We are a growing community of trained professionals, dedicated to empowering teens and young adults in a supportive environment.
iBme teachers and mentors are professionals in the areas of mindfulness, health, and education and bring years of personal mindfulness practice to their roles, modeling authenticity, compassion, and respect. Find out more about our teachers and mentors below.
If you are interested in learning more about how to become an iBme mentor on a teen retreat, please complete our mentor application form.
Anthony “T” Maes found mindfulness during college when struggling with addiction, and it saved his life. He has practiced mindfulness meditation since 2003 including many weeklong and monthlong silent retreats. He’s been teaching teens in mindfulness retreats and weekly class formats since 2009 for various organizations including Spirit Rock and IBME. On retreat he enjoys teaching emotional intelligence, diversity and inclusion, relational mindfulness, multi-racial liberation, and acrobalance. He is a teacher and coordinator of the weekly Teen Sangha meditation group at East Bay Meditation Center. He also works as a wilderness mentor for middle-school boys with Stepping Stones Project and Back To Earth. “T” graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004, completed the yearlong Commit2Dharma program at East Bay Meditation Center in 2011, and is a graduate of Facilitator-1 training at Against The Stream Meditation Society.
Barnaby Willett is Director of Program Development at the nonprofit Peace in Schools, which offers semester-long mindfulness classes in public high schools. He teaches mindfulness at Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon. Barnaby has practiced mindfulness since 1994. He is certified to teach a 12-week curriculum in Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents (MBSAT). Barnaby was formerly employed in finance and investment management. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Pomona College.
Cara Lai started meditating over ten years ago, and began sitting long retreats regularly in 2011. Most of her practice has been in the IMS/Spirit Rock tradition, although she has explored many other avenues of self-discovery. She seeks to find freedom through her own intuitive process, however that may vary from the ways we normally think about Buddhism, and to help others do the same. Nature, intuition, and the body are all integral to her teaching. She teaches for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and works as a mindfulness-based psychotherapist, artist, and occasional wilderness guide. She has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Vermont; and in the past has worked in a therapeutic high school, an adoption agency, and various outdoor education settings. In 2020 she will complete the Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program. In her spare time she enjoys walking and watching plants grow.
Caverly Morgan has been practicing meditation since 1995, including eight years as a monk in the Zen tradition. She is the founding director of One House of Peace, (caverlymorgan.org) a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon, and conducts workshops and retreats around the country. Caverly is currently building the Peace in Schools program, (www.peaceinschools.org) which launched the first for-credit mindfulness programs in two high schools in Portland in 2014. She leads the Peace in Schools teaching team, develops the mindfulness curriculums, and works directly with teens. Caverly brings insight, passion and humor to her transformative work with students of all ages.
Charisse Minerva Spencer
Charisse Minerva Spencer brings to the Mindfulness arena a background in Arts, Science, and Youth Development. She earned a B.S. Degree in Medical Technology from the Medical College of Virginia/VCU. However, her love of the Arts led her to divert her path in order to live her passion for dance and choreography. Later Charisse returned to school to get a Masters in Performance Studies with a concentration in Dance Anthropology from Tisch School of the Arts/New York University. Her eclectic professional experience coupled with more than 30 years of practice in the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist organization led to her interest in Mindfulness. Charisse brings a scientific and artistic approach to the field investigating the existence of contemplative practices, its individual and cultural significance, as well as how these practices can be introduced in ways that are broad-based. She has worked with Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), is Mindfulness Coordinator at Friends School of Virginia Beach, and has done workshops in schools, festivals, corporate offices, detention & treatment centers.
Chas DiCapua started practicing meditation in the Soto Zen tradition in 1989. He sat his first Vipassana retreat at IMS in 1995. Since then he has practiced in both the US and Asia. A recent graduate of the Spirit Rock/IMS Teacher Training Program, Chas is currently the Resident Teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. He also teaches regularly at various sitting groups and centers.
Dawn has been practicing and studying Insight Meditation since 2005, and sits silent residential retreats in Canada, the US, Thailand, and Burma, including a 3-month silent retreat at Insight Meditation Society. She has completed several programs of meditation studies from True North Insight and Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Currently, Dawn is a student in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s 4-year Teacher Training. Dawn firmly believes that how we offer ourselves in practice reflects how we offer ourselves in life, inspiring her to find new ways to extend her practice beyond the meditation cushion – and encouraging students to do the same.
Dawn Scott has been practicing meditation and mindfulness since 2008 and now serves as the Family Program Coordinator at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Dawn coordinates classes, daylongs, benefits, and residential mindfulness retreats in which the practice and teachings of mindful awareness are offered in order to support the development of wisdom and compassion for children, teens, whole families, and the wider community.
Devon Cresci has been practicing mindfulness since 1997. She graduated with her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Since that time she has worked with teens in many different capacities. Currently she works part time for Mindful Schools as a guiding teacher for their yearlong teacher training program and full time as a Social Worker in a public high school in San Francisco. There, she teaches mindfulness to both students and staff. Devon identifies as a queer woman and is heartfelt about the power of mindfulness practice to increase peace and freedom for all.
