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Our Teacher for the 2020 Retreat

 Winnie Nazarko



     Winnie Nazarko first contacted the Dharma at a 1981 weekend retreat taught by Stephen and Ondrea Levine. While the retreat wasn’t what she expected, she did recognize something of great value, which had the qualities of transparency of being, equanimity, and absence of fear.

     This was the beginning of a period of intensive dharma search and practice, bringing her into connection with many outstanding teachers of mindfulness meditation. Among these have been Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Steve Armstrong, Kamala Masters, and Jack Kornfield. From their diversity of teaching styles, she came to appreciate the very individual ways the Dharma is expressed through the prism of specific personalities and life experience. While the truth is universal, the expression of that truth is personal and uses the language of direct experience.

     Winnie’s own orientation to meditation practice is rooted in a background in human services work and the desire to relieve human suffering. After years of work with issues of violence and hunger, it became apparent that the largest single impediment to human progress is the level of development of the average human mind. In 1998, she was asked to teach by Joseph Goldstein. She does so to help people open their full potential, in the interest of their own happiness and well-being and for the benefit of others whom their lives affect.

     Winnie is a core teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts where she teaches residential meditation retreats from one day to six weeks in length. She is also the board chair of Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, which puts on residential and on-line programs combining study, meditation practice, and community.