Shaila Catherine

About Shaila Catherine

Shaila Catherine is the founder and principal teacher of both Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation center in Silicon Valley, and Bodhi Courses, an online Dhamma classroom. She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience. She has taught since 1996 in the USA, India, Israel, England, Europe, and New Zealand. 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 with the practice of metta, including seven months exploring metta as the meditation subject in retreats. Since 2006, Shaila had continued her study of jhana and insight with the guidance of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw of Burma. She authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011) to help make this traditional approach to meditative training accessible to western practitioners.

When Students Get Distracted

Listen to this latest podcast. Shaila Catherine speaks with Tucker Peck about practical ways to overcome distraction and strengthen concentration. This was recorded when her third book was published: Beyond Distraction: Five Practical Ways to Focus the Mind.  

2022-08-08T19:02:20-07:00August 8th, 2022|News|

Interview with Shaila on the Escaping Samsara Podcast

Shaila discusses deep topics including her early experiences in India with Poonjaji; the development of concentration, samadhi, and jhana; and the realization of awakening. Listen on the Escaping Samsara podcast.

2021-11-21T18:22:40-08:00November 19th, 2021|News|

Listen to Shaila’s interview on Wisdom Dharma Chats

Shaila Catherine was the guest at Wisdom Dharma Chats, produced by Wisdom Publications. She engaged in an exciting conversation with Daniel Aitken and covered themes related to sutta study, her new course on the similes, concentration and jhana practices, and the theme of her forthcoming book, Beyond Distraction: Practical Ways to Free the Mind. This [...]

2021-06-02T12:19:31-07:00March 13th, 2021|News|

How conduct bears fruit – a talk on the precept of not-killing.

Shaila Catherine gave a talk for Sangha Live on the theme of How Conduct Bears Fruit. It is an exploration of the first precept, to refrain from killing. She explores the fruits of karma and the consequences of action through a detailed consideration of why and how we practice ethical precepts. The focus for today's talk [...]

2021-02-24T11:44:25-08:00February 24th, 2021|News|

Joy of Seclusion

Wisdom Publications has shared an article on "The Joy of Seclusion." This piece is based on a chapter from Shaila Catherine's book, Focused and Fearless. Enjoy it here:

2021-02-24T11:38:19-08:00February 24th, 2021|News, Uncategorized|

Strengthening Concentration – Shaila speaks at Dhamma Center

Shaila Catherine will be the guest teacher for an event over zoom organized by the Dhamma Center in the United Kingdom. Strengthening Concentration Saturday, May 6, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time  For information about how to join and the zoom link visit:

2021-02-23T12:47:31-08:00February 23rd, 2021|News|

Join an online course to Cultivate the Jhana Factors

Shaila Catherine will offer Cultivating the Jhana Factors. It is a brilliant online course that nurtures the profound qualities and mental skills that support deep concentration. Registration ends April 27, 2021. Register Now at: This is what one student said: “Studying with Shaila has demystified Jhana practice and made deep concentration available to me.”

2021-02-13T13:07:07-08:00February 13th, 2021|News, Uncategorized|

2019 – Thank you for helping us reach our fundraising goal!

Heartfelt thanks to all who support the work of IMSB in so many ways, and especially to the 76 generous donors from near and far who helped us reach our fundraising goal of $35,000 for our 2019 year’s end appeal. Our final total was $35,009.30 which will cover almost half of our operations budget for [...]

2020-02-07T17:42:24-08:00February 7th, 2020|News|


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