Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses (bodhicourses.org) an online Dhamma classroom, and Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation center in Mountain View, California (imsb.org). She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience, and has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally. 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 practicing and teaching mindfulness, loving kindness, concentration, and a broad range of approaches to liberating insight. Since 2006, Shaila has continued her study of jhana and insight under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw, and authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011).
Shaila Catherine gave the second talk in a four-week series titled "Cultivating Mindfulness." Shaila explored a number of ways to practice mindfulness of the body according to the Buddhist teachings. These methods include (1) using the body as a way of grounding our attention in the present moment, (2) working with mindfulness of the breath as an aspect of the body, (3) working with sensory experiences, (4) reflecting upon death, (5) seeing the body in terms of the four elements (earth, fire, wind and water) and (6) observing the body as anatomical parts. Methods 5 and 6 allow us to view the body as material constructions. From this perspective we no longer conceive our body as "I" or "mine;" thereby, attachment and ignorance dissolve.