As you look through the biographies below you'll find sangha members who have devoted themselves to their meditation practice and Buddhist studies for many years.
You've chosen a mentor and are ready to get begin the program. During your first meeting with your mentor you will review your Mentoring Agreement. You’ll review your goals, how often you’ll meet, where and for how long.
If you have other questions about the program, please contact Gary Hillesland, Mentoring Coordinator.
The fastest way to be assigned a new mentor is to complete our online application. If you prefer a mail-in application, however, you can find a printable mentor application here.
I have been a practitioner in meditation and a student of Buddhist psychology for more than 10 years. I also teach about Buddhist psychology and serve as chair of the Pastoral Counseling Department at Loyola University Maryland. I enjoy learning from the many Buddhist teachers, attending workshops and retreats and engaging in learning with interested others. I'm a husband, father, and grandfather. A retired clinical psychologist, I enjoy walking with others along the path to awakening.
Affinity Group 12 Step. Deepening interest in bodywork, mindfulness through cooking, baking, dharma: 50+ years; Shaolin Kung Fu, Iyengar Yoga: 17 years; Vipassana & Metta: 4 years; Retreats: 20+ shorter retreats; Year of Living Mindfully 2009-10; seven day: IMCW Spring, New Year; Spirit Rock Emptiness Study Retreat; careers: Diversity, Technology, Science and Art Teaching, Painting. I have one child.
Since 1996, Rob Arner has dedicated himself to all facets of mindfulness, and relaxation techniques. His teachers have included Tara Brach, Joanna Macy, Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Greg Kramer, Stan Grof, Vitae Bergman and numerous other teachers. For almost four decades, Rob Arner has instructed and coached tennis in clubs, and schools here in Bethesda and at various resorts working closely with former world champion Pauline Betz Addie. For over three decades he has been a green leader championing environmental improvements, establishing model recycling and watershed protection programs in this region and across the U.S. Rob has received extensive facilitator training and is an All Game Guide.
Mindfulness and a daily meditation practice have opened me to the everyday joys of life and of the people around me. The practice has also allowed me to lessen my grip on the habits of thinking and behaving that cause me pain. Through mindfulness and meditation, I have learned to give myself kindness instead of criticism when things get difficult. Whatever pain I encounter or create for myself, I find comfort and sometimes even wisdom in slowing down, paying attention and offering self-compassion. I would be happy to help you cultivate habits and attitudes that nourish you and that encourage you to release things that cause suffering. Some of the things that have helped me to integrate mindfulness and meditation into my daily life are: residential retreats, the Year of Living Mindfully with Jonathan Faust, and active participation in a twelve-step sangha. I find insight and comfort in the dharma talks of Gil Fronsdal as well those of our beloved local heroes Jonathan, Tara Brach, and Hugh Byrne. I’m also a fan of serious hiking, literature and the natural world.
Daniel Hickman is a mind-body educator with over 30 years of exploration in spiritual culture. He teaches meditation & adaptive yoga in The Military Advanced Training Center (MATC), at The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD USA, for those effected by warfare & other maladies. His has collaborated with The Defense and Veteran’s Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM) implementing a protocol of yoga for back pain within the US military medical system, The Howard University Cancer Center/Hospital implementing a pilot study of meditation & restorative yoga for individuals recovering from breast cancer, and Friendship Place/La Casa facilitating meditation & yoga for minorities living in supportive housing. Since 2001, Daniel has led nature outings, seminars, retreats & trainings all around the world. His hobbies include traveling, rock climbing, tree felling & gardening.
I have been meditating and practicing the Dharma for the past 15 years. I have been trained in the Western Vipassana school of meditation.I have been attending numerous IMCW events for the past 10 years. Over the past 6 years I have attended several week long silent retreats and 2 retreats at the Bavana Society with Bhante G. I believe in the compassionate practice of the Dharma, I am committed to the in the power of sanga and have been in a kalyana mitta group for seven years. Mindfulness training is the core of my practice and I feel I would like to extend and share my experience with anyone in anyway possible.
