Teachers

Lama Marut (a.k.a. Brian K. Smith) is extensively trained in the spiritual traditions of India and Tibetan Buddhism.  He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion and taught for over two decades in the academic world, first at Columbia University and later at the University of California, where he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2004.

He has served for the past sixteen years as a spiritual teacher to students around the world, and is currently the Spiritual Director for “Middle Way Centers” located in North America, Australia, and Singapore.

In addition to several scholarly studies and translations based on Sanskrit materials, he is the author of the popular and award-winning book, A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life and of Be Nobody (both published by Beyond Words).  His audio and video podcasts reach hundreds of thousands of people around the globe and a new documentary featuring Lama Marut has just been released on DVD or Video on Demand.

With his unique mixture of erudition and earthiness, intensity and humor, conviction and openness, Lama Marut’s message is easily accessible and potentially life changing.

Visit Lama Marut’s website.


Cindy Lee has studied and practiced Buddhism (mainly in the Tibetan tradition) for over 20 years and has also undergone extensive training in the classical texts of yoga philosophy.

After completing multiple solitary meditation retreats of up to six weeks at a time, Cindy has been teaching at  group retreats and workshops around the world for the past decade and also leads smaller classes of in-depth sutra and tantra studies with her husband Brian K. Smith (Lama Marut).

She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Swinburne University) double major in Literature and Media Studies focusing on critical and cultural theory, integrating these disciplines into her personal practice and teachings to explore how to understand and apply the dharma in modern, daily life.  Also holding a Graduate Diploma in Electronic Design and Interactive Media, Cindy was a lecturer at Swinburne University and has worked internationally as a video artist, producing installations for exhibitions, dance performances and designing motion graphics for her VJ’ing (video jockeying) work at electronic music festivals worldwide.

She has subsequently begun developing multimedia projects to explore dharma texts and topics, some of which have become an integral part of the annual Enlightened Experience retreats. These events are intended to invoke connections with the teachings beyond only the intellect – a visceral approach that combines video, soundscape and the power of storytelling and voice, encouraging embodied awareness, awe and integration with our true nature.

Visit Cindy’s website.


Check back soon for bios of our meditation, yoga and Enlightened Activity teachers as our 2019 program shapes up!


Enlightened Experience 2018 was a wonderful event! For questions or additional information, email retreat@middlewayla.org

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