Ronya Banks is a Vipassana (Mindfulness or Insight) meditation instructor, teaching meditation to individuals and groups for 8 years. She began meditating daily in her 20’s, and has been practicing for nearly 30 years. Sitting close to a year on silent Vipassana meditation retreats, Ronya has received instruction from over 20 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, Bhante U Jotika Bhivamsa, and Pema Chodron.
Ronya has been receiving weekly personal dhamma instruction for over 3 years from her teacher – Burmese monk and Buddhist scholar: Bhante UJotika Bhivamsa. She has also been under the direct mentorship from Western Vipassana teacher: Pat Coffey (IMCC & IMCW) for several years. Mr. Coffey has also given Ronya permission to teach.
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 with the many benefits meditation provides. With on-going practice and instruction of various Buddhist meditation practices, philosophy, and the dharma, Ronya provides her clients with a well-rounded and grounded perspective.
Ms. Banks also has an extensive background in entrepreneurial business. She has operated and owned several Subway restaurants, a martial arts studio, and a check cashing 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, certified energy healer, hospice volunteer, and an ordained minister.
Born in Kuwait, Ronya is of Middle Eastern descent and was raised a Muslim. Even though her family moved to the States in time for her to start primary school, she still felt the sting from the discrimination she experienced from her peers her first few years in this country. 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 and 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.