Two adult daughters, Male. I began meditating and studying the dharma as a result of intense emotional and chronic physical pain. I started attending IMCW and day-long, weekend, five-day, and week-long, two-week retreats there, at Omega Institute, and The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies with Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Tara Brach, Jonathan Foust, Leigh Brasington, Bhikkhu Anālayo, and others. I participated in YLM program twice. I completed the two-year training in The Committed Practitioners Programme (CPP) from Bodhi College in England that was taught by Stephen Batchelor, Christina Feldman, John Peacock, and Akincano M. Weber.
I have extensive study of the meditative state with special interest on the pragmatic value of the theta and alpha brain states. I have taken numerous courses and participated in many retreats ranging from Vipassana, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Transcendental Meditation, Compassion Focused Meditation and am also certified in Hypnotherapy, all of which target the meditative state as a means to progress and grow the brain-mind. Having worked in mental health for eight years, I conduct groups that often involve mindfulness. I also teach mindfulness through a Johns Hopkins program for Baltimore City Schools and teach a meditation course at Howard Community College.
I have been studying insight meditation since 2010. I enjoy all aspects of the practice, including the study, meditation, attending talks, and the sense of community that surrounds it. It's all there; all we have to do is take advantage of it. I've attended a number of residential and daylong meditation retreats and have read widely. Some of my favorite teachers and authors are Jonathan Foust, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield and Pema Chodron. I try to live the teachings as best I can. I just completed the Year of Living Mindfully program with Jonathan Foust. It was a wonderful experience and I'd be happy to share what I've learned and I'm sure it would be a two-way street. There is no one size fits all approach to a mindfulness practice so, as the Buddha says, come see for yourself and see what works for you.
Larissa, a longtime practitioner of Insight Meditation, studies and practices Buddhism in the Theravadan tradition. She has completed the Community Dharma Leader-4 Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center (SRMC) in California with Mary Grace Orr (SRMC) as her mentor and guiding teacher. Her training also includes completion of the Dedicated Practitioner Program in 2010 also through SRMC, and participation in IMCW’s Teacher Training Program, guided by Tara Brach, Ph.D.
Larissa has completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and has been teaching MBSR since 2005. She is certified as an Associate Clinical Chaplain at Shore Health System in Easton, MD and volunteers at Talbot Hospice Foundation. She leads two local Sanghas as well as teaches classes and daylong retreats on the Eastern Shore and Mid-Atlantic region.
I began meditating in 2015 as a way to alleviate my depression and anxiety. Meditation, the Dharma and the Sangha have become foundations of my life. Mindfulness has taught me how to slow down, to not hold things too tight or too loose, and to truly be in-tune with my body. The ability to have present moment awareness, wisdom, compassion, and the courage to hold these felt-sense feelings can be transformational and liberating. Now, I can better experience all emotions (fear, hatred, greed, delusion, attachment, guilt, grief, jealousy, elation, compassion, sympathetic joy and equinimity). Relationships with my friends, coworkers, loved ones and family are more authentic and alive.
I regularly attend Jonathan Foust’s Monday night dharma talk in Arlington and Tara Brach’s Wednesday dharma talk in Bethesda. I co-facilitate Jonathan’s post talk Discussion Group (aka Mindful Dialogue). I attend Adam Silcott’s Sunday morning meditation class in Frederick. I co-host a KM (Kalyana Mitta) Group in Frederick. I have taken advanced courses with Tara and Jack Kornfied. I have attended day long workshops taught by Tara, Jonathan, Hugh Byrne, Sharon Salzburg and Stan Eisenstein. I am also a huge fan of Dharma Punx Josh Korda, and I also like Andrea Fella and Jill Sheperd.
