Find a Mentor
To find a mentor, review the mentor biographies below and choose someone who’s accepting new mentees whom you think would be a good fit.
During your first meeting with your mentor, you will review your Mentoring Agreement, your goals, how often you’ll meet, where, and for how long.
If you have other questions about the program, please contact the Mentoring Coordinator.
Choose a mentor
Lorena Saavedra Smith - Washington, DC
Originally from Perú, Lorena has been exposed from a very young age to diverse spiritual and natural ways of interconnection towards self-healing and self-empowerment. She was drawn to the practice of Vipassana meditation around 2005. She has been sharing her passion for holistic and integrated health as a movement therapist, yoga educator, mindfulness coach and keeper of Peruvian shamanic wisdom for nearly two decades.
Her meditation teachers include Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jonathan Foust, with whom she completed the Year of Living Mindfully. She co-facilitates Tara’s post talk discussion group and KM groups.
Presently, she works on spreading mindfulness resources in Spanish. Lorena’s primary focus and mission is to mentor and support others’ paths, especially those recovering from traumatic events associated with assimilation and immigration journeys.
Niel Rosen (he/him) - Washington, DC
I began meditating at the Center for Mindful Living in 2015 when it was located near the Tenleytown metro. My practice and commitment to Buddhism have both deepened with the support of the CML sangha. In November 2019, I began teaching at CML.
I have completed three yearlong training programs: the Foundations course at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care; the Year of Living Mindfully program with Jonathan Foust (YLM-10); and the Socially Engaged Buddhist Training program with Roshi Joan Halifax at Upaya Zen Center.
I am committed to the practice because it helps me cope with difficulty and, consequently, suffer less. The practice also helps me experience joy.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a mentor, and humbled by it.
Michael Cohen - Columbia, MD
Michael has been practicing mindfulness and mediation for almost 13 years and is a graduate of the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Training Program taught by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. Michael has led the discussion group that meets online after Tara Brach’s weekly class. He has been a mentor through IMCW since 2016 and is currently studying to be mindfulness based certified life coach.
Hardy Cook - College Park, MD
Two adult daughters. I began meditating and studying the dharma as a result of intense emotional and chronic physical pain. I strive to go on retreats several times a year mostly at The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies with Leigh Brasington, Bhikkhu Anālayo, and others. I participated in the YLM program twice. I completed the two-year training in The Committed Practitioners Programme (CPP) from Bodhi College in England with Stephen Batchelor as my mentor. I am currently in a two-year MahaSati training with Heather Sundberg.
I am an avowed Secular Buddhist with an interest in Early Buddhism and the sutta.
Craig Ehrlich - Gaithersburg, MD
I am a 67-year-old male. I’m married with two children and retired. I’ve been training and practicing for over 30 years. My practice has been consistent since 2004. I believe through understanding what the Buddha taught and developing a meditation practice, life’s challenges can be overcome more easily. Keeping the Dharma in mind throughout the day is very useful and supports our time in formal meditation and formal meditation time helps us move through the day with skill.
I look forward to sharing the Dharma and my practice.
Mickey Fenzel - Baltimore, MD
I have been a meditation practitioner and a student of Buddhist psychology for more than 15 years and was a professor at Loyola University Maryland for 31 years. I enjoy learning from my Buddhist teachers, attending workshops and retreats, and engaging in learning with interested others. My primary practice is Zen, including Rinzai, Soto, and Order of Interbeing, and participate in bringing meditation to Maryland correctional institutions.
I’m a husband, father, and grandfather. A psychologist and certified mindfulness meditation teacher, I bring mindfulness to my clinical work and teaching and enjoy walking with others along the path to awakening.
Christine Lauterbach - Silver Spring, MD
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 Brach in 1994 and have since fallen in love with Buddhism in all its depth and wisdom.
At my first month-long retreat in 2003—the first of many long retreats—I experienced moments of being completely at peace for the first time in my life. My practice continues to evolve and yield fruits of gratitude, joy, and connection 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.
