Teachers and Dharma Leaders

  • Tenzin Chogkyi
    Tenzin Chogkyi

    Tenzin Chogkyi  (she/her/hers) is a teacher of workshops and programs that bridge the worlds of Buddhist thought, contemplative practice, mental and emotional cultivation, and the latest research in the field of positive psychology. Tenzin first became interested in meditation in the early 1970s and then started practicing Tibetan Buddhism in early 1991 during a year she spent studying in India and Nepal. She completed several long meditation retreats over a six-year period and took monastic ordination with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, practicing as a monastic for nearly 20 years. Since 2006 she has been teaching in Buddhist centers around the world and taught in prisons for 15 years.

    She is also a certified teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training and the Cultivating Emotional Balance program. Tenzin is especially interested in bringing the wisdom of Buddhism into modern culture and into alignment with modern cultural values such as racial and gender justice and environmental awareness. She feels strongly that a genuine and meaningful spiritual path includes not only personal transformation, but social and cultural transformation as well. She loves interfaith collaboration and is a volunteer for the Interfaith Speakers Bureau of the Islamic Networks Group in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. She is featured on a monthly radio show called “Reflections on Buddhism on KSQD 90.7 in the Santa Cruz area. She also finds time to create her Unlocking True Happiness podcast which you can check out at unlockingtruehappiness.org where you will also find her current teaching schedule. She is currently based on traditional Awaswas Ohlone land, in what is now known as Santa Cruz, CA.

  • Dawn Neal
    Dawn Neal
    Guiding Teacher

    Dawn Neal, Guiding Teacher of Insight Santa Cruz, has devoted several years to silent retreat. She has an MA in Theravāda Buddhist studies, and professional experience as an interfaith spiritual care counselor (chaplain). Her practice includes ordaining in Burma, where she was authorized to teach Buddhist practice through the lens of Mettā.
    Dawn has been teaching meditation since 2010. She serves as a teacher at IMC, and as core faculty for the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies Online Chaplaincy Training. She is also in the final stages of Dharma Teacher training with Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella. For her wider teaching activities, please see http://www.liberatingdharma.org/teaching-schedule.

  • Kodo Conlin
    Kodo Conlin
    Visiting Teacher

    Kodo Conlin practices in both the Theravada and Zen traditions, ordaining as a Soto Zen priest in 2015. A participant in the 2021-2025 IMC Dharma Teacher Training, Kodo has extensive experience in Dharma community life, living nine of the last ten years in temples, monasteries, and centers. His passion for meditation practice has led to his spending a year, cumulatively, in silent retreat. Currently serving as co-Managing Director at Insight Retreat Center in Northern California, Kodo also guides Young Urban Zen in San Francisco. Kodo’s teaching emphasizes a joyful, comprehensive freedom of the heart—liberation—available through the Buddhist path.

  • Mei Elliott
    Mei Elliott
    Visiting Teacher

    Mei Elliott is a Dharma teacher in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, who practices at the intersection between Zen and Vipassana. Mei began training as a Zen monk at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 2014, and has spent eight years living at Zen temples and monasteries. During this time she served as the director of San Francisco Zen Center and the guiding instructor for Young Urban Zen. Mei was authorized to teach by James Baraz and is currently a participant in Insight Meditation Center’s Dharma Teacher Training. She now resides at Insight Retreat Center where she serves as co-managing director.


In Center & Online

Other Locations

ΞMeditation Hall


Jun 14 2024


Pacific Time
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm



Young Insight – Fridays

Insight Santa Cruz is delighted to offer a spring series for people aged 17-35! The group will meet on Fridays, 12-1pm at ISC, April 12-June 14. The hour will include a short, lightly guided, meditation (~20 minutes), short introduction of a relevant Dharma topic, and group conversation. There will be plenty of time for participants to connect with each other.

One of 4 teachers will be present to facilitate this group each week: Tenzin Chogkyi, Kodo Conlin, Mei Elliott, or Dawn Neal

Please return to the calendar to join an online session or learn of any schedule updates.

Attend either online or in person at the Meditation Center. If you choose to attend in person, we request that you not use any fragrance. This protects the health of our sangha members who have a sensitivity to fragrance

Online Attendance Instructions:

Online Meeting ID: 892 4530 0654

Dial-in Passcode: 002240

  • The Following Event Data fields are for event planning and hosting:
  • Zoom user hosting the event: Zoom01@insightsantacruz.org