Our People

Meet the Sangha

We have a talented and experienced team delivering classes and workshops at the Centre. 

Portrait of Jo Slater

Jo Slater

CEO & Founder

In 2008 Jo met and took refuge with Dharma King Dechan Jeuren – MahaVairocana Buddha, lineage bearer of the Esoteric and LinJi Chan schools in China. She received her Dharma name – Zhi Ling.

In April 2015, the MahaAmita Temple was opened by the Mayor of Southend-on-Sea. The only Buddhist Temple in the Borough, Jo was then invited by the Mayor to present the Buddhist flags to him at the Southend Borough Annual General Meeting, which he accepted on behalf of the Borough.

In 2016 she was invited to become the Buddhist representative for SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) for the Southend Borough and currently sits on the panel.

The Founding Director of the Centre, Jo is an ordained Buddhist teacher and runs meditation and healing sessions weekly and Mindfulness courses monthly. She is a huge advocate of teaching and promoting the benefits of meditation and visits schools, groups and organisations within the local community giving talks and workshops. Her personal philosophy is to be as honest and truthful as possible and specialises in teaching how to open up the heart centre.

She tries to abide by her Guru’s wishes to “Forgive everyone, help everyone, respect everyone.”

If you are interested in Jo visiting your school or organisation or would like to bring a group to visit the Temple, please call the Centre or email directly to discuss.

Portrait of Marc Allen

Marc Allen

Meditation Teacher

In 2008 Marc was at crossroads in his life. At this time, he had the great fortune to meet and take refuge with Dechan Jueren and was compelled to begin practicing the esoteric meditations taught by the Living Buddha. This assisted him through a difficult and stressful period of his life and opened up his intuition and wisdom. Motivated by these positive changes, he began teaching in 2010.

Marc has had a long standing interest in eastern culture and philosophy and has spent the past 25 years studying and practicing different spiritual traditions including Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Marc is also a follower of Amma and Mooji and can be regularly found in a drumming circle singing Kirtan.

“Over the past 10-15 years my ears, eyes and heart have been opened to many incredibly talented teachers and I have a wealth of resources for any genuine seeker, as well as being able to teach you these meditations.”

Marc welcomes beginners and those returning to mediation to help build a solid foundation. Marc’s mission for 2021 is to develop and run meditation groups designed specifically for men, exploring the male perspective, overcoming the obstacles and complexities unique to men that prevent exploring spirituality.

“The problems facing humanity now have many parallels to those faced by our ancestors. The meditations and practices I teach to overcome these problems are as effective now as ever.”

Portrait of Marcella Riches

Marcella Riches

Meditation Teacher

Marcella has worked in acute medical care for 20 years. Having learned Buddhist meditation, which had a profound effect on her, Marcella became a student four years ago and is the founder of Wisdom Warriors.

Marcella specialises in teaching children’s meditation and mindfulness. She gives children tools to manage negative patterns of anger and anxiety, and teaches how to concentrate and focus on positivity through nature and through loving kindness. This opens up the heart and helps develop healthy relationships. (Click HERE for more information)

Marcella teaches at the Centre and also in her home town, Chafford Hundred. Check out her Facebook page for information.

Marcella has been a qualified holistic masseuse and aromatherapy practitioner for sixteen years.

Portrait of Sharon Taylor

Sharon Taylor

Meditation Teacher

In 2016 Sharon met and took refuge with Zanze Pandit. Having suffered with a life-long chronic asthma condition, PTSD and anxiety Sharon diligently developed a daily discipline, practicing the esoteric meditations taught by her guru. Four years later and she is able to run half-marathons (once held only as a dream), is off six lots of medication and her asthma is negligible.

Prior to taking refuge, Sharon spent 17 years working for the NHS and 7 years in palliative care. She has spent 30 years studying and teaching different spiritual traditions.

Sharon’s experiences of gaining peace and clarity through esoteric meditation and introspection have allowed her to heal deep emotional scars. “Trauma can paralyse our life and scramble our emotions, but through the daily practice of esoteric meditation, deep healing can open our heart to compassion, self-acceptance and the joy of peace.”

A natural healer, Sharon specialises in guiding those seeking to heal and align themselves with their true nature and authenticity. She offers 1:1 and group classes and Chaplain services.

You can find more information about Sharon on her website www.meditationwithsharontaylor.co.uk

Portrait of Frank Waters

Frank Waters

Meditation Teacher & Healer

Frank met and took refuge with Dechan Jeuren in 2008 and has been practicing the techniques taught by him, ever since. He has spent the majority of his life working in the health industry, as an osteopath and healer. He leads healing classes every Sunday.