Doug Worthen is the Director of Mindfulness Programs at the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. Since 2010 he has been supporting and educating the Middlesex School community (students, faculty, staff, parents, and alums) in mindfulness. Doug began practicing mindfulness meditation in 1999 as a member of the UVA national championship lacrosse team and has been a dedicated practitioner ever since. Living through two bouts of lymphoma, including a bone marrow transplant in 2007, Doug has also experienced how supportive mindfulness can be when living with illness. Doug has attended several 1-3 month-long mindfulness retreats, a variety of teacher trainings, and is dedicated to supporting other schools in creating full-time mindfulness faculty positions. He regularly staffs iBme retreats and served on the iBme board from 2010–16. You can read about his classes at Middlesex.
Enrique Collazo has been practicing Meditation since 2005. In 2009, he started staffing teen retreats and has offered classes as a facilitator and meditation instructor for youth and adults in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. He’s currently teaching in the Bay Area with youth as mindfulness instructor with the Mind Body Awareness Project. Enrique shares the practice in a straightforward and practical manner and loves working with youth and supporting their transformation.
Jack Blackfelt is an iBme retreat teacher living in Kensington, Maryland. Jack has lived a spiritual practice rooted in forgiveness, service and constant self-inquiry since 2004. He enjoys a self-taught meditation life, with an emphasis on bringing awareness and skillful living to all aspects off the cushion. He likes to organize low-cost daylong meditation retreats and silent meditative bicycle rides and walking meditation events. He led the weekly Washington DC Dharma Punx meditation fellowship for 5years, before turning it over into a peer-led practice group that he now facilitates once a month. Jack has staffed and taught multiple iBme teen retreats since 2009, incorporating mindfulness with sports and play in his workshops. He brings his experience with addiction and mindful consumption to them as well, having participated in teen/young peoples’ 12-step recovery groups. He also co-facilitates the IMCW bi-weekly teen sangha in Bethesda since 2012.
Jean Esther, MSW, began her formal mindfulness meditation training in 1975. Jean’s mindfulness teaching is informed by over 31 years of practice as a psychotherapist integrating spiritual inquiry with psychological understanding. Jean is a core teacher for the annual Teen Retreat at IMS, which she has served since 1999. She is a senior teacher at Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley in Easthampton, MA, a Continuing Ed faculty in the Smith College School of Social Work and has a private psychotherapy practice in Northampton, MA.
Jeff Warren is a writer and meditation teacher. He is the author of The Head Trip, a travel guide to sleeping, dreaming and waking, and co-author, along with Dan Harris and Carlye Adler, of The New York Times bestselling Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. He is also Founder and Chief Exploring Officer of The Consciousness Explorers Club, a nonprofit meditation adventure group in Toronto.
Jessica Morey began practicing meditation at age 14 in the Insight Meditation Society teen retreats. She returned every year for 6 years and then participated for 10 years in an IMS young adult mentoring group. Jessica has attended longer (1-3 month) retreats in Asia and the US and is a founding board member and lead teacher for iBme teen retreats. Before joining iBme, Jessica worked in clean energy and climate policy and finance. She holds a BA in Environmental Engineering from Dartmouth and Masters degrees in Sustainable Development and International Affairs. She wrote an article in the February 2014 Mindful Magazine, “Finding My Way,” about her experience learning and benefiting from mindfulness throughout her young adult years. She is an avid yoga practitioner and skier and loves dancing in any form.
JoAnna Harper has been exploring and practicing multiple traditions since 1999. In 2005, her focus landed on Buddhism and Vipassana meditation, which is the premise for most of her current teaching. She teaches; adult and teen weeklong silent retreats, day longs and weekly classes, and works with at risk youth and non at risk youth in institutional and school settings. Helping communities and individuals that don’t typically have access to the traditional dharma settings and building multicultural community is top on her list of priorities. She is a co-guiding teacher at Against the Stream, has been trained in council facilitation with the Ojai Foundation and is an empowered teacher in the Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw, Spirit Rock, IMS lineage. She is the grateful mother of CJ and Harris – her main inspirations.
Joe Klein, LPC, is the lead clinician of a mindfulness-based addiction treatment program in rural Virginia. He began practicing meditation in 2001, began staffing teen retreats in 2007, and is a co-founder of iBme. Since 2010, Joe has been teaching a graduate course at Radford University and leading retreats and workshops on mindfulness practice for college students, counselors, social workers, and education professionals. Joe brings playfulness, Earth connection, and whole person engagement to his ways of teaching and embodying mindfulness practice.
