Ronya Banks is a Vipassana (Mindfulness or Insight) meditation instructor, teaching meditation to individuals and groups for 10 years. She began meditating daily in her 20’s, and has been practicing for over 30 years. Sitting over a year on silent Vipassana meditation retreats, Ronya has received instruction from over 30 different Vipassana teachers including Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Rodney Smith, Phillip Moffit, Pat Coffey, Gina Sharpe, and Sharon Salzberg, just to name a few.
Ronya feels fortunate for having had the opportunity to receive “home grown” meditation instruction from Western and Asian teachers inside the USA. Although she credits the IMS/Spirit Rock system and Southern Dharma Retreat Center for supplying the majority of her Western Vipassana instructors, she has also been influenced by other teachers, including Goenka, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Pema Chodron.
In addition to a renunciation as a Buddhist Theravada nun in 2014, Ronya is also a graduate of the joint IMS/Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader 5 training program. She also received weekly personal dhamma instruction for 5 years from Burmese monk and Buddhist scholar: Bhante UJotika Bhivamsa.
As the founder and lead teacher of the Asheville Insight Meditation Community in Asheville, NC, Ms. Banks has been instrumental in providing programs and resources for individuals and groups to enhance their lives from many meditation benefits .
Ms. Banks also has an extensive background in entrepreneurial business. She has operated and owned several Subway restaurants, a martial arts studio, and a financial institution. As a leadership coach, Ms. Banks has enjoyed working with business owners, CEO’s, developers, and other leadership professionals to help them maximize their results.
Ronya is also a speaker, workshop facilitator, 4th degree black belt instructor of Traditional Tae Kwon Do, and an ordained minister.
Born a female in Kuwait, Ronya is of Palestinian-American descent and was raised Muslim. As a child, she felt the sting from the discrimination she experienced from her peers in the USA. As a result, she is very passionate about treating each person as a unique, valuable, and loved member of the human race, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or country of origin.
Ronya’s most rewarding role has been as a mother to two beautiful grown adults: Vince Horn & Ashley Banks, and a step-mother to teenager: Ethan Morris.
She presently resides in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, in Asheville, North Carolina.