Stephen was born in London in 1960. As a teenager he was drawn to religion and spirituality and has followed that thread all his adult life. He studied Theology and Religious Studies and later trained in Analytical Psychology to become a psychoanalyst (Jungian). He attended his first 10 day vipassana retreat age 20 and for five years trained in Tai Chi and meditation with Tew Bunnag, founder of the European School of Tai Chi. He later completed his Vipassana teacher training with the Thai master, Dhiravamsa. Never seeing any discrepancy between Buddhist practice and the deeper currents of the Christian mystical tradition, in his early 30s, Stephen ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church; in this capacity he offered spiritual and pastoral care in inpatient and community psychiatric care. From here he went on to work privately in psychoanalysis. Coming to live at Les Gavatxes, Stephen feels will enable him to bring together many threads of his spiritual journey, particularly to offer psychological insight within the practice of meditation. He looks forward to welcoming people on retreat here and accompanying people on their journeys of inner discovery.
Sara studied Psychology, Divinity and a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Sciences. From a very young age, she has a special interest in understanding the nature of reality and the human being. She met her Vipassana and meditation teacher, Dhiravamsa, when she was 20 years old. After three years of continuous practice and attending to various 9-day silent retreats, the teacher invited her to participate in a four-year Samatha-Vipassana Teacher Training, which she completed in 2020. She is also recognized as a Meditation and Mindfulness facilitator by the World Peace Initiative organisation, where since 2016 she has been trained directly by Theravada monks in Thailand. Sara is also a certified Yoga teacher since 2019, and she is currently offering yoga lessons at Les Gavatxes both for groups and individuals.