Jose Shinzan Palma
Jose Shinzan Palma was born in Veracruz, Mexico. He is a Zen Buddhist Priest. He has been practicing Zen since 1996. He did a residential training for 4 years at the Zen Buddhist Temple in Toronto, Canada. He lived and trained in Upaya Zen Center for over 8 years. He is a Dharma Successor of Roshi Joan Halifax. He has taught Zazenkais and Sesshins at Upaya and has staffed Teen Retreats for Spirit Rock Center and iBme. He is a guest teacher in a Zen Buddhist Temple in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Shinzan left the residency of Upaya to return to Mexico and start a community spreading the Dharma in Mexico. His vision is to work with youth and also create a Zen Hispanic community in the USA and Mexico.
Kaira Jewel Lingo
Kaira Jewel Lingo teaches Buddhist meditation, mindfulness, and compassion internationally, with a focus on children, families, and young people. She began practicing mindfulness in 1997. An ordained nun of 15 years in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, she is now a lay Dharma teacher, leading retreats in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Brazil, India and Southern Africa, and offering mindfulness programs for educators and youth in schools. She edited Thich Nhat Hanh’s, ‘Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children’ and helped to start and develop Wake Up Schools, bringing mindfulness to education. She also leads retreats for people of color, activists and artists. She explores the interweaving of art, play, ecology and spiritual practice and is a certified yoga teacher and InterPlay leader. In spring 2015, she was spiritual practitioner in residence at Schumacher College, an ecological college, in the United Kingdom. In addition to her roots in the Zen tradition, she regularly attends the 3-month silent retreat at IMS. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology and Social Sciences.
Khalila Archer worked for over a decade as an outdoor educator with extensive experience facilitating groups of teenagers and young adults on multi-day wilderness excursions. She holds a B.A. in Adventure-based Environmental Education from Prescott College and has worked for a variety of educational programs throughout the United States. Introduced to mindfulness meditation at a teen retreat when she was 16 years old, Khalila has cultivated a daily practice and endeavors to sit yearly retreats. Through blending her passions of community engagement, meditation, and exploration of the natural world, she has found supporting iBme’s transformative programs to be deeply satisfying.
La Sarmiento has been practicing meditation and has been a member of IMCW since 1998. La’s practice and approach has been influenced greatly by the teachings of Tara Brach, Pema Chodron, Charlotte Joko Beck, Larry Yang, Eric Kolvig, Michele McDonald, Cheri Maples, Joe Weston, and Ruth King. Since 2005, La has been the guiding teacher/leader of the IMCW Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) meditation group and the IMCW People of Color meditation group. La integrates concepts of Respectful Confrontation and Non-violent Communication into their gatherings to create a sacred space for group wisdom to arise. La is a senior retreat/event manager committed to bringing diverse teachers and programs to IMCW and to making mindfulness meditation accessible to all. La has been a body/energyworker in private practice since 1992 and teaches mindfulness-based Reiki classes with their life partner Wendy Taylor in Adams Morgan, DC.
Mark Wax is deeply grateful to be working with iBme. Mark has been a sincere student of many meditative arts for the last 15 years. He has worked for Yoga International, The Himalayan Institute, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He recently completed his 500-hour yoga teacher certification through Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga and Meditation Training.
Marvin G. Belzer
Marvin G. Belzer, PhD, has taught mindfulness meditation for over fifteen years and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. For many years he taught a semester-long meditation course in the Department of Philosophy at Bowling Green St. University, where he was a Professor of philosophy. He and Diana Winston were instrumental in developing week-long mindfulness retreats for teens in the mid-1990s.
Mick Neustadt is a long time mindfulness and meditation practitioner and clinical social worker. As a result of 20 years of personal practice Mick has experienced the profound benefits of mindfulness. He realizes that we have a great capacity to connect deeply with our full selves and others. Through dedicated practice we can transform the way that we relate to ourselves, those closest to us, and the world. With his rich background as a therapist, former school teacher and coach, Mick brings a wide range of skills and dedication to helping teens and adults on their journey of self exploration. Since 2011 he has formally taught mindfulness to teens in schools, on retreats and a weekly group. He has also taught teachers in schools, and teaches a weekly group for adults. Mick has completed numerous trainings for teaching mindfulness to teens and is also a Level 2 iRest Yoga Nidra teacher.
Lama Rod Owens (Mdiv) is an author, activist, and authorized Lama (Buddhist Teacher) in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Rod is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Lama Rod is also a teacher with the Daishin Zen Buddhist Temple, the Urban Yoga Foundation, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), a visiting teacher with Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Brooklyn Zen Center. Lama Rod has been a faculty member for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s professional education program in mindfulness for educators and has served as a guest faculty member for the school’s course Mindfulness for Educators. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School where he focused on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. He is a co-author of Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities. Lama Rod is a founding teacher for the Awaken meditation app that offers meditations and contemplations focused on social change. He has been published and featured in several publications including Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Spirit Magazine, and contributed the chapter on working with anger for the recent publication Real World Mindfulness for Beginners. He is a regular guest on SiriusXM’s Urban View hosted by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and publisher Karen Hunter. He has offered talks, retreats, and workshops for many organizations and universities including New York University, Yale University, Harvard University, Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Tufts University, University of Vermont, and Boston College. Lama Rod facilitates undoing patriarchy workshops for male identified practitioners in Brooklyn and Boston. His current writing projects include patriarchy in spiritual communities, White supremacy in Tibetan Buddhist communities, sexuality and ethics, as well as fatness and spirituality. Lama Rod’s next book will explore transformative anger and love and is due out June 2019. Lama Rod can be reached at www.lamarod.com.
