Board of Directors
Santa Aloi has practiced in the Vipassana tradition for over 25 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, lately, Bikkhu Analayo. She has been authorized by Adrianne Ross and Phillip Moffitt to lead sitting groups and to teach 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.
Vice-President; Chair, Fundraising Committee
Laura attended a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course in 2000 and soon after began practicing in the Theravadan tradition under the guidance of Joanne Broatch and Adrianne Ross. She lives on Bowen Island where she co-leads a weekly meditation group and attends as many residential and non-residential retreats as she can. She began to volunteer with the BCIMS Board in 2019.
Jason Leslie has been an avid meditator since 2004. He began practicing in the Theravada tradition in 2011 and recently completed the Spirit Rock Dedicated Practitioners Program. He regularly sits retreats and attended the 3-month retreat at the Insight Meditation Society in 2017. Formerly a lawyer, Jason is now pursuing a PhD in law, focusing on the nature of property and economic justice in the Canadian housing market.
Elise has been meditating regularly since 2020. She found her way to BCIMS through a set of classes the organization offers on Tuesday evenings. Teacher Adrianne Ross made a strong impact on her, and the classes provided her with a supportive community during the pandemic. Elise feels fortunate to call the Okanagan home - the unceded territory of the Syilx People of the Okanagan Nation. For her day job, Elise is a CPA working in Financial Reporting. She is appreciative of the opportunity to use her education and skills to contribute to the BCIMS Board.
Chair, Retreat Committee
Michelle has been taking refuge in the Buddha, dharma and our wonderful sangha for 15 years. She lives in North Vancouver. Michelle recently retired, and enjoys spending time in Cochise Stronghold, Arizona.
Chair, Community Programming Committee
Rachel Lewis completed retreat teacher training at IMS in 2021, which included direct mentorship by Joseph Goldstein, Kamala Masters, Rick Hanson, and other senior Insight teachers. She has spent over 500 nights on silent retreat since 2003, including two 3-month retreats. She has taught at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women and in Vancouver and area since 2011, as well as via her alter egos Buddhist Hulk and Bhante Mixalot. Rachel’s day job at VCH is only barely related to her physics PhD. Her interest in bringing music into meditation practice led her to develop a songbook of Buddhist music for choirs. She also maintains BCIMS' Facebook page.
Chair, Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee
Juno is a creative generalist committed to liberation for all beings, residing on the unceded, ancestral, and stolen lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations of the Coast Salish Peoples. 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 brought them back to mindfulness and Buddhism. Their practices have touched on multiple traditions and approaches to Buddhism, 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.
Editor, BCIMS Newsletter
In spring 2017, about a year after finishing the Dedicated Practitioners' Program (DPP5), I joined the BCIMS Board, taking on the role of Newsletter Editor. I live in Gibsons, on the Sunshine Coast, enjoying the slower pace and connection to the wild beauty of earth and sea. A few years back my partner and I lived in a village in Sri Lanka, volunteering with Sarvodaya, a Buddhist organization (we found out about it through reading Joanna Macy). I'm still reading Joanna Macy and others engaged in activism rooted in spirituality.