The Teachers of PIMC
PIMC is a first generation Dharma center with origins in Burma, Thailand and India. Our practice is based upon the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha and the teachings that have been passed down through the Theravada lineage for 2500 years. Several of our teachers are graduates of a three year Dharma Leader program taught by Robert Beatty designed to deepen practice, and to formally prepare teachers to transmit the core teachings of the Buddha.
Founder, Guiding Teacher
Robert Beatty is a member of the first wave of Theravada Buddhist teachers who brought Mindfulness from Asia in the 1970’s. His life is devoted to helping others discover the profound ways Buddhist practices can transform one’s life, reduce suffering and create happiness. Robert founded the Portland Insight Meditation Community where he is the guiding teacher.
His meditation training began with Goenka in India in 1972. He has studied with many teachers in Burma, India and the US. Robert was empowered to teach the Dharma by Ruth Denison in 1983. He has worked with thousands of students and created a unique synthesis of Buddhist methods of awakening and healing and those of western psychotherapy. He works with individuals and leads retreats in British Columbia, Canada, Europe, Oregon, and Washington.
Robert has a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto, and a Masters in Social Work from Portland State University.
Robert uses humor, movement, music, poetry and drumming to teach meditation for everyday life, including intimate relationships, parenting, work and our relationship to the greater community.
Robert is a husband, father, grandfather, poet, musician, skier, lover of mountains and is fully engaged with life.
Meditation and Mindful Movement Teacher
Jim has studied the Dharma since 1990. Ever since his teenage years he has been grappling with questions like: Who am I? Where did I come from? What am I here for? It is only since practicing in the Portland Insight Meditation Community that he has found the tools to effectively address those fundamental questions. He doesn’t have the answers to his own questions, but his greatest joy is trying to teach so he can learn.
What he teaches reflects the constantly changing nature of his practice while also returning to his foundations in the Four Noble truths: how to understand suffering; how to abandon clinging; how to learn to let go of clinging; how to find the path to freedom and stay on it. If he can inspire others to practice with him, he feels successful.
Most recently he has established mindful movement as the foundation of his practice, deepening his investigation of the body through QiGong and Tai Chi, deepening his exploration of the body as the First of Four Foundations of Mindfulness.
His aging body has become his new teacher, lending a sense of urgency to his own search for liberation, focusing more and more on aging as a spiritual journey. As the sands of his personal time on this planet continues to run out, he draws more and more inspiration from the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Gregory Maloof is a Dharma teacher, a mindfulness-based therapist with a bachelor’s degree in Western philosophy, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master’s degree in Marriage, Couples and Family counseling. Gregory draws inspiration from both Western and Eastern paradigms in his approach to understanding and sharing the Dharma and his teachings are informed by three decades of meditation experience. Gregory has studied in the traditions of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, U Ba Khin and Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw and has also been heavily influenced and inspired by various teachers in the Thai Forest Tradition, particularly Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Gregory’s humorous, compassionate, and practical style supports students to experience significant healing and lasting change.
Douglas Pullin (he/him) has been teaching at PIMC since 2004. He is a lineage holder and authorized to teach in the Insight Meditation tradition of U Ba Kin, Ruth Denison, and Robert Beatty. Douglas graduated from the Spirit Rock sponsored Community Dharma Leader Training with Tara Brach and James Baraz in 2008. Douglas is currently a student of Mathew Flickstein in the Bhante Gunaratana lineage from Sri Lanka. Douglas has a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and master’s in clinical social work. He has over 25 years of non-profit management experience in community mental healthcare. In addition to teaching at PIMC, Douglas offers mindfulness-based psychotherapy and consultation in independent practice. Douglas also works as a consultant in the nonprofit social service field. He enjoys meditation retreats, going for runs in the woods, hiking, and gardening.
Gary Sanders is originally from the Los Angeles area, where he was the founder of SCV Mindfulness and led up to three weekly groups for over 5 years. He was empowered to lead Buddhist meditation and dharma groups at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. He helped, from the ground level to found Refuge Recovery, a Buddhist-based recovery program for all addictions, which has now spread worldwide. During his years in Portland, Gary was asked to join the teaching staff at Portland Insight Meditation Community. Although he moved back to Los Angeles in 2021, Gary continues to provide teachings to the PIMC sangha. He also travels frequently and teaches daylongs and workshops all around North America.
Candle Summers arrived in Portland from Maui, Hawaii in 2013. She has practiced for over 20 years with her root teachers Kamala Masters and Steve Armstrong. She completed Spirit Rock’s four year Dharma Leader program in 2001 and her Theravadan background includes the teachings of Anagarika Munidra, Sayadaws U Pandita and U Tejaniya, Gil Fronsdal, Mark Nunberg, and more. Candle has been offering a monthly insight/metta meditation gathering on Mondays (currently on Zoom) in SE Portland and previously led a women’s group, a Buddhist book club and managed retreats for the Vipassana Metta Foundation on Maui for 12 years.
Trina brings a uniquely heartwarming approach to her teachings of the Dharma. Born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam, she grew up around monastics and spent much of her youth at the local Buddhist temples and retreats. Trina blends the eastern ceremonial and devotional aspects of the Mahayana tradition with the practical, systematic methods of the Theravada tradition. For two decades, she studied under monastic guidance with masters such a Thich Nhat Hanh, Master Shen Yen and influenced by Ajahn Sona and Bhante Guanaratana. She began practicing in the Theravada tradition in 2013.
Trina has received the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training and teaches Mindfulness workshops to underserved communities such as prisons and inner cities, and to business groups and young professionals.
She coaches people in maintaining a consistent ongoing practice and hosts an online meditation group that sits 365 days of the year consisting of regular members from all around the country. Trina is passionate about building mindful communities, and creating environment for people to practice for longer periods of time.
Lead Teacher, Youth Dharma Program
Learn more about Noelle and her work with families here:
Mindful Parenting: https://mindfulparenting.com/
Noelle Wittliff is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in trauma resiliency. She also provides Mindful Parenting training and consultation and has been supporting kids, teens, and families for 20 years.
Having grown up in Asia and the United States, Noelle has been practicing mindfulness for almost three decades. She’s certified by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield to teach mindfulness meditation and other compassion-based awareness practices.
As a mother of two, she honors the dignity and humanity of all children and understands that we’re each born with an inherent capacity for presence and kindness. Her teaching style is supportive and engaging and she is passionate about making mindfulness and compassion practices accessible to all ages.