Sara Shapouri has been practicing meditation since 2008 and participated in numerous retreats at the Insight Meditation Society, including a 3-month silent retreat. Sara also sits on IMS’ Board of Directors. She graduated from the University of Virginia’s School of Law, with a particular interest in human rights and social justice. Her desire to promote the welfare of children has taken her around the globe, including legal reform advocacy for incarcerated children in Bangladesh, analysis of the plight of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, and a published policy paper on child sexual abuse and exploitation in Iran.
Susie Harrington teaches meditation nationwide and is the guiding teacher for Desert Dharma, which serves many communities in the Southwest near her home in Moab, Utah. She has trained in the Insight tradition since 1989, and in 2005 was invited into teaching by Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Guy Armstrong. She has also received teachings from many others, including Tory Capron, Adyashanti, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. She often offers retreats outside, believing nature to be a profound teacher, and a gateway to our true self. Her teaching is deeply grounded in the body and often emphasizes the expression of mindfulness in speech and daily life. Susie brings the skills of inquiry, relational dharma, and the psychological / spiritual interface to her teaching, informed by her ongoing study of the Diamond Approach by A.H.Almaas and as a graduate of Hakomi Therapy (a somatic psychotherapy modality). She offers a two-year intensive program, Dharma in Daily Life, where she delights in mentoring the innate qualities of heart and wisdom in everyday practice. Her practice is rooted in periods of long retreat both indoors and outdoors, which offer nourishment and inspiration for her teaching. She was an outdoor professional for over 30 years, including years as a river guide, mountaineering guide, and backcountry ranger, and now finds her greatest delight in sharing her love of the dharma and the natural world.
Tuere Sala is a retired prosecuting attorney who has practiced Vipassana meditation for over 25 years. She has been an active member and volunteer at Seattle Insight since 2001. In 2009, she was appointed to be a Local Dharma Leader and has often supported SIMS in unconventional ways such as answering the many letters SIMS receives from practitioners in prison; offering beginning classes at Angeline Women’s shelter and Jubilee House, a women’s transitional house; and facilitating workshops using nonviolent communication (NVC) to support a mindfulness practice.
Tuere believes that urban meditation is the foundation for today’s practitioner’s path to liberation. She is inspired by bringing the Dharma to nontraditional places and is a strong advocate for practitioners living with high stress, past trauma and difficulties sitting still. Her teachings reflect an approach to Dharma that is both easy to follow and understand – making it accessible to everyone.
Tuere has completed extensive trainings including: the 2 Year Spirit Rock/IMS Community Dharma Leader Program; a 1 Year Focusing for Complex Trauma Course which incorporates mindfulness principles with somatic listening and a 1 Year Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training Course (MMFT) which incorporates mindfulness principles within the high stress work environments of first responders. She has sat 300+ days of meditation retreat (including residential, non-residential and day-longs) and has a long history of assisting others in establishing and maintaining a daily practice.
Winnie has been has been a mindfulness practicioner for over thirty years and is a teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She has a background in community organizing and human services leadership, and a special interest in how meditative practices can strengthen human capacity to address social, political and environmental issues. She is a graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program and completed a year long silent retreat in 2004.
Andie has been an iBme mentor since 2015 and is also the lead coordinator for the Toronto teen retreat program. Andie first discovered the transformative power of mindfulness as a McGill freshman struggling with anxiety and depression. In many ways, she believes meditation saved her life and has kept up her practice ever since.
Andie has an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she specialized in adolescent development, the neuropsychology of meditation, and mindfulness in education. While at Harvard, Andie led a school-based study on the relationship between mindfulness interventions and growth mindset development. She has held research positions at UBC’s Social Emotional Development Lab, the Research Schools International Network, Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Functional Neuroimaging Lab (PI: David Vago), and was a Mind & Life Institute Visiting Scholar in 2014.
Currently Andie directs the Executive Function Support Program at Toronto’s Red Oak Centre. She privately coaches and counsels teens and young adults. She teaches mindfulness in high schools across the GTA, leads parent and educator workshops, and designs curricula on topics like resilience and social-emotional learning.
Personally and professionally, Andie is committed to supporting future generations of compassionate, courageous, civically minded leaders. She is so grateful to iBme for helping her do this. She is counting down days until the next retreat!