I retired eleven or so years ago after forty years of corporate life. I have been practicing ever since, starting with Zen and then vipassana with IMCW since moving to the area five years ago. I am interested in sharing with others the experience of a developing practice and helping others find their personal path. This way we will both enjoy a deepening understanding of the Dharma.
I came to the practice of mindfulness and mediation through my study and teaching of yoga which began around 1998. Over the years I’ve had opportunities to explore various forms of meditation. My earliest Vipassana teachers included Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield and more recently Jonathan Foust and Anam Thubten. I have completed Jonathan’s “Year of Living Mindfully”, continue to participate in two KM groups, and have attended multiple weeklong silent retreats.
As a mentor, I bring a unique skill set to women or couples who are either pregnant, struggling with the stress of infertility, adjusting to the demands of being a new parent, or anyone experiencing sleep issues. Additional trainings: MBCP: “Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting” Nancy Bardacke, CNM, RN .B Mindfulness in Schools.
I’ve been meditating for 30 years but attended my first Wednesday night class with Tara Brach just seven years ago. I didn’t know what to expect, but quickly discovered Insight/Vipassana meditation to offer a path toward self-knowledge, freedom, and peace. I dove in with both feet and have participated in many IMCW day-long and residential retreats, and in Jonathan Foust’s Year of Living Mindfully. I’m also a member of the Germantown/Kensington KM group and the Contemplative Law Group. I’ve seen first-hand the transformative potential of meditation for my relationships, my work, and my outlook on life. After many hours on the cushion and listening to dharma talks, I’ve decided it’s time to give back, and hope in mentoring to provide encouragement and support to others, particularly those just starting out.
When I’m not meditating or spending time with my wife, teenage kids, and dog, I’m a civil rights lawyer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
My meditation practice has had a crucial impact on every aspect of my life. Through it, I've found a way to hold my experiences with compassion and to be more present and accessible on a moment-to-moment level. Obviously all of this is an on-going process of deepening my awareness through daily sitting, attending IMCW Wednesdays regularly, being in sangha (including YLM), and continually going to week-long silent meditation retreats and many other teaching programs. I have 3 sons.
Single self-employed spiritual seeker. I came to Tara’s meditation class in 2012 and was blown away! Why hadn’t I been taught this years ago?!? WOW! So I jumped right in, going to every Wednesday night & taking all of the opening the heart workshops I could find. It’s been an amazing couple of years of practicing Non-Violent/Compassionate Communication (NVC), empathetic listening and focusing/presencing; delving into Brene Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability; using Byron Tracy’s “the Work”; going to a week-long silent retreat and a four-day weekend Inner Journey; practicing Qi Gong with Craig Ehrlich; and experiencing the Year of Living Mindfully (YLM) with Jonathan Foust. What an AMAZING year!
I’ve learned that meditation is a moment to moment practice. It doesn’t always take the form of sitting on a cushion, but can be done while standing, walking, working, laying down! It’s within the breathtaking moments of a sunset/sunrise, watching birds fly, watching the river flow, or listening to a baby laugh.
Long-time meditator. 10 years with Arica Teacher Oscar Ichazo, trained in vipassana (insight Meditation). 12 years with teachers Jonathan Foust and Tara Brach. Long history of Retreats (35) silent retreats and many other trainings. Active involvement in IMCW. Administrator of the Mentoring program. Completed Meditation Teachers Training Program. I practice Qi Gong ( Wisdom Healing Qi Gong as taught by Master Mingtong Gu) to support to my sitting meditations. I’m certified to teach (Let Your Yoga Dance) with special populations. I'm also involved with the 12-Step program. If you wish to work with me, you will develop a regular sitting practice, I'm not a therapist, but I do recognize the importance of compassion and the heart practices of Insight Meditation.
