BCIMS aims to be a meeting place for anyone interested in learning more about the liberating teachings of the Buddha, in furthering their meditation practice and in living their realization of the dharma.
Laura Quilici (she/her)
Laura’s interest in meditation began in her late twenties after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was searching for tools to manage the physical and emotional symptoms of the disease. She is a second generation immigrant settler whose ancestors are from Southern and Central Italy and currently resides at Nexwlélexm (Bowen Island), located on traditional Indigenous territory. Mentored by Bonnie Duran, Laura is a participant in the Dedicated Practitioner Program 7 at Spirit Rock, where she continues to deepen her practice and understanding of the Dharma. She has a particular interest in trauma-informed and embodied practices of liberation for self and all beings. In addition to leading a weekly meditation group, she has been volunteering on the Board at BCIMS since 2019.
Juno Kim (he/they)
Juno is a creative generalist committed to liberation for all beings. Juno first began meditating in their childhood, but let go of that practice in their 20s. After multiple burnouts marked by deep suffering, their healing journey connected them to Buddhism. Their practices have touched on multiple traditions, spending the bulk of their time with BCIMS, Radical Dharma, and InsightLA. Juno's intention is to explore and cultivate the conditions for all beings to connect to deep embodiment by investigating our collective traumas, shaping and conditioning.
Michelle Garvock (she/her)
Michelle has been taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for 20 years. She lives, with her partner, in North Vancouver. Michelle is very happily retired and enjoys walks with her partner and friends, golfing, sitting retreats and volunteering for BCIMS. She spends time with her 100 year-old mother and lots of BC and Manitoba family.
Michelle completed the Dedicated Practitioner Program and co-leads an online North Van sitting group.
Santa Aloi (she/her)
Santa has practiced in the Vipassana tradition for over 30 years. She has sat many long retreats and has completed both the Dedicated Practioners Program (2010) and the Advanced Practitioners Program (2017) at Spirit Rock. She has been greatly influenced by the teachings of Ajahn Sumedho, with her main Vipassana teachers being Guy Armstrong, Phillip Moffitt, Adrianne Ross and Venerable Analayo. She has also studied with teachers in the Tibetan tradition, particularly Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Authorized by Adrianne Ross and Phillip Moffitt she leads sitting groups and teaches classes. A former Professor of Dance at SFU, choreographer and dancer, she taught movement and improvisation from a place of mindfulness of body, mind and heart. And her aspiration has been to live and to share practices attuning the heart to the reality of the dharma for the liberation of all beings.
Jim Quail (he/him)
Jim lives on Gambier Island and in East Vancouver. He is a semi-retired lawyer. In his legal career he worked in BC’s legal aid system for several years. Later, he represented consumers in telecommunication and utility regulation hearings, and conducted social justice litigation. He acts for workers and trade unions in labour law and regulatory matters. He has been practicing meditation since 2014. His practice has a central place in his relationship with himself and the world. He plays the fiddle and is an avid gardener. He has four grandchildren. He and his partner are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2023. He has long been active in community politics.
Rachel Lewis (she/her)
Rachel Lewis began practicing insight meditation in 2003, while completing her physics PhD at Yale. Since 2011, she has taught dharma and meditation classes and retreats in British Columbia and beyond. She completed the IMS/IRC 4-year teacher training in 2021, and is a guiding teacher of the British Columbia Insight Meditation Society. Her dharma teaching interests include the power of music, humour, and creativity to increase our capacity for learning, as well as the way that practice supports and is supported by social justice work.
Ruth Boogert (she/they)
Ruth began her professional life in private sector finance, but soon escaped overseas to volunteer on a nature reserve. On returning home a career re-think was called for, and after spells running a willow coffin weaving social enterprise and setting up a community café, she combined her love of spreadsheets and social justice and now supports local non-profits in the areas of finance and governance.
In her spare time, she enjoys yoga as well as running, walking or sitting amongst the trees. She has a particular interest in mindful movement practices.
Ruth was introduced to meditation in 2014 but drifted away until a chance invitation to attend a retreat on Salt Spring Island in 2018 gave her a new perspective. She has spent many years volunteering with animal welfare and environmental protection organisations and hopes to benefit all beings through practice and service with BCIMS.
Jess Lee (she/her)
Jess is a second generation Chinese immigrant whose ancestors are from Hong Kong and Guangzhou. She currently lives on the unceded and traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She began her meditation journey in 2015 when she participated in MBSR and MBCT courses. Since then, she has been joyfully deepening her learning through offerings from BCIMS, Spirit Rock, IMS, and other spaces, including AAPI and BIPOC communities in which she feels profound kinship and safety. She is grateful for the wisdom of teachers including Tuere Sala, Jeanne Corrigal, Nikki Mirghafori, Oren Jay Sofer, Dawn Mauricio, and many more. Jess is committed to deepening an intersectional feminist and anti-racist lens, and to ongoing learning and embodiment of decolonizing practices that are rooted in curiosity, kindness, deep listening, and community.
Lee Anne Smith (she/her)
Lee Anne has been a member of BCIMS since 2001 when she started meditating in the Thervadan tradition with teachers Joanne Broatch and Adrianne Ross. Since then she has annually attended as many BCIMS retreats as she can, along with retreats elsewhere, ranging from 3 - 14 days. She has volunteered as a BCIMS board member, newsletter editor and White Awareness Study Group facilitator. Her service to the Sangha provides her with a beautiful ground for Sati and Brahmavihara practice for lay life. As well as her daily home practice she sits weekly with Ayya Nimmala's group on Sunday mornings and once a month with Cascadia Insight Dialog group. Lee Anne came to the role of BCIMS Volunteer Coordinator after her work as Volunteer Coordinator for Richmond Public Library and loves supporting sangha members in their desire to support BCIMS.