Andrew Archer is the Logistics Coordinator for iBme’s Wilderness Programs. In 2008, he received his B.A. in Adventure Education from Prescott College and has since worked for organizations across the U.S. leading wilderness trips for teens. He started practicing mindfulness at iBme’s Wilderness Retreat in 2013. Although new to mindfulness, Andrew has always spent time in wild spaces reflecting and he’s excited to share his connection to wilderness with teens. When he’s not leading backpacking retreats for iBme, he spends his time as a carpenter, climber, artist, and caregiver at his local animal shelter.
Beatrice Anderson, Youth Advocate and Community Educator began her contemplative study and practice in the Spring of 2001. Rooted in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh teachings of engaged Buddhism and the Tiep Hein Vietnamese Zen tradition, Beatrice believes “that what happens to one of us, happens to us all. We are all interconnected, and we are all co-responsible” (Thich Nhat Hanh). As an artist and educator, facilitating learning environments in self discovery and self empowerment for youth of all ages, her 16 years of supporting youth development in New York (upstate and downstate), California, Haiti and Jamaica bring a vision that calls forth social transformation centralizing the voices of the youth in the foreground of one the greatest humanitarian efforts; the liberation of the hearts and minds of us all from our co-created human conditioning. Beatrice is motivated to learn and exchange with teens, other educators, administration, social workers, and families to effectively create spaces that fully acknowledge and embody illuminating practices that recognize the brilliance and wisdom of our future generation(s). Beatrice serves as the co-founder of the Love Circle Sangha, a whole community practicing and studying the dharma in solidarity to uproot and decolonize systems of internal and external oppression. The sangha is a recognized sitting group in the Thich Naht Hanh lineage and shares in community at the Brooklyn Zen Center, in Park Slope Brooklyn.
Brett lives in Northern California with his partner and cat. He has been a practitioner and teacher of insight meditation and student of Buddhist and Western-European intellectual traditions for many years. He has also taught college and currently works as an attorney. Brett’s passion is teaching mindfulness meditation to teens and adults at various venues and leading Buddhist services in California prisons, where he also facilitates anti-violence programs with inmates. Brett’s life has been changed by retreat, in particular by staffing teen retreats, where he has learned the power and sometime pain of being truly honest with himself in relation to others. Brett loves walking (mindfully) in the forest, talking with friends, performing music, reading with my cats, and generally being awake.
Bruce Gill is a partner with Inter-Change Consultants. His areas of focus include Organizational Development, leadership development, diversity/inclusion, social-emotional learning and training. Bruce has worked with a broad range of organizations as a diversity consultant. His client work includes American Express, National Institutes of Health, Ernst & Young, and Lucent Technologies. Some of his specific work includes issues pertaining to cross-cultural communication and senior leadership coaching.
Bruce Neustadter currently teaches mindfulness to students, teachers and school leaders. He is deeply committed to teaching kindness and compassion as core human values. Bruce is currently implementing a district wide mindfulness program for Santa Cruz City Schools. He has spent the last 20 years working at Delta Charter High School where he was instrumental in creating a social/emotion program for the school. Bruce also has created a school wide mindfulness program for students and teachers that is now integral part of the school environment. He has over 35 years of experience working with youth and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Bruce also maintains a private practice in Santa Cruz, California.
Caitlin Standish began working for iBme in 2015 and has served in a variety of roles including Regional Outreach Coordinator, Retreat Manager, and Wilderness Logistics Coordinator. Caitlin has been working with teens and young adults since 2006, primarily in wilderness settings. She has spent over 300 days in the field leading multi-day backpacking, rock climbing, and sea kayaking courses for organizations including Outward Bound, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, and Passages Northwest. She has a BA in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College and will earn a certificate in Community Sustainability Management from University of Colorado at Boulder in fall of 2016. A Northern California native, Caitlin was introduced to Buddhism and meditation through childhood visits with her family to Green Gulch Zen Center and Monday Night talks at Spirit Rock as a teenager. She is grateful for the chance to work with iBme and be a part of the magic that is teen and wilderness retreats!
Daniel Sutton-Johanson has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 2004. The majority of his working life has been working with and alongside vulnerable families, young people or young adults with SEN (special educational needs). Daniel is trained in the Mindful Schools curriculum to deliver mindfulness in educational settings and has been teaching mindfulness in several schools to primary, secondary, and college ages. In May 2014 he founded Southsea Sangha, an open access peer-led Buddhist meditation community which holds weekly meditation groups and runs several social action and community support projects which continue to grow. Daniel is passionate about addressing issues of inclusion, equality, and making the transformative teachings of the dharma and meditation practice accessible to those who may feel excluded through traditional dharma routes. In 2015, he was invited to join the first CDL (Community Dharma Leader) training program to be run in the U.K, which is organized and authorized by the Gaia House Teacher Council, and is mentored and taught by Dharma Teacher Martin Aylward. He is also on the masters training as a person-centered psychotherapist at The Metanoia Institute and has a particular interest in working with young people.