I've considered myself a Buddhist for about 15 years. During that time I have had a daily sitting practice, participated in IMCW actively for 5 or 6 years (although I do not currently attend Wednesday evening talks), I have sat several week long retreats and many daylong. I have studied many different teachers, mostly from books, but some in person. I have belonged to several KM groups over the years, and am now active in one group, and in addition belong to a sutta study group. I am 67 years old, live and work in Rockville. I would be happy and honored to share the dharma with you.
I’m blessed to feel happy and content most of the time. I attribute these treasured accomplishments to over 10 years in engaged 12-step recovery and approximately eight years of Vipassana practice and exposure to Buddhist teachings, primarily from Tara Brach. I’ve attended approximately two week-long retreats a year for the past five years. These retreats have been an unexpected vehicle for spiritual growth and emotional healing. I also value a spiritual friends group of like-minded travelers, which has met together for over five years.
If you want what I have, then I can show you how to do what I do. I’ve sponsored numerous men in recovery. My particulars are that I’m 58, a father and grandfather, and a long-time government employee.
I came to meditation desperate to find relief from lifelong struggles with anxiety, shame, self-hatred, perfectionism and over-achieving. I sat my first retreat with Tara in 1994. Over time, I have fallen in love with the Dharma. At my first four-week retreat, in 2003, I experienced being completely at peace for the first time in my life. I just completed a 5 month retreat at the Forest Refuge in Barre, MA. My practice continues to evolve and yield fruits beyond what I ever imagined possible. I resonate especially with the heart practices, am drawn to the teachings of mystics of all faith traditions, and have strong ties to Quakerism and the 12 Steps.
I love vipassana meditation and have had a regular daily practice for 23 years. I completed basic and advanced vipassana meditation training in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and have trained in the IMCW tradition, too. Meditation has helped me be more awake to myself and others and savor and delight in the world around me. I have attended a two-week long silent vipassana retreat and two one-week long silent vipassana retreats in the past few years to deepen my practice. I am a developmental psychologist with a specialty in adult development and aging and a nurse. As a professor at University of Maryland at Baltimore County, I teach and do research in the area of aging studies/gerontology education, integrative health, and adult learning. I enjoy listening to others and supporting them in their practice and personal growth journey!
I have had a daily meditation practice since 2003. I have gone on many weeklong silent retreats. I love metta practice, and I resonate to cultivating happiness in my practice and in my daily life. I have studied qi gong and yoga as well. I resonate strongly with the teaching that it is possible to accept everything the way it is, and this acceptance allows us to change. Meditation brings me peace, joy, and a sense of loving community. I have one son.
I've been meditating (Vipassana/insight) since 1998, and originally started with Lynn Kelly and Luisa Montero (IMCW Takoma Park Sunday night class) as my teachers. I'm in the Sutta study group (how to live the teachings of the Buddha in my life), and my favorite book is The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha. Have done retreats at Bhavana and look forward to going to IMS.
About me: married, two sons, one with special needs, had one year of health crisis (broken vertebrae/ back, 3 surgeries). I love supporting people in creating connections with the sacred/Dhamma in their life.
I look forward to mentoring those who wish to deepen their practice of meditation both on and off the cushion. As a way to dive more deeply into practice, we’ll explore working with thoughts and external realities to gain greater understanding of and compassion toward one’s self and others whether co-workers, family, and friends. A gentle approach combined with humor, curiosity and text is used to enliven this opportunity and experience. Mentoring draws from 25 years of meditative practice and the gifts of many teachers including Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, John Kabat-Zinn, Jon Waterman, Jonathan Foust, Tara Brach.
I began meditating in 1984, regularly meditating in 1991 and meditating nearly daily since 2004. I’ve studied with Anh- Houng, Deepak Chopra, David Nowe, Tara Brach and many others, including with Jonathan Foust when I participated in Year of Living Mindfully in 2015. I practice insight meditation, sometimes use guided meditations and mantra meditation, and have also used dynamic meditation and chanting as a way to connect and become more present in this here now. I’ve attended many weekend and numerous week long silent retreats, dozens of programs and workshops, and I have also studied in India.
