Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation
Mission Statement

The boundless heart of the Buddha inspires us to share his teachings of wisdom, compassion, loving-kindness, mindfulness, ethical behavior and liberation from suffering.  Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation is dedicated to offering these teachings through classes, meditations with dharma talks, retreats, and by encouraging daily meditation practice.  An emphasis is placed on bringing compassion and loving-kindness into our daily lives.  We invite all who are interested to join us on this path to freedom.  The core teachings of Bloom of the Present are based in the Theravada lineage of Buddhism.  We also integrate approaches from other Buddhist traditions.

We recognize that all people hold unexamined beliefs, assumptions, fears and prejudices about others, and especially those who seem different from themselves. These beliefs are a great source of suffering for individuals and societies. We welcome people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, classes, religions, abilities and ages. We are committed to providing a safe place for all people to explore the dharma and awaken to their true nature.

Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.



Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation is overseen by a group of sangha members called The Guiding Circle. There are also several committees that help with tasks and projects, including the Finance Committee, Community Service Committee (more info), Publicity Committee, Monday Night Managers, Friday Morning Managers. We also have a Buddhist chaplain, Val Nelson, who can provide services to members in need of spiritual support or companionship due to illness or other challenges (more info).


ISABELLE copyIsabelle Rosenlund (President) started her practice in earnest in 2000 at Vipassana Santa Cruz under the guidance of Mary Grace Orr. During those years, she co-founded a local chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. She has been involved with Carla Brennan & Bloom of the Present since its beginnings and particularly enjoys Carla’s nature retreats. Her practice has also been inspired by the teachings of Ajahn Amaro, Joanna Macy, Pema Chodron, Lama John Makransky, & Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Serving on the Guiding Circle of BOTP is an expression of her gratitude towards the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.


Laura Marini (Secretary) began practicing at Insight Santa Cruz about ten years ago, where she met Carla Brennan. Since then she has been in many classes and groups with Carla. Other practices she finds helpful include Yoga and any activity outside, from her garden to the woodlands and coast. She especially enjoys meditating outdoors and is a regular participant in BOTP’s Meditation With the Redwoods. Laura is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate more actively in BOTP as a Circle member: “I have received so much wisdom and friendship over the years from Carla and our sangha. I feel I have grown in understanding and personal contentment. I  am truly grateful and hope I can help BOTP to thrive and support others in their personal journey through meditation and the Buddhist teachings.”


HOLLYHolly Thomas (Treasurer) was first introduced to insight practice fifteen years ago and began a more committed study to this practice about six years ago. Her appreciation for the natural beauty of the world, and her curiosity about the nature of things, led her to explore  Buddhist tradition and discover the rich teachings of  Carla Brennan and Bloom of the Present. As a new member of the Bloom of the Present Guiding Circle, she is thrilled to be able to express her gratitude for this wisdom and to acknowledge the interconnection that we all share. Holly is dedicated to support the teachings of wisdom, loving-kindness and compassion through her participation with Bloom of the Present.


Martin Carver is a seasoned Dharma practitioner, who has been part of the Santa Cruz Theravādan Buddhist community since 2001.  Previous to joining the Guiding Circle of Bloom of the Present, Mr. Carver served for three years as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Vipassana Santa Cruz (now Insight Santa Cruz).  Before that, he served as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Tierra Pacifica Charter School.  In his professional life, Mr. Carver is Managing Partner for ZeroCity LLC, a local consulting firm that provides expertise in renewable energy and climate action planning.  Mr. Carver lives in Santa Cruz with his wife and has two grown children.  


JoAnn King was originally guided by Berkeley Buddhist monastery monk Hang Sure and encouraged to become involved with Santa Cruz buddhism. JoAnn became involved with the ISC group and has also been strongly influenced by Tara Brach and George Haas of Los Angeles. Most significantly JoAnn has been inspired by the profound and wise teachings of Carla Brennan. First introduced to Carla through her Wednesday noon sits JoAnn has continued to learn from Carla through her talks and appreciate her unique blend of wisdom, humor, and grace.


Guiding Circle Contact Information:
JoAnn King:
Isabelle Rosenlund: • 831-662-0144
Laura Marini: •  831 600-5284
Holly Thomas: • 831-535-9449
Martin Carver: • 831/426-4557
Carla Brennan: • 831-212-6641

A Special Thanks to Our Emeritus Circle members: Carol Van Den Bos, Ann Russell, Jim Powell, Joyce Nicholson, and Nancy Noel.