David Hart has over 20 years of experience in the areas of education, media, and the arts. He completed his graduate work in Art and Art Education from Teachers College of Columbia University. After growing up in Los Angeles and living in New York, David became interested in mindfulness and meditation as ways to counter the stresses of urban life and as a way to build community, authentic connection, and creative expression. He volunteers with the Awake Youth Project in Brooklyn and has completed training with The Interdependence Project, Lineage Project, and Mindful Schools in meditation and mindfulness teaching. David teaches meditation in organizations throughout New York City.
Elise, LMHC, M Ed, has been practicing mindfulness since 2001. Currently, she is employed at Concord Academy as a student support counselor and educator. In addition to counseling individual students, she teaches two wellness classes, and offers Mindfulness Meditation to faculty, staff and students. Her aim is to support others in deepening their inner resources through the skillful use of various counseling modalities, such as Internal Family Systems, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and trauma informed body work. She enjoys working with clients to promote healing and improved well-being by enhancing their self-awareness and developing tools to effectively face challenges in their lives.
In addition to her work at Concord Academy, she has served as both a volunteer and a consultant with various schools and organizations. This includes staffing and mentoring at meditation retreats with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, running professional development workshops and teaching sexuality education at area schools.
Emily (or Em to those who know her) loves nothing more than creating safe, fun, and healthy spaces for teens and adults to flourish. She’s taught mindfulness at after school programs, summer camps, and on young adult and teen retreats. She began practicing meditation in 2011 because she was having the best day of her life (just kidding). She is honored to have the chance to share the tools that have brought her so much joy, contentment, and peace in her life.
Fiona Jensen is the Founder and President of a youth and mindfulness non-profit organization, Calmer Choice, which offers mindfulness courses in high schools in the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts. Calmer Choice’s programs have been informed by the work of renowned Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program, widely acclaimed and studied for its success in mitigating stress, pain and anxiety for the past thirty years. Calmer Choice’s programs include components which specifically address the Social and Emotional Health strand of the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for Comprehensive Health. Fiona is graduate of Tufts University and is an Occupational Therapist for the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod.
Gabriel attended his first teen retreat as a fifteen year old at Insight Meditation Society (IMS). As a depressed and bullied teen, learning mindfulness was invaluable to overcoming these challenges. Attending the teen retreat each summer was the highlight of his year and he continued going until he maxed out the age limit at 19. In 2008 he started going back as a staff person and has now participated in 20+ teen retreats with iBme and IMS. After transitioning out of a successful career as an engineer and consultant in the field of energy efficiency and green construction during his twenties, he now teaches mindfulness in public schools and after school programs in the Greater Boston Area. He has trained with Mindful Schools and Mindfulness in Schools Project and attends regular silent retreats and weekly sits at local meditation centers and can be seen in parks around Boston doing Primal Practice, a playful embodied movement practice that draws from multiple yoga, martial, meditation, and movement disciplines.
Hi, I’m Jason. When I found meditation in 2008, I was lonely and socially disconnected. My mind was anxious and judgmental. I was afraid to trust myself in my career, and I was afraid to be myself in front of others. Meditation provided a temporary escape from my chaotic thinking and inhibited way of being, but integrating it into my day-to-day life was not a straightforward task. I set out to build a bridge between the internal work of meditation and the external world of relationships, personal and professional. This is what I teach.
Drawing from modern psychology, neuroscience, secular mindfulness and traditional Buddhist insight meditation, this system can help you understand your conditioning, improve your relationship with your emotions, and free you up to be more authentic. It can also provide deep insights about the human experience. If this method sounds relevant to you, come give it a try! Sign up for free guided meditations and a free one-on-one mentoring session at my website, www.insightmeditationsupport.org. I look forward to meeting you.
Originally a secondary school teacher, Jem has been practising meditation for many years and teaching mindfulness for over five. He has personal experience of the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in helping to alleviate stress and improve general wellbeing. After visiting the United States and seeing the impact iBme Retreats have on young people, he was convinced of the need to have iBme Retreats in the UK. Jem delivers a range of mindfulness courses to the general public both privately and in the NHS. He is also Mindfulness Lead at a large rural comprehensive school in north Dorset, helping young people use mindfulness as a way to flourish in their lives. He is also a Mindfulness in Schools Project Trainer Consultant teaching teachers and is registered with the UK Mindfulness-Based Teachers’ Network.
Jennifer feels grateful to have been involved with iBme since 2015, serving as a mentor and Health Coordinator for Northeast retreats. For over 15 years, Jennifer has been working as an advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights and adolescent health and wellbeing. She has worked for Advocates for Youth, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S., and Columbia University, from which she also holds a Masters in Public Health. She is currently serving as consultant for the Future of Sex Education initiative and recently started a new career in real estate in New York City. When not working, Jennifer is in search of delicious dumplings, finding respite from the busy city through meditation or on a yoga mat, or dancing in popstar dance classes around the city.
