The Guiding Circle

Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation (BOTP) is overseen by the Guiding Circle (GC). This is a small group of sangha members who meet regularly to make decisions about programming plans, financial needs, and other relevant business. As a group, the Circle made a commitment to guide the organization with kindness and clarity.

Carla Brennan also attends GC meetings and has appreciated the Circle’s role as trusted advisors. The Guiding Circle has been caring and generous in their support of Carla in her challenging position as Guiding Teacher.

We are grateful to all of those who have been members of the Circle since we incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit religious organization in 2014. They include: Jim Powell, Ann Russell, Joyce Nicholson, Laura Marini, Carol Van Den Bos, Nancy Noel, Martin Carver, and JoAnne King. For many years, Bloom of the Present also had a chaplain, Val Nelson. We thank her for her sincere effort to respond to the inner and outer needs of our sangha. Many others have come forward at different times to offer help and assistance in a variety of tasks needed. We bow to each of you!

Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation (BOTP) is overseen by the Guiding Circle (GC). This is a small group of sangha members who meet regularly to make decisions about programming plans, financial needs, and other relevant business. As a group, the Circle made a commitment to guide the organization with kindness and clarity.

Carla Brennan also attends GC meetings and has appreciated the Circle’s role as trusted advisors. The Guiding Circle has been caring and generous in their support of Carla in her challenging position as Guiding Teacher.

We are grateful to all of those who have been members of the Circle since we incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit religious organization in 2014. They include: Jim Powell, Ann Russell, Joyce Nicholson, Laura Marini, Carol Van Den Bos, Nancy Noel, Martin Carver, and JoAnne King. For many years, Bloom of the Present also had a chaplain, Val Nelson. We thank her for her sincere effort to respond to the inner and outer needs of our sangha. Many others have come forward at different times to offer help and assistance in a variety of tasks needed. We bow to each of you!

Isabelle 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.

Isabelle 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.

Holly 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.

Holly 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.

Penelope Burton welcomes the invitation to join the guiding circle as a timely and joyful opportunity to deepen bodhisattva vows and be of service to the BOTP community. “During these unprecedented times of uncertainty and change we need to take refuge in “The Bloom of the Present Moment” more than ever.”  Since 1980, Penelope’s dedication to the dharma has led her to Thailand, Burma, India and solo wilderness cabins near Tara Mandala Retreat Center in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. In addition to Carla, her treasured teachers include Lama Tsultrim Allione, Yongey Mingur Rinpoche, Anam Thubten and Tara Brach. “Carla continues to be one of my most important primary teachers. She is an icon of resiliency. She is a living embodiment of the slogan,’Transform all difficulties into the path of liberation.’” After 30 years as a public school teacher at elementary and charter schools Penelope began volunteering to teach mindfulness at Branciforte School and Dominica Oaks retirement home She has also rediscovered a passion for pottery and still loves getting her hands in mud, immersing her body, spirit and mind in a realm spinning with infinite possibilities.

Penelope Burton welcomes the invitation to join the guiding circle as a timely and joyful opportunity to deepen bodhisattva vows and be of service to the BOTP community. “During these unprecedented times of uncertainty and change we need to take refuge in “The Bloom of the Present Moment” more than ever.”  Since 1980, Penelope’s dedication to the dharma has led her to Thailand, Burma, India and solo wilderness cabins near Tara Mandala Retreat Center in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. In addition to Carla, her treasured teachers include Lama Tsultrim Allione, Yongey Mingur Rinpoche, Anam Thubten and Tara Brach. “Carla continues to be one of my most important primary teachers. She is an icon of resiliency. She is a living embodiment of the slogan,’Transform all difficulties into the path of liberation.’” After 30 years as a public school teacher at elementary and charter schools Penelope began volunteering to teach mindfulness at Branciforte School and Dominica Oaks retirement home She has also rediscovered a passion for pottery and still loves getting her hands in mud, immersing her body, spirit and mind in a realm spinning with infinite possibilities.