Affinity: 12-Step recovery (Al-Anon and Workaholics Anonymous)
Katy Flanagan - Bethesda, MD
Mindfulness and a daily meditation practice open me to the everyday joys and challenges of life. When difficulty arises, pausing, touching into the felt sense of the moment, and offering self-compassion bring comfort and insight.
I am an attorney, and mindfulness has revealed and softened some of the unhealthy mental habits and attachments that accumulated over decades as a competitive striver. I teach mindfulness now at the Center for Mindful Living, in private classes, and through the nonprofit Insight on the Inside, to those from historically marginalized communities. I am a certified mindfulness meditation teacher through MMTCP.
I would be happy to help you nourish habits of pausing and letting go into awareness and compassion.
Affinity: 12-Step recovery
Tim Lambert - Kensington, MD
I’ve been meditating for 30 years but attended my first class with Tara Brach just seven years ago. I didn’t know what to expect but quickly discovered Vipassana meditation offers a path toward self-knowledge, freedom, and peace. I dove in with both feet and have participated in many IMCW retreats and in Jonathan Foust’s Year of Living Mindfully. I’m a member of a 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. I 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.
Rachel Sutcliff - College Park, MD
Rachel began formally meditating with the IMCW community in 2012 but had interest in mindfulness meditation for almost a decade prior. She has been on several week-long (and longer) retreats and has experience navigating the myriad number of challenges encountered during a sit. She has participated in a deeper structured practice through Jonathan Foust’s Year of Living Mindfully for 2 consecutive years and an active member of KM (spiritual friends) sitting groups.
Since 2016, she’s been leading a secular mindfulness meditation class at her job and is a meditation instructor to incarcerated adults through Insight on Inside (IOI). Her other practices have included long distance running, hiking, and breathwork.
Rose Moncell - Takoma Park, MD
I’ve been meditating (Vipassana/insight) since 1998 and originally started with Lynn Kelly and Luisa Montero at the 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. I’ve done retreats at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia.
About me: married, two sons, one with special needs, had one year of health crisis (broken vertebrae/ back, three surgeries). I love supporting people in creating connections with the sacred/Dhamma in their life.
Geoff Maxson - Takoma Park, MD
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 qigong 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.
Mark Lindley - Annapolis, MD
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.
Affinity: 12-Step recovery
Ray Manyoky - Frederick, MD
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. I have learned to slow down, 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 the felt-sense feelings can be transformational and liberating.
I am a certified mindfulness meditation teacher through MMTCP. I am the owner of the Frederick Meditation Center. I teach and facilitate about 10 sessions every week. I am a mentor/teacher through Cloud Sangha.
I have taught various meditation workshops and been a mentor in Jonathan Foust’s Year of Living Mindfully program.
Chan Britton - Richmond, VA
I began practicing meditation in 2008 right around the time I began teaching yoga. My meditation practice has been a significant source of support through good times and bad. I have participated in numerous residential silent retreats in the U.S. and abroad. I have served in various roles within IMCW, including as a member of the Board of Directors and both participated in and served as a mentor in Jonathan Foust’s “Year of Living Mindfully” program.
I am currently enrolled in the Mindfulness Teaching Certification Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. I work full-time in public health policy for the Federal government, and my real job is mothering my young son, who also just happens to be the best teacher I’ve ever had.
Bob Cheek - Arlington, VA
I have been meditating for a number of years and am currently teaching meditation/mindfulness in 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.
Vicki Doran - Alexandria, VA
I began meditating in 1984, nearly daily since 2004. I’ve studied with Anh-Houng, Deepak Chopra, David Nowe, Tara Brach, and Jonathan Foust, when I participated in the Year of Living Mindfully
I practice insight meditation, use guided meditations and mantra meditation, and also dynamic meditation and chanting as a way to connect with the here and now. I’ve attended many weekend and week long silent retreats, dozens of workshops, and have also studied in India.