John Braman has been incorporating contemplative practices into youth leadership development since 1980. He maintains this commitment with Braman Group International. John is the past executive director of Upaya Zen Center, where he co-taught the 10-day wilderness quest. In ten years as director of the Bear Canyon Project at Albuquerque Academy, he led hundreds of wilderness solos for teens, while teaching tracking, ecology and natural history. In 1983, John created meditation and wilderness solo programs at the Lama Foundation for the Global Youth Leadership Institute, which he founded. Recently, he created a leadership development program at United World College that incorporates yoga and mindfulness. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University, and holds a masters degree in educational administration from Teachers College at Columbia University.
Jozen Tamori Gibson
joe-zen / tah-moe-dee / gib-son
Jozen Tamori Gibson (he, his, they, them) began formal meditation practice in 2004 through Zen while living in Japan joined by a Theravada practice in 2010. Currently, Jozen is the Director of Community and Youth Engagement with the Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC), where he also serves as co-facilitator for the BZC People of Color sangha, is a member of the center’s male identified sangha engaged in Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine, and Program Director for the Awake Youth Project. With certifications in Mindfulness Facilitation through the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and in 200-Hour Yoga and Wellness with Breathe for Change (RYS), Jozen lives to provide and hold space through mind-heart-body practices for all beings to nourish health, engaged antioppression, and liberation. In 2017 he enters into the Insight Meditation Society – Insight Retreat Center Dharma Teacher Training program. Jozen shares his path honoring the wisdom of all his teachers, highlighting his mother, Akimi, and his dharma root teacher, Pamela Weiss.
As a seasoned educator, Jylani has taught children and adults across the U.S. and abroad. Her background as a progressive, public and private school teacher, in both challenged and affluent school communities, allows her a unique perspective on the diverse experiences of children and the adults that support them. She currently works with youth involved with the juvenile justice system and is particularly interested in the integration of mindfulness, wellness practices, social justice and arts education in urban and underserved communities. She specializes in creating culturally relevant lessons supported by strategies for wellness related to inner and outer peace.
Jylani’s mindfulness journey began as a therapeutic way to deal with the many difficulties and stresses she faced as a low income, single mother of two, in Brooklyn, NY. The salvation of her meditation and yoga practice helped her to find the strength to change careers and realize a fabulous sense of peace for her family. From that point, Jylani redirected her energy toward the mindful education of children and families, community outreach and culturally-relevant wellness practices. The practice peace project, a mindfulness in education + lifestyle movement, was born from this space of love, peace and intention.
Lawrence Schuessler has spent the past 15 years guiding and instructing people in wild places all over the west. He has worked for various outdoor education organizations such as Prescott College, the Eagle Rock School, the Dunn School, Outward Bound and Rubicon Outdoors. Currently he is the Associate Program Director for Outward Bound California in their Joshua Tree location.Lawrence has also spent the past 10 years practicing mindfulness meditation and various styles of yoga. Leading wilderness exploration courses, combined with mindfulness, are a way of life for Lawrence and he is grateful to be able to extend his love of the wild to young people and hopefully inspire them to live with passion, a sense of adventure and a respect for nature. Lawrence has spent over 1,000+ days in various wilderness areas all over the world and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Logan lives and works at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, where he has participated in several months of silent mindfulness retreats. In addition to mentoring for teen retreats with iBme (which he loves!), Logan brings mindfulness into the classroom through his job with Manhattan Prep (test prep). Logan holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University, where he founded the Mindful Leadership Club.
Maggie Steele has been practicing mindfulness since 2003 and attributes her profound shift in perspective to the practice she started as a young adult. A licensed school social worker and certified youth life coach, Maggie offers individual coaching and group workshops to teens, mediation services to families, and trainings on trauma informed care to educators. She is the author of How I Got My S!*t Together as well as the #Truth Journal, and shares daily tips for practice at www.mindfultipoftheday.com.
Mark Roberts, iBme UK’s Managing Director, has worked in both public and private sector organizations for 30 years—a diverse career that has spanned from managing international teams in the field of inward investment to multi-disciplinary teams in delivering capital investment projects. With a demonstrated track record in project management, budget control, contract negotiation and organizational development, he discovered the benefits of meditation 10 years ago as a way of being with the stress of working life and went on to study at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. He is currently completing his Masters in Mindfulness Based Approaches, with a focus on the integrity of mindfulness teaching in the workplace. As an advocate of the role that mindfulness can play in coping with stress and building authentic leadership, he is passionate about developing the iBme programm in the UK.
After attending Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Nannette began her professional journey as a passionate experiential educator. She taught in a very rural Oregon school district before moving to the Rocky Mountains with her family to attend Naropa University. There her spiritual journey began as a contemplative educator, meditator, and yogini. Nannette is committed to helping young people thrive and have the confidence to be their true selves. She enjoys working with teens and being a positive presence in their lives. Nannette runs a summer mindfulness and art camp for middle school students and periodically teaches mindful parenting classes in her community. She also works with high school students teaching them meditation and helping them pursue their passions. Nannette is working toward her PhD in Somatic and Spiritual Psychology from the International University of Professional Studies, under the mentorship of psychotherapist, Matt Licata PhD. Her dissertation entails using contemplative photography to help young people see directly the world in which they live. Through contemplative photography, young people can experience a deeper connection to their inner and outer worlds. At this time there are no future plans except to joyfully be of service and to support those who are bringing forth goodness in the world.
