Teachers and Staff

Guiding Teacher

Chris Crotty

Chris Crotty is a Buddhist teacher, pastoral counselor, and adjunct professor in wellness and alternative medicine. Practicing meditation since 1998, he has taken retreat with Burmese monastics Sayadaw U Inndaka and Sayadaw U Tejaniya, scholar-practitioner Bhikkhu Analayo, western monastics of the Zen and Thai Forest tradition, and senior western Vipassana teachers. Chris was authorized to teach Buddhadharma in 2015 by Noah Levine and in 2016 was encouraged to teach vipassana and metta by Sayadaw U Inndaka (Chanmyay Myaing, Myanmar).

Chris’s teaching combines Theravada Buddhism’s emphasis on insight and ethics with the Mahayana ideal of compassionate action, along with the synthesis of practice and study. He is also influenced by the fields of ecopsychology, attachment theory, and contemplative, pastoral, and palliative approaches to sickness, aging, and end-of-life care.

Prior to focusing on Buddhist practices, Chris taught Hatha yoga, directing a community yoga center in Gloucester, Mass., and training yoga teachers internationally at the 200-hour and 500-hour levels. Chris’s yoga combines yin, viniyoga, and kripalu with trauma-sensitive methodologies and mindfulness.  His weekend-format yoga teacher training, Hatha-Dharma, developed to help students practice and teach a more awareness-based yoga, has been offered at yoga centers internationally.

Chris has taught at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health’s Institute for Integrated Leadership, as well as the Trauma Center in Brookline, Mass., and he was active in yoga research with Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  For Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) he taught retreats and managed the development of iBme’s Mindfulness Teacher Training program. His course “Living the Good Life: Practicing Health and Wellbeing” is a core course in Wellness and Alternative Medicine at Johnson State College. As a visiting lecturer Chris has taught at Endicott College’s nursing program and at Tufts University. He holds a master’s degree in ecopsychology, sustainable leadership, and Buddhist practice, and is currently an active member of the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation (CSCPF). Chris regularly teaches workshops and retreats nationally and offers individual mentoring and Buddhist pastoral counseling. To learn more about Chris and to view his full schedule, visit chriscrottydharma.org.

Chris Crotty, Guiding Teacher

Visiting Teachers

Lama Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens (Mdiv) is an author, activist, and authorized Lama (Buddhist teacher) in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Rod is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Lama Rod is also a teacher with the Daishin Zen Buddhist Temple, the Urban Yoga Foundation, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), and a visiting teacher with Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Brooklyn Zen Center. Lama Rod has been a faculty member for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s professional education program in mindfulness for educators and has served as a guest faculty member for the school’s course “Mindfulness for Educators.” He holds a master of divinity degree in Buddhist studies from Harvard Divinity School, where he focused on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. He is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities. Lama Rod is a founding teacher for the Awaken meditation app, which offers meditations and contemplations focused on social change. He has been published and featured in several publications, including Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Spirit Magazine, and contributed the chapter on working with anger for the recent publication Real World Mindfulness for Beginners. Lama Rod facilitates undoing patriarchy workshops for male-identified practitioners in Brooklyn and Boston. His current writing projects include patriarchy in spiritual communities, white supremacy in Tibetan Buddhist communities, sexuality and ethics, as well as fatness and spirituality. Lama Rod’s next book will explore transformative anger and love and is due out in June 2019. Lama Rod can be reached at www.lamarod.com.

Lama Rod Owens

Kate Lila Wheeler

Kate Lila Wheeler’s formal practice began in 1977 with a long Greyhound bus trip to join a two-week retreat in California taught by Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. Her training is mostly in the Vipassana or Insight tradition that came to the West from in India, Burma, and the Thai forest; she is also authorized to share aspects from the Tibetan Nyingma lineage, and she was ordained twice as a nun. Currently she’s helping to coordinate training new retreat teachers at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. Kate Lila also writes fiction and journalism. She lives in Somerville, traveling often to teach.

Kate Lila Wheeler final sq-


Cara Lai FitzGibbon

Cara rediscovered the Buddhist path in her years as an outdoor educator. She began attending long-term meditation retreats, and her life was quickly transformed. Through her practice she moved towards work in mental heath, and she now works as a mindfulness-based psychotherapist and artist in Burlington, Vermont. In 2016 she completed Facilitator II training with Against the Stream, and is currently enrolled in the Spirit Rock Teacher Training. She loves working with teens and has staffed numerous teen retreats with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. In her spare time she enjoys running and watching plants grow.

Cara Lai Fitzgibbon

Jameson Beekman

Jameson is a consultant, life-coach, and mindfulness facilitator. His work focuses on using Buddhist principles to support individuals as they seek to reduce suffering in their lives and find their own meaningful path. He has worked with individuals in recovery since 2012, using mindfulness practice as a tool to overcome addiction, and he served as the manager of Against the Stream Boston from 2016 to 2017. Jameson came to Buddhist practice in 2009 and completed meditation facilitator training with Noah Levine at Against the Stream in 2011. He is particularly interested in working with people in recovery and members of the LGBTQ community.

Jameson Beekman


Lia Houk

Lia is an artist living in Henniker, New Hampshire. She began practicing with Dharma Punx Boston in 2014 and started helping with Against the Stream Boston in 2015. As the manager at ATS Boston, Lia is responsible for day-to-day organization, residential and non-residential retreats, and volunteer and community relations. She is pleased to be able to utilize her past training as a project manager at a small nonprofit in New Hampshire in working with ATSb on growing the sangha and expanding the group’s program offerings. As someone living with chronic illness, Lia uses her Buddhist practice as a way to reduce stress and help prioritize her many interests. She is most interested in bringing Buddhist teachings off the cushion to stay present in everyday life and continue to explore the eightfold path in action.

Lia - summer 2017

Community Manager

Adam Groff

Adam has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 2009, beginning at the Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport. He was active in the Boston Dharma Punx community from 2010 to 2015, and he completed the Against the Stream Facilitator I training course with Noah Levine in 2014; later that year he helped Chris found Against the Stream Boston. Nowadays at ATS Boston he is responsible for community outreach via social channels. He lives in Newburyport with his two children and works as an editor and writer.