Joshua Tree 2012 Teachers

Against the Stream 2012 Joshua Tree Retreat – Teachers


Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx , Against the Stream, and The Heart of the Revolution is a Buddhist teacher, author and counselor. He was trained to teach by Jack Kornfield of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. He is the founding teacher of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, with a center in Los Angeles and over 20 affiliated groups around North America. He teaches meditation classes, workshops and retreats internationally. Noah holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology. He is also on the board of directors of the Buddhist Recovery Network. Levine lives in Los Angeles.

Ron Ames is a meditation practitioner who has studied with both Noah Levine and Trudy Goodman. He completed Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner’s Program, and was trained as a teacher by Noah Levine in Against the Stream’s first teacher training cohort. Ron has a deep interest in the Twelve Steps particularly as they relate to meditation practice. He works in the film industry as a Producer and 1st Assistant Director on feature films.



 Pablo Das is empowered to teach Vipassana meditation and Buddha Dharma by the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society founder Noah Levine. He teaches regularly at A.T.S. centers in Los Angeles and at various A.T.S. groups and in retreat settings nationwide. Professionally, he works as a mindfulness based wellness, nutrition and recovery coach integrating mindfulness practices and Buddhist principles in his private “in person” (and phone based) counseling work. Pablo is an advocate for a Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and “other identified” voice in american Buddhism and runs an LGBT group at the ATS center. He works in suicide prevention in the LGBTQ youth population. Finally, Pablo is a Buddhism inspired indie-folk (antifolk) musician who tours nationally and can be found transforming monotonous Buddhist chants into indie rock retreat hits.



 Vinny Ferraro has been practicing meditation since 1993. He has studied with several renowned spiritual teachers including Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Sumedho, and the Dalai Lama. In 1998, he spent a year sitting bedside with the dying through the San Francisco Zen Center Hospice Program. Since 2000, Vinny has led workshops for youth in schools internationally for a non-profit organization called Challenge Day. He has taught meditation to incarcerated youth and adults and is currently training dharma teachers to do the same for the Mind Body Awareness Project. He is a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader and has been teaching the weekly Urban Dharma group in San Francisco since 2004. Vinny was recently featured in the Spring 2010 issue of Tricycle.


 JoAnna Harper has been exploring and practicing multiple traditions since 1999.  In 2005 her focus landed on Buddhism and Vipassana meditation, which is the premise for most of her current teaching. Although her main focus is on working with youth through her bi weekly children’s and teen sanghas, teen day long retreats, residential retreats and work in the juvenile justice system, she is also co -teaching adult residential retreats as well as leading a Year to Live practice and teaching one on one sessions.  Her favorite teaching tools are working in Council and relational mindfulness.  She is a recent  graduate of Noah Levine’s teacher training program and is trained through the Ojai Foundation as a Council facilitator.  She is the grateful mother of CJ and Harris her main inspirations.