Nina Bryce has been a mentor with iBme since 2014, and has been involved with youth mindfulness since she was a high school student who taught yoga and meditation to other teens and to children. She is currently a Master of Divinity candidate at Harvard Divinity School, focusing in the Buddhist Ministry Initiative. As an undergraduate, she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a B.A. in American Studies with minors in Sustainability Studies and in Women’s and Gender Studies. Before starting her graduate degree at HDS, Nina was working as a program coordinator at youth development organization called Brainfood, where she ran after-school and summer programs focused on food, cooking, and gardening for DC public high school students. Nina grew up in an interfaith Jewish-Buddhist family where she was fortunate to be introduced to spiritual practice at a young age. She joined a teen Sangha in middle school and attended her first silent retreat at Spirit Rock when she was fifteen. Since then, her meditation practice has involved personal practice, participation in Sangha, and retreat in both the Insight Meditation community and the Plum Village community. She has especially treasured the refuge of LGBTQ Sangha and retreat. Nina also began practicing and then teaching yoga as a teen, has completed teacher trainings in Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Teens & Kids yoga, and has taught yoga in a variety of contexts to young people and adults of all ages. She has experience leading meditation at her high school, university, and more recently, in neighborhood sitting groups, in activism spaces, and in the Harvard Buddhist Community. Nina spent this past summer staffing the teens program at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastery and mindfulness practice center in France. She is currently a participant in the iBme Teacher Training and is very excited to be in the inaugural class!
Soroosh first encountered mindfulness while travelling in Thailand. Since then, he has spent time in different retreat settings all across the world, always looking for different ways and expressions of mindfulness practice. He believes that each individual can work to create their own understanding and practice of mindfulness through creative reflection and exploration of themselves. For Soroosh, mindfulness extends ‘beyond the mat’ and into the everyday activities and interactions that we sometimes take for granted. His knowledge of mindfulness and contemplative practice is complimented by his years of experience as an overseas experiential educator and as a community mediator. Soroosh currently works at an after school recreational facility for youth in Toronto. If you ask him nicely, he’ll teach you how to clap with one hand.
Tanzanite has a long-term interest and passion in supporting young people academically, emotionally, and helping them achieve a creative outlet. Tanzanite has spent the past 6 years in Massachusetts working with young people from all different cultural and economic background, with all levels of ability and disability. Now, as a recent transplant to NYC, Tanzanite currently assists with the Awake Youth Project at the Brooklyn Zen Center. Tanzanite was introduced to meditation at a young age by attending the Insight Meditation Society’s (IMS) Family and Teen Retreats. As Tanzanite leaned into ‘adulthood’ she returned as a staff volunteer for IMS Teen Retreats and for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) Teen Retreats. Tanzanite has found it truly rewarding and a privilege to witness the positive effects of hands-on projects, building a personal connection, and understanding that each moment is a learning experience through mindfulness. Tanzanite is excited to continue chillin and growing with the iBme family.
Wendy Hasenkamp, PhD
Wendy Hasenkamp, PhD, currently serves as Science Director at the Mind & Life Institute. Wendy holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University, where her graduate and early postdoctoral training centered around understanding the pathology of schizophrenia, utilizing techniques ranging from single-cell gene expression to psychophysiology, and from cognitive testing to neuroimaging. More recently, growing out of her personal interest in contemplative practice, she used brain imaging to investigate the neural correlates of dynamic cognitive states that occur during focused attention meditation. In her time at Emory, Wendy was central in the development of the Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies, organizing an interdisciplinary seminar focused on exploring the application of contemplative practices in our modern society. She also has been involved in developing neuroscience curriculum and teaching Tibetan monastics in India through the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative since 2009; she has taught summer sessions in Dharamsala for two years and is co-author and editor of several neuroscience textbooks developed through this program. Wendy currently teaches contemplative neuroscience for Lesley University’s Masters Program in Mindfulness Studies, and is also the editor of the forthcoming book on the 2013 Mind and Life dialogue with the Dalai Lama in Mundgod, India.
Zac Ispa-Landa has practiced and studied insight meditation for 13 years and has accumulated over 90 days of silent retreat experience. He is a graduate of the iBme Teacher Training program and has been staffing iBme teen and college retreats since 2017.
He is a senior lecturer in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and a professional affiliate in the Leadership for Sustainability Program at the University of Vermont.
As an ecologist, naturalist, and meditator, Zac has deep respect for interdependence, diversity, complexity, self-organization, compassion, and the healing power of awareness. He is particularly interested in the role contemplative practices can play in undoing systems of oppression and creating conditions for collective liberation and sustainability. In both his professional and personal life, he aspires towards embodied compassion, joy, and wisdom.