ABOUT US

Insight San Diego is a community of practitioners in the Buddhist Vipassana tradition. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all-volunteer organization with a Board of Directors as central governing body. The work of the Board is supported by a number of committees and a generous group of volunteers. The Board and all committees follow a core value that the Dharma guides us in our decisions.

Insight San Diego hosts a number of meditation and study groups. These groups are peer-led, by which we mean they are facilitated and organized by laypersons. The facilitator and group members collaboratively select study topics and work on other aspects of the group’s activities. We are appreciative of the many experienced Dharma teachers that have, and continue to, lead our retreats, classes, and other more formal offerings.


On the deepest level, problems such as war and starvation are not solved by economics and politics alone. Their source is prejudice and fear in the human heart — and their solution also lies in the human heart.
— Joseph Goldstein

History

Founded in October of 2014, Insight San Diego is committed to carrying on a long-standing San Diego tradition of deep practice and study. Before the establishment of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California, official Insight Meditation sponsored retreats were held annually in Yucca Valley at what today is known as the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. Since Spirit Rock Meditation Center was established in 1990 several members of the San Diego Insight Meditation practitioner community have participated in both the Dedicated Practitioner Program and the Community Dharma Leader Program held at Spirit Rock.

Through many years of dedication, practice, and training a network of Insight Meditation study groups and sanghas have developed throughout San Diego County.

The formation of the San Diego Buddhist Study Series, a non-residential weekend seminars led by respected dharma teachers from across the country, is yet another accomplishment of the Insight Meditation practitioner community in San Diego.


Mission Statement

We provide opportunities for meditation and learning the dharma and welcome new and experienced students from diverse backgrounds. Our intention is to cultivate mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion for the benefit of all beings.

Vision Statement

Insight San Diego seeks a quiet, but directed, path of growth; an organic trajectory in line with its resources of people and funding and our commitment to manifesting the dharma in all we do.

Insight San Diego is a flourishing physical and virtual center offering a path to freedom from suffering and the causes of suffering for all beings seeking liberation through direct experience.

Who We Serve

We serve the greater San Diego community of Insight Meditation practitioners and open our doors to all races, genders, sexual preferences, ages, disabilities, as well as people of different faiths or practices.

Values and Guiding Principles

  • We strive to provide an open, safe, and welcoming environment;
  • We aspire to practice and embody loving kindness for all beings and the environment in which we all live;
  • We hold community as a priority in all of our decisions;
  • We honor the richness of differences in our community – differences in people, and in opinions and styles;
  • We attempt to embody a balance of wisdom and compassion in all our activities, and we listen to the wisdom of community members;
  • We hold the belief that all beings have the potential for awakening. We respect each individual’s path;
  • We value the teaching of the Buddha and use his teachings to guide us in our decisions;
  • We rely upon each other as peers to cooperate and lead us; and
  • We value generosity – generous giving, generous listening, generous kindness, and generous sharing.

LEADERSHIP

Board of Directors

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Rich Bradway

Rich has been engaged in contemplative practice since 1981 and is grateful for the many teachers who have shared their experience and knowledge with him over the years. His practice during the past decade has been dedicated primarily to the Insight Meditation tradition. Rich is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with extensive experience in treating co-occurring substance use and mental health challenges both as a non-profit executive and clinician. He is currently an adjunct professor at San Diego State University and maintains a private psychotherapy practice.
 

Irene Folk

Irene is retired from over 25 years as a legal secretary and lives in San Diego, California. She started practicing Vipassana meditation to deal with chronic pain and now considers Buddhism a full-time practice. She has sat many long retreats and has a serious daily meditation practice. She feels passionate about helping create and maintain a community where the dharma and Vipassana meditation can thrive, and delights in seeing the personal transformation of individuals through this practice. She is grateful and proud to be one of the founding members of Insight San Diego.

Irene is and has been active in 12-step recovery for over 30 years and is one of the founding members of a Buddhist 12-step recovery group at the Dharma Bums Temple in San Diego. In addition, she goes into Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility twice monthly with the Prison Meditation Project and teaches Qigong to the inmates. She has two daughters, four grandchildren and two beloved dogs — her spiritual advisors.

 

Hal Mirsky

Hal is a software engineer and small business owner by profession. He has been involved in the San Diego community through support to The Child’s Primary School, the San Diego Archaeological Center and more recently, Insight San Diego. He first practiced meditation as a child to reduce anxiety associated with asthma attacks. Over the recent six years, he has become increasingly interested in mindfulness through Mindfulness Self Compassion classes, reading and meditation. He is grateful for the many teachers he has encountered and feeling more alive and deeply connected with family, friends and the world stemming from his practice.

 
 

Cory Bartlett

Cory has been practicing Insight meditation since 2008 where he found his way at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Society in Boston. His biotech career has moved him to many great places (Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco) and fortunately each one had an Insight group he enjoyed sitting with while there. He has done multiple 5-7 day retreats at Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society, as well many short 1-2 day residential and non-residential retreats at InsightLA before finding Insight San Diego. In his free time, Cory enjoys traveling to see live music and cooking with his wife Yvonne.
 
 

Dennis Cutler

can be reached at dennis@insightsd.org

 
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Stuart Steinfeld

Stuart’s dharma study and meditation practice began in 2012 and he is excited to continue learning and practicing alongside the Insight San Diego community. In addition to his interest in Buddhism, he is a husband, father, surfer, yoga practitioner, and volunteer restoration naturalist with the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. Stuart is currently enjoying semi-retirement from a professional life that began in electrical engineering, moved to bond trading and financial management, and then, finally, into accounting. He still takes on occasional bookkeeping work and follows the financial markets closely.