My practice has led to greater centeredness, peace, compassion (including self-compassion), curiosity and to what seems like a grounded groundlessness, an openness to the mystery of life and love. I have three adult children (one a daughter-in-law) and many interests, including NVC (I host a practice group) yoga, dance, shadow work, connecting with friends, the Enneagram, arts and culture, and, top of the list, spiritual and personal growth. Finally, I am a Reiki master.
My introduction to Mindfulness began with a professional training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). Part of that training required that I sit some week long silent retreats. I have since been on 7 retreats and make every effort to attend at least two a year. I participated in 2008 YLM (Year of Living Mindfully) with Jonathan Foust which helped me develop my practice and a sense of Sangha. Meditation has changed my life in ways that I could have never imagined and I am excited to be involved with IMCW.
I have been meditating for a number of years and am currently teaching meditation/mindfulness at jails and elsewhere. I have participated in weeklong silent meditation retreats and the year of living mindfully, a year-long group program of strong meditation and mindfulness living. Helping others in their practices is something I feel grateful to be able to try to do. I am a retired attorney and civil and family law mediator.
I'm happy to work with anyone, anywhere by phone. My strongest interest in meditation is how to apply it "off the cushion"; How can we draw upon our practice during the majority of each day, when we are not formally meditating? And when we are formally meditating, how can we best develop a practice that truly supports us through the rest of our time? These questions deeply engage me personally. They also filter into my work as a leadership coach and NeuroMovement® practitioner. Humor and balance are important touchstones for me personally and professionally.
In 2009, I began facilitating each year a local “Joy” group for people taking the "Awakening Joy" online course that is taught by James Baraz, a teacher at the Spirit Rock meditation center. Some of my favorite activities (besides meditating and IMCW mentoring, of course!) include yoga, painting, dancing, swimming and travel overseas.
As a teenager, an injury confined me to months of bedrest and permanently limited my physical activities. This wake-up call from mortality initiated an ongoing exploration into what was real about my life. I am grateful for the teachings of Vipassana, which compliment my secular worldview while providing practices for relating to the mystery of experience. My intention is to know truth in my lifetime and to share it for the benefit of others. My practice is currently focused on developing familiarity with the relationship between insight and compassion: "Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows." —Sri Nisargadatta I have had a mindfulness practice since 2016, have completed coursework with Tara Brach and Jonathan Foust, and have attended several week-long retreats. I am male, cis-gendered, heterosexual, and of European descent. I hope that my experience can serve you on your path.
Ken has been a student of mindfulness and meditation for over 10 years. Ken’s practice is centered around awakening, the pursuit of what’s true and keeping things simple. As the owner and operator of a professional consultancy, Ken can apply his practice to both business and personal situations and relationships daily. He has designed, instructed and coached Leadership programs working with the likes of Stephen Covey and Gary Bradt.
Ken is a graduate of the Year of Living Mindfully program with Jonathan Foust and follows the teaching of Adyashanti, JED McKenna and Tara Brach. Ken regularly participates in a local KM group and 1 on 1 focusing sessions. He is an avid cyclist, part-time yogi and experienced in chronic pain management. He is open to virtual as well as face-to-face mentoring and willing to work with all age groups.
As a Boulder, Colorado native, my exposure to Buddhism began in preschool and continued through my teenage years. I ventured on my first 10-day Vipassana retreat nearly 10-years ago and have been part of the IMCW community for several years. I am currently part of Jonathan Foust’s Year of Living Mindfully (YLM) program. As a yoga instructor, I am also highly aware of the interplay between yoga and meditation and how they enhance each other. Areas of focus: Mindfulness-based stress reduction; Meditation in the workplace; Yoga
3 children and 6 grandchildren, Female, Familiar with 12 Step. I am really thrilled about becoming a Mentor and being of Service in this way. About me: Serious practice for 20+ years. Many silent retreats. As small child I was drawn to trees and nature/sense of expansiveness, comforting, peace. Main Teachers: Last four years Tara, Jonathan’s Year of Living Mindfully. Recent 7 day with Adyashanti. Also, Bhavana, Thango Rinpoche and others. Groups that studied Pema. Other interests: grandchildren, Costa Rica, Walking, Singing and Reading. Namaste.
