Alan Lewis has been engaging in spiritual inquiry and meditation practice since the 1970s. He spent 17 years as a Theravadin Buddhist monk and disrobed in December 2000. He now runs a computer business and also a website www.zenmoments.org with his partner Vanessa.
Colin Moore became interested in Buddhism whilst writing a dissertation on consciousness for his degree in Psychology at UCNW, Bangor in 1979. In the late 80s he spent four years at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre and in the 90s he became a member of the Sharpham North Buddhist Community. In 1995 he and his wife, Helen, were asked by Stephen and Martine Batchelor to co-manage the newly formed Sharpham College for Buddhist Studies and Contemporary Enquiry which they did for four years. He has a postgraduate teaching and counselling qualification and is trained to teach the Mindfulness in Schools Project curriculum.
Diana St Ruth
Diana St Ruth has been a practising Buddhist since the early 1960s mainly in the Theravada and Zen traditions. She has been a partner of the Buddhist Publishing Group since its inception in 1983, lived in Sharpham North Buddhist Community from 1989 to 1993, and is the editor of Buddhism Now, a paper-based magazine which ran for eighteen years and since 2006 has become web-based. She has written and edited a number of books on Buddhism.
Gavin Kilty spent 14 years in India studying Buddhism with Tibetan teachers. Eight of these years were spent at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics Studies in Dharamsala set up by HH the Dalai Lama, where he completed the major part of the Tibetan monastic curriculum in the medium of the Tibetan language. He now works full time as a Tibetan-to-English translator of Tibetan texts.
Jenny Wilks has practised in various Buddhist traditions since 1988, focusing in recent years on Insight Meditation (vipassana). She also has an MA in Indian religions and has studied Pali, the language of the ancient Buddhist texts. She has assisted on Dharma gatherings in France and India, and has taught at the Barn since 2004 and at Gaia House since 2008. Jenny is a clinical psychologist and has trained in mindfulness-based therapies which she has taught to staff and patients in healthcare settings; she currently works as an MBCT Therapist based at Exeter University.
Ken Streat travelled to India in 1976 and spent the next seven years travelling, meditating, and meeting with spiritual teachers. His background in Vipassana was with SN Goenka and other teachers in the U Ba Khin tradition in both India and Burma. Along with the Buddha he has been inspired by the more contemporary voices of J Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and Ramana Maharshi. Ken came to Devon to be a manager at Gaia house in 1985. He has lived locally since then and was a Gaia House trustee until 2005. Ken is married with two grown up children. He works on the Sharpham estate as a furniture maker.
Kirsten Kratz has practised Buddhist meditation in Asia and the West since 1993. She started teaching in 2006 and since 2008, teaches at Gaia House. One of her particular passions is exploring how wisdom teachings can foster appropriate responses to the challenges of our time; she also teaches retreats with Sanghaseva combining Dharma practice and service in the UK and abroad.
Mahesi Caplan was a Theravadin Buddhist monk for fifteen years and trained in the Thai Forest tradition under Ajahn Sumedho.