Notable Living Contemporary Teachers

Awaken Teacher

Home Base
Amagansett, New York

Foundation of Teaching

Example of Teaching
“Your real life is happening now, and there is no guarantee for any of us how long that life will be. As we let ourselves live fully in present awareness, it is as though we are experiencing life at last.”

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Catherine Ingram

Catherine Ingram is an international dharma teacher with communities in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Since 1992 she has led Dharma Dialogues, which are public events that focus on directing awareness toward greater wellbeing in an ethical and happy life. Catherine also leads numerous silent retreats each year in conjunction with Dharma Dialogues. She is president of Living Dharma, an educational non-profit organization founded in 1995.

Catherine has been the subject of numerous print, television, and radio interviews and is included in several anthologies about teachers in the west.

A former journalist specializing in issues of consciousness and activism, Catherine Ingram is the author of two books of nonfiction, which are published in numerous languages: In the Footsteps of Gandhi: Conversations with Spiritual/Social Activists (Parallax Press, 1990) andPassionate Presence: Seven Qualities of Awakened Awareness (Penguin Putnam, 2003); and one novel, A Crack in Everything (Diamond Books, 2006). Over a fifteen-year period beginning in 1982, Catherine published approximately 100 articles on issues of consciousness and activism and served on the editorial staffs of New Age Journal, East West Journal, and Yoga Journal. For four years she wrote the Life Advice column for Alternatives Magazine based in Oregon.

For the past thirty five years, Catherine has helped organize and direct institutions dedicated to meditation and self-inquiry and, more recently, human and animal rights. She is a co-founder of Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts (1976). She also co-founded the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) in The Hague, Netherlands (1991) and is a member of the Committee of 100 for Tibet. For six years (1988-1994), Catherine also served as a board director for The Burma Project, dedicated to raising international awareness about the struggle for democracy in Burma. She is currently serving on the board of Global Animal Foundation, which works on behalf of the world’s animals.



  1. “Thoughts are not necessarily a distraction. Nor is the body. Thoughts are arising in this present awareness and dissolving back into it. The silence remains untouched, unstained, immaculate. Thoughts are only a problem if you are preoccupied with them, giving them all your attention, believing in the entity of “me” around which the thoughts swirl. But thoughts in and of themselves are not some kind of enemy. Thoughts can be very useful, functional, and even entertaining. They are allowed in this vast clearing. No problem”
  2. “Many, many years ago I interviewed Desmond Tutu, prior to the end of apartheid, about a year and a half before it ended. And he kept, in the interview, saying, “when we end apartheid,” and I kept thinking, you know, as I was listening to him, “yeah right,” you know, like, “dream on!”; I mean, I didn’t want to rain on his parade or anything, but in my heart of hearts I thought “not in your lifetime.”…And lo and behold, a year and a half later it was over. So it was really a profound lesson about what can happen when the will of people aligns.”
  3. “… there is a field of silent awareness containing all the events of our days.  Although we may sometimes be gripped by emotion or lost in a particular story, there is throughout each of our dramas a deeper reality of silent presence.  This is a silence of the heart rather than an imposed cessation of speech or activity.  It is a silence that is, we could say, the background of all activity.  We don’t need to find it because it is not lost.  If this is so, why is there so much searching and craving?  Seeking is compelling because it produces a way for the mind to have a job.”
  4. “Real love doesn’t seek to acquire. It gives itself away. Its very nature is that of surrender, service, and generosity.”
  5. “In the face of anger, the best response is a burst of tenderness.”
  6. “If you don’t need to prove that you are right or that someone else’s behavior should be punished, you can better see your way to achieving harmony in any given situation.”
  7. “The most consistent characteristic of awakened teachers and people I have met is a childlike nature. They laugh, cry, twinkle, and joke, all with a spontaneity born of freedom. Their faces are fluid and reflect a timeless sweetness, even into old age.”