Anna is the wife of a wonderful being and mother of two delightful young children. Growing up in India, even when she was young, she watched her father meditate in the woods. When she followed him into the woods, she was encouraged to do the same. These seeds began to sprout when she moved to Hong Kong to attend university. She was drawn to the teachings of Indian Master, Kamal Srinivas and took a yoga and meditation teacher training with him, where she learned various meditation techniques. She started a daily practice after moving to the US when she came across Jon Kabat Zinn and completed the MBSR training from IMCW. She also completed the Power of Awareness training led by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach and the Teaching Meditation & Advanced Asana Training module of Kripalu Center's 300 hour teacher training, led by Jonathan Foust.
Anna continues to learn and grow by participating in the Year of Living Mindfully program and Monday night classes with Jonathan Foust, the teachings of Tara Brach, Rick Hanson, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Brahm as well as by attending meditation retreats and day-longs whenever she can. She is registered to attend the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification program (May 2017-2018) led by Jack K and Tara B. She is also part of a Kalyana Mitta (spiritual friendship) group and facilitator of a twice weekly teleSangha. Anna is deeply devoted to her practice and to helping others along the path.
Having dabbled in different types of meditative / contemplative practices since I was a teenager (about 20 years ago) but with no guide or particular direction, I knew I needed something but I did not know what it was. Fortunately, I started practicing Vipassana about 3 years ago and I found my center & my bearing. In addition to attending retreats, I have been in (2) year-long programs – Bringing Mindfulness to Life with Trisha Stotler and Year of Living Mindfully with Jonathan Foust.
I have personally, experienced the difference a guide/mentor/teacher can make to one’s spiritual practice and therefore to life. I can also see the positive effects of my meditation practice on the thoughts and behaviors of those closest to me. I am enthusiastic about sharing my experience and raising awareness about being aware with anybody that chooses to enquire about my practice. It is my belief, that mindfulness practices are as essential to contemporary modern life as is basic education. Other info: construction manager in the D/M/V region; female.
Having worked as an attorney and executive for three decades and experienced the extreme stress and anxiety of the business world, my interest lies in introducing mindfulness practices into the lives of busy, tense executives. I first became involved in IMCW in 2006, and have been an insight meditation student of Jonathan Foust since that time, including participating in his 2016 Year of Living Mindfully program. Over the years I have attended dozens of retreats led by Jonathan, Tara Brach, Hugh Byrne, Pat Coffey, and Sharon Salzburg, including weeklong silent retreats. I also participate in and coordinate several long-running Spiritual Friends (Kalyana Mitta) sangas.
I have practiced other mindfulness-based approaches as well: I have studied tai chi chuan for a decade, became “Healing from the Core”-certified under Suzanne Scurlock-Durana, and have started formal studies in the Mussar (Judaism's version of insight meditation) at my temple. I am now actively involved in applying mindfulness to workplace settings: I have attended multiple Mindful Leadership Summits, and as a business leader introduced mindfulness into my own company, including monthly dharma talks and weekly meditation offerings for staff.
In 1996 I was trained by Jon Kabat-Zinn in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Informed by my own mindfulness practice, I became a Registered Yoga Teacher. I now teach yoga, meditation and MBSR Courses and present daylong retreats in various locations. Besides having a 30 year yoga and meditation practice, I hold formal degrees in Creative and Healing Arts Education B.S., M.A., Ed.S. Combining creative arts and mindfulness allows practices to be more fully felt in the body and more meaningful to the mind. My work aims to help others to bring an enhanced self of wellness and joy into their lives through creativity. I especially like working with young adults to make mindfulness more meaningful and relevant to their daily lives. I prefer to work with teen to 35 age group.