My practice has led to greater centeredness, peace, compassion (including self-compassion), and openness to the mystery of life and love. I have three adult children and many interests, including NVC (I host a practice group) yoga, dance, shadow work, the Enneagram, arts and culture, and spiritual and personal growth. Finally, I am a Reiki master.
Stephen Steiner (he/him) - Alexandria, VA
The Dhamma sits at the core of my life, and I am very happy to share that with others. I’ve had a steady meditation practice for the last decade, and have spent a great deal of time studying and practicing the Dhamma. I have a wish for everyone to be happy, and feel that spreading the Dhamma to others (meaning, you!) is the best way for that to happen. Some areas that I might be especially helpful to you include:
– Starting and maintaining a meditation practice.
– Integrating the Dhamma into your daily life.
– Accessing kindness, towards yourself and others.
– How to deepen your practice after developing a daily meditation practice.
– Understanding Enlightenment, and why you might pursue that.
May we all fully Awaken!
Faith Halter - Arlington, VA
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’re 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 and also filter into my work as a leadership coach, mentor coach, and yoga teacher.
Humor and balance are touchstones for me personally and professionally. Since 2009, I have been facilitating a women’s “Joy” group that meets monthly in Arlington, Virginia. It is based on the “Awakening Joy” online course and book by James Baraz, a teacher at Spirit Rock.
I’m happy to work with anyone, anywhere by phone.
Judith Donovan - Falls Church, VA
As a dedicated Practitioner for over 30 years, I was part of the initial training program for mentors with IMCW. Over the years I have lovingly and gratefully mentored many folks. I am a retired psychotherapist, and have done many silent retreats including one month long at Forest Refuge. I have just finished an in depth study of the Four Noble Truths with insight meditation of Charlottesville Va. Soon to be living in Massachusetts from Costa Rica for past years I do sessions by ZOOM. Personally I am the great grandmother of seven, love writing, nature, and the dharma.
Jamie Reygle (he/him), CMT-P - Floyd, VA
Jamie is the founder and executive director of InStill Mindfulness. He began studying meditation techniques in the late ’90s, and has been practicing mindfulness since 2003. Since then, his interest in mindfulness has led him to teach mindfulness in many settings, including retreats, public schools, businesses, independent workshops, and music festivals. He has staffed retreats for iBme and InStill Mindfulness, and written a short eBook on mindfulness practice called The Unenlightened Buddha. His work history includes much work with disadvantaged youth, music promotion and management, journalism, teaching, and corporate customer service. Jamie holds a BA in Psychology from Murdoch University, is an IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher, a graduate of The School for the Work with Byron Katie, and has completed Level I Focusing training.
Judith Salverian - Vienna, VA
I began meditating in 2007 while trying to uncover the reasons for ongoing medical complaints which I soon discovered originated in repressed emotions. Meditation helped me gradually overcome those problems. I was guided by the writings of Tara Brach and Jon Kabat-Zinn, began attending retreats, workshops, and an MBSR course. I settled into a daily practice in 2013.
As a participant in Jonathan Foust’s Year of Living Mindfully (YLM), I was introduced to Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing technique which I found transformative and it’s a regular and essential part of my life.
I teach mindfulness and work with Insight on the Inside; participate in the YLMx sangha, YLMx’s Focusing Salon, and two Spiritual Friends groups. I find it rewarding to have supportive one-on-one friendships with fellow meditators in the mentoring program.
Colleen Bogner - FL, PA, ME
My spiritual journey began over 30 years ago with 12-step recovery for Adult Children and Codependents. I have practiced meditation including mantra and yogic philosophy. In 2008-2009 I participated in Jonathan Foust’s Year of Living Mindfully, followed by several IMCW silent retreats which led me to train as a mindfulness-based psychotherapist. I regularly participate in various mindfulness retreats, practices, and continuing education courses.
While I have been on sabbatical from my therapy practice over the last 8 years, six new grandchildren offer ample opportunity for mindful practice.
I am honored to partner with others on this path and committed to discovering beauty amidst the mud of life.
