Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses (bodhicourses.org) an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation center in Mountain View, California (imsb.org). She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience, and has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally. Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, (Wisdom Publications, 2008). She has extensive experience practicing and teaching mindfulness, loving kindness, concentration, and a broad range of approaches to liberating insight. Since 2006, Shaila has continued her study of jhana and insight under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw, and authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011).
The Buddha teaches that, just as the dawn precedes the rising sun, so developing certain qualities prepares us for fully engaging in our practice of the Noble Eightfold Path. Seven of these qualities are taught in the Magga Samyutta (SN 45:49-90): good friends, and the accomplishments in virtue, desire, self, view, diligence, and careful attention. This series of brief talks, Shaila Catherine introduces each of these qualities and illuminates how their development can support our path to liberation.