I value Buddhist Vipassana meditation. I consider Tara Brach and Jonathan Foust my primary teachers through the IMCW. I have a regular, daily meditation practice, and have had for over two years (and have been meditating since 2007). I have attended various meditation classes, workshops, and daylongs since 2007, and am currently going through The Year of Living Mindfully with Jonathan Foust. I have attended two Thurs-Sun and one week-long residential retreat in the past year. I have an interest in helping others on the path.
I live in San Francisco. I have a son and a daughter, both book-lovers (one already a PhD; the other on the way). Sustainability is important to me, professionally and personally. I have been around and involved in macrobiotics, yoga and meditation for at least 25 years, and have been doing Vipassana meditation for the last 12-13 years--from the beginning of IMCW and with Tara Brach. I belong to a KM group that has been meeting at my house for the last 12 years every other Thursday, and graduated from the first Year of Living Mindfully with Jonathan Foust. I generally go to 2 long retreats/year and several smaller ones when time and subject is appealing. I would love to establish a compassionate mentoring practice that could benefit both of us and enrich the depth of our meditation practice. Welcome to my world!
I have practiced Vipassana meditation since 2010, building on more than two decades of yoga practice and more than three decades of Jungian-influenced psychotherapy. I am a student of body-centered inquiry (including Focusing and Intensive Breathwork with Jonathan Foust). I am a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher (500 hours, Engaged Mindfulness Institute) and a member of the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. I helped found IMCW's True Refuge Companion Program, which pairs trained meditators with those experiencing difficulty with illness, aging, or facing death. True Refuge Companions also work with caregivers and family members. My personal practice is deeply influenced by Analayo's "Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization," and four of my favorite books are "Small Boat, Great Mountain" by Amaro Bhikkhu, "No Self No Problem," by Anam Thubten, Joseph Goldstein's "One Dharma," and "The Trauma of Everyday Life," by Dr. Mark Epstein. I participated in Jonathan's Year of Living Mindfully (2011-12), and teach yoga and meditation classes for women at Rikers Island, the jail in New York City. I'm married with an adult
I first became interested in Buddhism in 1990, listening to tapes by Jack Kornfield. Since then, I've developed a regular sitting practice including vipassana, metta and tonglen. I began to sit retreats in 1998. Since 2000, my primary teacher has been Tara Brach. I'm also deeply influenced by Pema Chodron and Ken McLeod, and inspired by Suzuki Roshi, Tenzin Palmo and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I'm drawn to the relaxed style of vipassana taught by Sayadaw U Tejaniya. I think that each of us has to find a way of practice that works for us -- a journey that can be quite personal and idiosyncratic. Illuminating this idea, a favorite quote, by Lama Yeshe: "Whether we sit with our arms folded this way and our legs crossed that way is of little consequence. But is extremely important to check and see if whatever meditation we do is an actual remedy for our suffering."
I am currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Contemplative Psychology at Naropa University and have a B.A. in Contemplative Psychology from Naropa. I've been practicing meditation since September '08 with a focus on Western, Theravada, and Tibetan Buddhism. Before that I studied Tai Chi and the writings of Jiddu Krishnamurti. My main interest is eradicating unnecessary suffering, working with chronic pain, and faithfully following the Buddha's path to liberation. A foundation of Sila (morality), regular retreats, depth therapy and a rigorous daily practice have been effective for increasing my happiness, equanimity and insight. My 6-year old son is my greatest teacher.
I began practicing insight meditation in late 2011, gradually deepening and expanding my practice. I now sit for about 30 minutes per day and am active in two sanghas. I have a KM (spiritual friends) group, participated in Jonathan Foust's 2013-2014 Year of Living Mindfully (YLM), and have attended two week-long meditation retreats. I lead a weekly 30-minute lunchtime meditation at work.