Kathy Breen - Bridgton, ME
I feel grateful, as a graduate of Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield’s Mindful Meditation Teacher Certification Program, to share my learning with you. Whether you are beginning your meditation journey or hoping to deepen your practice, we’ll explore working with thoughts, emotions, and external realities to gain greater understanding of and compassion toward yourself and others whether co-workers, family, or friends. A gentle approach, combined with humor, inquiry, and text, is used to enliven this opportunity and experience.
Mentoring draws from 30 years of meditative practice and the gifts of many teachers including Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, Khenmo Drolma, John Kabat-Zinn, Leigh Brasington, Mary Aubry, Jonathan Foust, and Tara Brach.
Affinity: Those facing significant life changes and the complex emotions involved with uncertainty.
Richard Bush - Berkeley, CA
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 think that each of us needs to find a way of practice that works for us—a journey that can often be quite personal and idiosyncratic.
I’m available by phone or Zoom. Currently, because of time constraints, I’m only available for practice consultations and occasional follow-up consultations, not for weekly or monthly sessions.
Marlene Klein Atwood (she/her) - Oakland, CA, on Mukekma Ohlone confederated villages of Lisjan
My life journey has taken me in many directions. I am mother of two adult children and grandmother to a two-year old. I’ve had my own small business; was ordained, and then started and led a spiritual community; I became an elementary school teacher at 50 and worked in the public school system for 18 years; I am now retired from full-time teaching and work as a substitute teacher one day a week, and tutor two 2nd graders two days a week.
I have been on a quest to find inner peace, stability, joy and love since my late 20’s…I’m now 72. These nourishing states now arise more and more. When unwholesome states do arise, I am able to meet them with awareness and gentle kindness. Daily meditation practice, practicing Buddhist teachings, and many teachers along the way have led to an experience of gradually expanding freedom, equanimity, and love. I am here to listen and support you as you deepen your own meditation practice.
Jill Drew - Sharon, CT
I have practiced Vipassana meditation since 2010, building on more than two decades of yoga practice and more than three of Jungian-influenced psychotherapy. I am a certified mindfulness meditation teacher (500 hours, Engaged Mindfulness Institute) and a yoga teacher (RYS-200). I led yoga and meditation classes for incarcerated individuals from 2012 to 2020. I helped found IMCW’s True Refuge Companion Program, which pairs trained meditators with those experiencing illness, aging, or facing death.
My practice is influenced by Analayo’s “Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization.” 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 am married with an adult son.
Roy Kalina - Chattanooga, TN
I’m blessed to feel happy and content. I attribute these treasured accomplishments to over 20 years in engaged 12-step recovery and approximately 15 years of Vipassana practice and exposure to Buddhist teachings, primarily from Tara Brach. I’ve attended multiple retreats at the Forest Refuge since 2015. These retreats, and those preceding them, have been an unexpected vehicle for both spiritual growth and emotional healing.
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 67, a father and grandfather, and am now retired from a career in government service.
Affinity: 12-Step recovery
Yeni Hernandez (she/her) - Miami, FL
Hello friends. My name is Yeni Hernandez, but you can call me Yeni. I am originally from Cuba and moved to the United States eight years ago. I currently live in Miami and speak English and Spanish.
I have been meditating for more than three years and have been part of many retreats with Tara and Jonathan Foust. I am also part of a Sangha group with Cloud Sangha, practice RAIN meditation weekly with a RAIN partner and completed various courses with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.
I am very passionate about meditation practices and the awakening of the heart and minds. I would love to be of service and help others be more compassionate, self-loving and true to themselves through these wonderful practices.
David Cabrera (he, him) - Miami, Florida
David is currently a mentor for Cloud Sangha under Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield since 2021 and also is a visiting teacher for Insight LA where he co-facilitates retreats as well as leads Insight LA’s BIPOC group. David completed the two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Course under Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach graduation class of 2021. He is certified under Thutpen Jinpa’s Compassion Training Course at Vanderbilt led by William Thiele, Ph.D.
