​”If beings knew, as I know, the result of giving and sharing… even if it were their last morsel, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared it, if there were someone to share it with…

Our Board Members

Our Board of Directors represent a broad range of backgrounds and life experiences. They share an experiential awareness of the significance of meditation and the power of mindfulness, both while formally meditating and in their daily lives. The aspiration to grow in wisdom and compassion by following the Dharma informs the operations of the IMCC board.

Elizabeth KabalkaChair
Elizabeth Kabalka, MSSW, is a new resident of Charlotte, NC, relocating with her family in the summer of 2019 from Chattanooga, TN. She currently serves as Program Director for Smart Start of Mecklenburg, where she oversees funding for programs serving 0-5 year olds and their families.

Although a seeker since college, it wasn’t until 2012 that she began a daily mindfulness practice, thanks to Emory’s Cognitively Based Compassion Training program. With that life changing experience, she became a mindfulness ‘evangelizer’ and served for 4 years as Executive Director of the Center for Mindful Living in Chattanooga, TN, a non-profit mindfulness organization. During her tenure there, she spoke to hundreds of people about the benefits of mindfulness and developed programming for a wide range of individuals, including those with chronic pain, incarcerated youth and teachers. She is a trained Mindful Schools instructor and has developed mindfulness curriculum for both children and adults.

Elizabeth began her study of the Dharma upon moving to Charlotte. She began attending Insight Meditation Community of Charlotte in the fall of 2019 and has received a warm embrace from this community. She resides in Ballantyne with her husband, two of her three boys, and a menagerie of pets.

John AmenVice Chair
John Amen has had a daily meditation practice since 2005 and been a member of Insight Meditation Community of Charlotte since 2011. He attended his first 10-day Vipassana retreat in 2004. He has since attended retreats led by Shaila Catherine, Adyashanti, and Mark Nunberg, as well as participated in several IMCC residential retreats. He is a writer, editor, certified Enneagram teacher (Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition), and long-time practitioner of the 12 Steps. John lives with his beautiful wife, Thia Powers, and two cats. He serves on the Communications Committee.
(Photo courtesy of Chad Weeden)
Jennifer CossSecretary, Program Chair
Jennifer Coss joined the Insight Meditation Community in 2017 after beginning her practice to train an active mind through Vipassana meditation. She has found the equanimity achieved through the practice of mindfulness and lovingkindness to be transformative, and she supports her practice with pranayama breathing. Jennifer is an active member of a KM group and currently serves on the Programs Committee.
Yi-Jun LinBoard Treasurer
Yi-Jun Lin has been a devoted student of the Dharma for more than 20 years. She maintains a joyful balance between studies of Zen and Tibetan Gelugpa lineages, yoga, Vipassana and Metta meditation, and regular retreats to support her path in following the Buddha’s teachings. She feels fortunate for the endless daily opportunities to cultivate mindfulness concentration and inner peace, and to awaken and apply these tools in caring for and empowering others.

Yi-Jun has tremendous gratitude for the support of the IMCC community. She has served on the Programming Committee and is now serving as Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. Professionally she maintains a private practice of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, health coaching, and integrated nutrition therapy.

Gary CotlerMember at Large, Finance Chair
Gary Cotler has been a member of the Insight Meditation Community of Charlotte since 2017. After a long-time intellectual interest in Buddhism, he began practicing meditation in 2015 and now considers it an integral part of his overall wellness. Gary has attended residential retreats at Southern Dharma and Heartwood Refuge as well as completed an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. Practicing and studying the dharma combined with being part of the IMCC sangha have had a tremendous positive impact on his life. Gary currently serves on the Finance committee.
Danny TindallMember at Large
I became interested in Buddhism in college. Through the years, thoughts of Buddhism would arise. Eventually, when recruited for a position in Columbus, Ohio, I found and joined Karma Thegsum Choling (KTC), of the Tibetan Kagyu Lineage. I took refuge there in 2010. Not being Tibetan, I found the rituals a bit challenging and hard to understand. I searched for another sangha and found the Central Ohio Center for Pragmatic Buddhism, Zen Buddhists. I took refuge there in 2012 and served on the Board of Directors.

When I retired in 2014, I moved to North Carolina and searched gain for a new Buddhist ‘home’. When I found the Insight Meditation Community of Charlotte, the sangha was warm and welcoming to me. I’ve found my ’home’.

Also, I’ve had a passion for music since I was 8 years old and have studied piano, drums, guitar, electric bass and cello. But my true passion is composing. I’ve been writing my own music since I was 11 or 12 and have a home recording studio where I write, compose and orchestrate my music. It’s a hobby I thoroughly enjoy.

Cathy FrancisMember at Large
Cathy Francis began exploring Insight Meditation with IMC Charlotte in 2012. Her practice took time to develop, and deepened considerably when she participated in the 2017-18 IMCC Dharma Study & Practice Program.

Cathy enhances her meditation practice with a regular yoga practice and believes that the teachings of the Buddha, participation in the sangha and the practice of yoga continually enrich all aspects of her life. Cathy is a member of the Programming Committee and has been coordinating Wednesday night volunteers for the past two years. She became a certified yoga instructor in May 2020.