Judy Majcen is a licensed social worker (LSW) and licensed independent chemical dependency counselor (LICDC) who has worked in mental health and substance abuse treatment for over 35 years. She currently works for Addiction Recovery Services in the Department of Psychiatry at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
In 2000 she became interested meditation and began learning about the practice. She has attended several residential retreats including ones at the Zen Mountain Monastery, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Garrison Institute and Southern Dharma Retreat Center. In 2010 she participated in a year long training program through the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, Newton, MA. It was then that she committed to a daily meditation practice.
Judy introduces patients in treatment to meditation and mindfulness weaving it into the healing process of recovery. In addition to her work at the hospital Judy started a sangha at her church in 2009. She is also affiliated with a twelve-step program. In 2013 she started an AA Women's meditation group.
POC (African-American), queer (bi), Female. My daily practice has been a crucial part of my life since 2006, when I first served in Iraq. I am currently completing my PhD and previously worked in the US government for many years. The greatest benefit of my practice is teaching me how skillfully engage while riding the waves of life. Blessed to have received insights from many teachers in insight (Vipassana) meditation, bhakti and karma yoga, and various energy healing modalities and have completed many multi-year teacher training programs. One of my greatest pleasures in life is to engage in deep spiritual dialogue and, in particular, support others in living their Dhamma. Your liberation is tied to my liberation. And my liberation is tied to your liberation. We are all blessed to continue exploring this mystery of life!
I have been a practicing Vipassana/Insight meditation since 2011 and have experienced its healing properties first hand as I have navigated through some of my life’s greatest challenges. I work in the addiction treatment field and, as a recovering addict, have found a daily meditation practice to be a remarkable support in this area.
I took advantage of this mentoring program a couple of years into my journey and found it very helpful in moving beyond some of the blocks that I felt were keeping me stuck. My primary teachers are Tara Brach and Jonathan Foust, although I am deeply influenced in some way or another by nearly every teacher that I encounter. I am also a firm believer that every single moment holds a profound teaching for us if our hearts are open and ready to receive it.
I have completed several daylong, weekend, and 7 day silent retreats and workshops with IMCW and am also a member and co-facilitator of IMCW’s pilot virtual Kalyana Mitta/Spiritual Friends group. It is my deep aspiration help others grow on their own path as an expression of the gratitude that I feel to those that have so freely given that to me.
Having a creative & agile mind, sit-and-watch-the-breath does not come easily to me, I needed to pass through asana, breath, visualization, mantra, … and was fortunate to discover traditional yoga & Tibetan Buddhism. For meditators, new(er) on the path, with similar mind & struggles, I gladly share my experiences & support to find what works best for you. Body & mind are interconnected & we mustn’t forget our spiritual practice is a precious resource to show up in life, not a goal in itself. Female, LLM Law, worked in project & change management, now transitioning to coach/educator/speaker (500h IYA Yoga Teacher; longer retreats & stays in Buddhist monastery & centers, avid interest in psychotherapy, rolfing, neuroscience) Only Skype (video or audio) for the moment. In English, Dutch or French. With Metta, Veronique
Frank has worked in the community care voluntary mental health sector for some twenty-five years and currently project manages a supported housing therapeutic community in the Northwest. Frank was the co-founding Director of the Belfast Mindfulness Centre. As an indigenous Belfast born practitioner he has been at the forefront of developing creative cross community mindfulness based initiatives to communities/ groups traumatised by the Northern Ireland troubles. Frank studied mindfulness at the University of Wales and is a qualified integrative humanistic counsellor.
Presently Frank teaches mindfulness through the life long learning programme at the Queen’s University of Belfast and has also successfully delivered experiential and practice-based training programmes to mental health and allied professionals working in psychiatry, nursing, social work and the criminal justice system.