Still Mountain

About Our Community

Several people sitting in chairs listening to a teaching

Who We Are

Our community, our Sangha, is made of individuals and families from Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas. We strive to be inclusive, open to people of all ages, backgrounds, and experience. Still Mountain is a member-driven organization governed by a Board of Directors, Teacher Council, and the Sangha at large.

Teacher Council

The Teacher Council is composed of all current Still Mountain teachers.  The Council is responsible for the spiritual and educational direction of the center.

Click on the name of each teacher to read their full bio or to contact them.

  • David Lawson—In Memory
    In 2014, David co-founded Still Mountain Buddhist Meditation Center and served as the spiritual leader of this sangha until his passing August 31, 2021. He is remembered for his kind and compassionate presence, his understanding and conveyance of the Buddha’s teachings, and his wise consultation providing comfort and direction to the members. David served as a role model of mindful practice and letting go as he encountered many health related challenges in the last several years of his life.
  • Hugh Danville
    Hugh’s personal approach to meditation is eclectic. While his practice is primarily Insight Meditation, he continues to use some of the guided meditations, Tonglen and other practices he learned in his Tibetan Buddhist practice years.
  • Mary Grannan
    After a few years of practice I entered teacher’s training and have since found sharing the Dharma with others provides my life with a deep joy, ease and a sense of connection with all that is. To be with others on their journey of spiritual development is, for me, a privilege that opens my heart and deepens my practice.
  • Karen Mori
    Karen began studying vipassana meditation in 2003 with the teachers of Deep Spring Center as a way to gain perspective on the anxiety she was experiencing about her husband’s illness.  The practice has been invaluable in helping her be present with the moment-by-moment arising of experience and the ever-present spaciousness inherent in our thoughts and …
  • Bilha Birman Rivlin, PhD
    Bilha is a long-time practitioner and teacher of insight mindful meditation, who has recently earned her PhD from the Theatre department at Wayne State University where she wrote her dissertation on the creative process and the path of transformation​. Bilha has been practicing insight Mindful Meditation and studying Buddhist teachings since 2003. For over ten years, she has taught, IM meditation along with Buddhist philosophy and practices.
  • Jim Whiteside
    Jim’s current understanding of and approach to practice are eclectic and secular in orientation. While insight meditation and mindfulness practices are his personal favorites, he believes there is no one “right” practice for everyone, or even for any given person at different times and under different circumstances. He is especially interested in learning how to apply the skills and insights gained in practice to our daily lives.
  • Elizabeth Cheslak
    Mindfulness meditation and Metta form the foundation of Elizabeth’s practice and teaching. She received teacher training at Still Mountain under the guidance of David Lawson.
  • Curt Fish
    Contact Curt
  • Jackie Miller
    The Dhamma seems to me an immersive practice of acceptance and unfolding that brings our hearts courage and freedom. I love working close to the early texts and exploring with others how these beautiful teachings come to life for us.
  • Ken Morley
    I have found great benefit from Mindfulness Meditation practices and the teachings of the Buddha. My journey of self discovery began around 2003 when I was inspired by the audio book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, and then taking an Ann Arbor Rec & Ed Insight Meditation class, and teachers Susan Weir and Barbara …

Board of Directors

Still Mountain is a member-driven organization governed by a Board of Directors, Teacher Council, and the Sangha at large.

The Board of Directors consists of five directors elected by the Sangha.  Meetings are attended by a liaison from the Teacher Council, and any other members of the Sangha are welcome.​​

Board Meeting Minutes: Minutes are available upon request. Please contact the Board Secretary with your request.

Still Mountain Bylaws

(The Board holds the hard-copy signed Bylaws document.)

Current members of the Board:

  • Sunil Ancha, Treasurer
  • Carol Blotter
  • Elizabeth Cheslak, President
  • Mariko Foulk
  • Kenneth Gourlay, Secretary
  • Bilha Rivlin, Teacher Council Liaison

Community Meetings

Community meetings are held every other month, for either discussion and decision-making about organizational matters. Community meetings are held on the second Sunday of every other month, following our regular Sunday meditation.


A full list of Community Meeting Minutes is available in our Community Meeting Minutes Archive.

Ethics Grievance and Reconciliation Process

The purpose of a grievance process for the reconciliation of ethical issues is to confirm the importance of the sincere practice of lay precepts within our community. These are minimum behavioral standards that we may reasonably expect of each other.  Taken broadly and within the full range of their meaning, the precepts provide the foundation for a healthy sangha.  Complaints of violations of these standards will be taken very seriously and handled in accord with our established process.