About South Bay InsightLA
How We Serve
South Bay InsightLA provides a welcoming environment to sustain and support meditation and mindfulness practices. We offer an opportunity to belong to a community that benefits from the consistent practice of sitting in meditation with others and exploring dharma teachings.
Our dedicated teachers have studied and trained with experts in the field of mindfulness and meditation. They have many years of experience in moderating practice groups and retreats. And, they serve in leadership and development positions at our parent organization, InsightLA.
Our community is inclusive of people of all color and gender diversity. Our meetings are open to attend on a drop-in basis, and are supported by donations at will. Meditators with all levels of experience are invited to join us.
Find out more about our meditation and mindfulness practice groups, here. Meet The South Bay InsightLA Teaching Collective, here. See our Calendar page for our schedule of events, here. Receive our monthly newsletter and notices about our special events by signing up for our mailing list, here.
The South Bay InsightLA Teaching Collective
Eric McCullum first discovered meditation in the early 1990’s. In 2005 he began practicing in the Vipassana tradition with Trudy Goodman and Insight LA. Eric has completed InsightLA’s one-year Mindfulness Facilitator Training Program. He is currently a member of InsightLA’s Board of Directors, the Teacher’s Council and is a member of the teacher development group. Eric teaches a variety of mindfulness classes including Essentials of Mindfulness, classes on Death and Dying, and the Dedicated Practitioners Program.
He regularly leads groups at both Santa Monica and South Bay locations and has taught classes and events for the University of Southern California, the Beach Cities Health District, the Redondo Beach School District, and corporate mindfulness events. Eric is a South Bay InsightLA teacher at the LMU/Redondo Beach Community Practice Group.
Cheryl Tchir was drawn to meditation in the early 2000’s through the wise and compassionate teachings of Dr. James Finley and later began following Vipassana teachings of Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, and Sharon Salzberg. She has a Master’s degree in learning disabilities and had a 30 year career in education. She has a special interest in brain research and its applications, on the cushion, and in everyday life. In 2016, she began to meditate at the InsightLA Redondo Beach Meditation Practice Group. She completed the InsightLA Facilitator Training Program in 2021, and has taught Mindful Meditation for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Cheryl is an alternate teacher at South Bay InsightLA.
Peggy Kersulis has been practicing Vipassana meditation for many years. She has done long retreats and the Heavenly Messengers training program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She is currently a member of InsightLA's Teacher Development Group. She has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years and is still in private practice in the South Bay. She also facilitates bereavement groups at Torrance Memorial Medical Center and is a hopice volunteer. Peggy is the South Bay InsightLA teacher at the Palos Verdes Meditation Practice Group.
Yoon Merrill was born in Korea and discovered meditation and Buddhism when she came to the United States. In 2008, she began Vipassana meditation with Victor Byrd at the Long Beach Meditation Center. Her interest in SN Goenka Vipassana meditation prompted her pilgrimage to India in 2015, and a 20-day silent retreat at the Dhamma Vahavana center in California. She discovered Korean Zen master Pomryun Sunim in 2016. She became a facilitator at his Jungto Dharma School and has translated his talks into English. Seeking a deeper understanding of the Buddha’s teachings, she studies the Pali language with the goal of reading Dhammapada in its original language. Yoon is the facilitator of the monthly South Bay InsightLA Beach Sit.
Annette Lombardi is a graduate of the 2020 UCLA Training in Mindfulness Program as part of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. With a practice of Insight meditation for over 25 years, she is now turning her attention toward teaching others the preciousness of mindfulness practices. Annette also has a degree in social work and has facilitated support groups for families in various settings including autistic adults, teens in crisis and special needs families. Annette has particular affection for long, residential retreats and has been fortunate to attend may retreats in which to hone her practice. Annette is the South Bay InsightLA teacher at the Hermosa Beach Meditation Practice Group.
Ali Hedayat’s interest in philosophy, since his childhood, has led him to pursue various contemplative paths. He has been practicing Vipassana Meditation since 2003 and has led mindfulness sitting groups in various educational settings as well as the LMU sitting-group. Currently, he runs the People of Color Sangha for InsightLA and is in the InsightLA Teacher Development Program. Ali has sat long-term meditation
retreats and workshops with different teachers and has completed the Facilitator Training Program of InsightLA. Professionally, Ali was an Industrial Engineer before earning his second Masters degree. He then became a credentialed School Counselor and has worked with youth in Los Angeles. Ali is an alternate teacher at South Bay InsightLA.
Maureen Shannon-Chapple has
been a practitioner of yoga and meditation since her teenage years. Her professional life has included classroom teaching, parenting trainings, adult education, and college teaching. She is a 2008 graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma
Leader Training, and has led groups including ILA’s Family Program, mindfulness classes, and the weekly Tuesday Night Sitting Group at Loyola Marymount University. Maureen co-leads, with Trudy Goodman, ILA’s Facilitator Training Program. She also teaches in the Mindful USC program and other community sites. She is currently with one of the teams of teachers anchoring the monthly Mindful of Whiteness: Anti-Racism Practices for White People group at InsightLA. Maureen is a South Bay InsightLA teacher at the LMU/Redondo Beach Community Practice Group.