On August 18 IMSB hosted the second day-long session held at Westhope Presbyterian Church in Saratoga. Entitled Presence with Sense Doors and Poetry Readings, the day’s activities were guided by Jennifer Dungan and Drew Oman. Activities The day began at 9:30 with a sitting meditation followed by exploring mindfulness of the sense of touch through [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:49-08:00August 22nd, 2015|News|

Three Poisons – Three Antidotes

Special guest teacher Bob Stahl recently offered teachings on the Three Poisons and the Three Antidotes at our Thursday night meditation group in Saratoga. It was an inspiring teaching! Here is a very brief synopsis for those who missed it: Three Poisons: There is no fire hotter than the fire of greed; no ice colder than the [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:49-08:00August 7th, 2015|News|

Teamwork Works

Thanks to a committed group of volunteer Event Managers, our Thursday night meditation group that meets in Saratoga is off to a great start. Working together Shaila Catherine and Sharon Allen have developed a curriculum composed of series topics that will span more than two years. Teachings are offered by Shaila, Sharon, and a wide array of guest [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:49-08:00July 26th, 2015|News|

400$ for school supplies for needy youth

IMSB collected $400 in donations in July to provide school supplies for needy youth in San Jose. The donations we're given through a school backpack project that is coordinated each summer by Santa Maria Urban Ministry (SMUM). Appreciations for the generosity and sharing that we experience in this community!

2017-02-16T09:34:49-08:00July 21st, 2015|News|

Venerable U Jagara was our resident guest teacher this spring

IMSB enjoyed a month long opportunity to host Venerable U Jagara as our resident guest teacher. He offered teachings at our Tuesday and Thursday sitting groups, and co-lead day long and residential retreats with Shaila Catherine. What a treat it was to have such an experienced monastic in our midst this spring—an inspiration for us [...]

2015-07-14T10:17:31-07:00July 14th, 2015|News|

Celebrating the Buddha on Wesak

The full moon in the month of May is the time we honor the Buddha's birth and enlightenment. Shaila led IMSB's Wesak celebration with a beautiful and inspiring flower ceremony. Happy Wesak wishes! May all beings awaken!  

2015-05-26T23:43:49-07:00May 26th, 2015|News|

Pitching in at Westhope

On Sunday May 17,  five IMSB members — Sharon, Shaila, Mike, Quanah, and Rebecca — joined together with the pastor and parishioners at Westhope Presbyterian Church for a community pot luck lunch and work session. It was an all around enjoyable event with lots of good spirit, joyful conversations, and productive cleaning, scrubbing, painting, and gardening projects. [...]

2015-05-18T21:26:23-07:00May 18th, 2015|News|

IMSB members attend Satipatthana Retreat

Several IMSB members joined Shaila for a ten-day experienced practitioner retreat at Spirit Rock. The retreat was led by Venerable Analayo, Phillip Moffitt, and Shaila Catherine and followed Venerable Analayo's comparative studies of the Satipatthana sutta. The teachings presented a pragmatic approach to mindfulness that seamlessly integrates concentration, mindfulness, and insight. We were happy and proud to see our [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:49-08:00April 16th, 2015|News|
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