Community Meditation Teachers & Peer leaders 

 A Community Meditation Teacher has completed a mentoring program with our Guiding Teachers.

Joan Robicheau cropped
Joan Robicheau
Joan has been an ESL teacher for over 30 years and a meditation practitioner for the past 15 years. She has been involved in the TNI prison meditation programme since it began, and has been a regular teacher in that programme for the past two years. She also teaches at Yoga on the Park, substituting for Daryl Lynn Ross, and leads a weekly mindfulness meditation session in a Montreal-area business.

Peer Group Leaders

A Peer Group Leader is an experienced practitioner. Some are now receiving one-on-one mentoring with a Guiding Teacher.

Joan Robicheau cropped
Pierre-Vincent Breault-Ruel
Pierre-Vincent (he, they) has been practising and teaching meditation and yoga for about a dozen years. He studied primarily at the Insight Meditation Society and at the Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts, with many senior teachers like Sharon Salzberg and Bhikkhu Analayo, and in Montreal with Pascal Auclair and Daryl Lynn Ross. He pursued a mentorship with Arinna Weisman and was invited to participate in Spirit Rock's Community Dharma Leaders program in 2019. Pierre-Vincent also has a Master's in Social Work and is now in medical school at University of Sherbrooke. He's interested in holistic healing approaches. His dharma practice and teachings are infused with wisdom, compassion and playfulness, and his social and environmental activism. For more information: www.lesirop.org
Tatiana Castellanos
Tatiana Castellanos
Tatiana (she/they) is a Colombian born and Canada-rooted artist and mindfulness/yoga educator. She believes creative expression is a key to healing and self awareness. It is through the path of self exploration and spirituality that Tatiana found meditation and yoga in 2008, later focusing on studying and practicing Insight Meditation circa 2013. Since then, she has made art, meditation and healing her life path, using them as a tool for trauma healing, community care and transformative justice. For several years Tatiana has worked facilitating workshops for children and adults in different settings: community centers, hospitals, seniors homes among others, integrating nature and indigenous spiritual practices in her teachings. This experience motivated her to work towards the goal of decolonizing holistic pathways in making this medley of practices available to all, especially BIPOC people in underserved communities. Tatiana has a Mindfulness training, is currently pursuing a training in the Insight Buddhist tradition and attends residential retreats periodically.
Naazneen Diwan
Naazneen Diwan
Naazneen Diwan is a poet, social justice educator, and healing arts and meditation facilitator. With a PhD in Gender Studies from UCLA, her greatest accomplishments to date will always include learning how to eat a mango on a train without a knife and her Arabic 101 skit Freshman year of college about the moral consequences of cheating.
Joan Robicheau cropped
Gilberte Fleischmann
Stemming from her experience as a caregiver with her cousin, who suffered from OCD, as well as with her father, who died from Alzheimer’s disease, Gilberte Fleischmann first gave talks at the Alzheimer’s Association of Montreal, then facilitated support groups for caregivers. At the same time, she began meditating in a deeper and deeper way, and after a 6-week retreat in the US, she offered to facilitate support groups with meditation for the Alzheimer’s Association of Montreal, which they accepted. He also gave talks on stress and caregivers with meditation. Since September 2020, Gilberte, Joan Robicheau, Benoît Ouimet and Jill Davey lead online weekly meditation groups for caregivers in French and in English.
 
Gail Horner
Gail Horner
Gail Horner first came to meditation in the late 80's after reading Joan Borysenko's Minding the Body, Mending the Heart. This inspired her to begin a meditation practice which she developed over the next several years with the help of the writings of many of the teachers in the Theravada tradition. In 2009 she found True North Insight, following which she completed 4 years of intensive studies with Daryl Lynn Ross and Matthew Flickstein. During those studies and annually since, week long and weekend retreats have become an essential part of her practice. She has taught Introduction to Meditation and started a community Sangha in 2013 which is ongoing. As a result of engaging in the Satipatthana Intensive at TNI in 2010 she has joined with 4 other participants in ongoing book studies of the Dharma which continue to this day. Sangha has become a true refuge for Gail and she is forever grateful for her teachers and dear friends.
Gail Horner
K Laspruce
K first came to formal meditation practice at a retreat in 2006, and has been practicing and learning about embodiment and present moment awareness ever since. They studied with Daryl Lynn Ross in the Living the Heart of Wisdom program in 2017-2018, and co-led TNI’s francophone White Awake group with Pascal Auclair in 2021. They have offered meditation in a queer group based in Bulbancha/New Orleans since 2018, and are a participant in TNI’s Community Meditation Teacher Mentorship program.
Michelle Nicholls
Michelle Nicholls
is a social worker-therapist living in Toronto. She began exploring secular mindfulness meditation in 2005, as a pathway to spirituality, and to find steadiness in her work-life balance. For the past seven years, Michelle has attended the POC retreats at IMS, which continues to support her in deepening her own practice. Michelle holds Level A and B certificates in Applied Mindfulness Meditation from U of T. Her therapeutic work involves radical acceptance, and compassionate mindfulness-based approaches to counselling individuals and groups.She is truly grateful for the teachings of DaRa Williams, Gina Sharpe, Larry Yang, JoAnna Harper and Joseph Goldstein. Michelle hopes to carry on their vision of inclusion and diversity in the Sangha, through acts of service that will support and sustain the meditation practices for marginalized community members.
Joan Robicheau cropped
Benoit Ouimet
Benoit’s first experience with vipassana meditation was in the early 2000’s at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, thanks to a friend, Pascal Auclair. A seed was sown. Since then, he has returned many times to study with inspiring teachers who have immersed themselves in this practice for decades. Over time, many long silent retreats have allowed him to deepen his understanding of these very precious Buddhist teachings.
Joan Robicheau cropped
Coral Short
Coral Short is a white non binary human who was born in 1973. They have practiced in the tradition of Insight/ Theravada for 15 years. They have meditated over 100 consecutive days in silent retreat at Insight Meditation Society, as well as many Goenka Vipassana and True North Insight retreats. Coral has completed 4 years of intensive Buddhist studies in a course called Living the Heart of Wisdom with True North Insight. They are currently in teacher training with the TNI Mentorship program in Tiohtià:ke, colonially known as Montréal, Québec. They are offering the first online White Awake course in English at TNI this year. Coral studies both Generative Somatics and Somatic Experiencing and is interested in how this combines with meditation. During the last year of the pandemic they have been offering weekly youtubes on the True North Insight channel. Coral is one of the co-founders of Queer Sangha in Montréal. They have been co-leading queer sanghas for 6 years in Montréal and Berlin. https://www.facebook.com/queersangha