David is a devoted husband and father and musician. He is also a Martial arts practitioner and a “Laoshi ” (teacher in Chinese ) of Chen Taiji and Qigong (Mindful movement ) work. He currently teaches Mindful Movement and meditation for One Dharma Nashville. Here he co-founded One Dharma’s first BIPOC group since 2018. David has been teaching Qigong and mindful movement for the past 13 years as well as practicing Vispasana Meditation for 12 years. He has also had Somatic Integration training under Pawan Bareja in 2021, and teaches this as well.
Affinities: Afro, Cuban, Asian descent
Hanno Eigenbrod (he/him) - Antibes, France
I was born in Germany, but lived most of my live in the United Kingdom, and now in Antibes on the south coast of France.
Prior to my path into mindfulness I was working as a frontline police officer in London, where quite early in service I was injured and lived with PTSD, which I was unaware to, for almost 10 years. A plethora of negative coping mechanisms creeped in and I was left unable to work, almost unable to live.
It was through mindfulness-based treatment that I was able to escape those dark times. Owing my life to mindfulness and meditation, I decided to want to make this my path in life, being able to help others. I am now a qualified mindfulness meditation teacher, having been trained by several institutions and a teacher of Tibetan calm-abiding meditation.
I hope I can be of service.
Affinities: I am openly LGBT and I am neurodiverse.
Sadie Redden (she/her) - Duncan BC, Canada
I was first drawn to mindfulness eight years ago when I discovered Tara Brach’s teachings. I’d always been a very sensitive person and was afraid of the depth and intensity of my emotions. I carried a heavy sense of shame about being too delicate to face the harshness of this world. Mindfulness and meditation have been transformational in my life, allowing me to connect with and liberate parts of my being that had been shut away in exile. I’m currently enrolled in Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield’s 2-year meditation teacher certification program, and will graduate in February 2023. I offer a kind, calm, non-judgmental presence. I’m living among the trees in a small community on Vancouver Island, Canada, with my partner and our very fluffy cat.
Affinities: Gender topics, LGBTQIA+, Plurality
Oly Doroshev (she/her) - Israel
I help people integrate spirituality into daily life and deepen their awakening while healing the human self. I invite my people to deepen embodiment safely since the body is a portal to experiencing the sacredness of life through its senses. The magic, the bliss, the contentment, the belonging, and the home are already within each of us, and it’s possible to cultivate the capacity to pay visits to ourselves, as Rumi wrote, through meditation and radical love.
I bring tools from IFS therapy, neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology, coherence therapy, and years of meditation to our space to custom-tailor helpful and healing experiences for people. Mostly, I am beyond honored and delighted to hold space for your (and my) sacred unfolding as we share this time and space.
Apply for a mentor
These mentors are currently not accepting mentees. However, you can still request them and we will contact you when they are available.
Early encouragement for my spiritual exploration from the Episcopal church and my grandmother led me home to the dharma. Initially learning in the Tibetan tradition and since 2004 with Vipassana through IMCW, the practice continues to open me deeply. Practice is on and off the cushion — with family and friends, at work, with total strangers. My regular sangha is Monday nights with Jonathan Foust at UUCA and two KM groups. I’ve completed numerous weekend, half-day and daylong retreats, a week long, and the Year of Living Mindfully (2016), all with IMCW, as well as other retreats and training, including in the Tibetan tradition. Practice has slowly and surely become both the core of my life and sangha is my tribe. When I first discovered IMCW, I also found a mentor who was so helpful to me in developing my practice and trust this may also be of benefit to others.
Christy has been practicing Vipassana/Insight meditation since 2011. She has studied extensively with leading Western teachers of mindfulness, psychology, and contemplative practices, including Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and Jonathan Foust, and has completed various trainings in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion, and Mindfulness in Recovery. She is a graduate of the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (2019) and maintains all requirements for certification as required by the International Mindfulness Teacher’s Association. Deeply committed to her own healing and to bringing these powerful practices to others, Christy believes that every single moment holds a profound teaching for us if our hearts are open and ready to receive it.