Practice and Inspirational Talk Presenters

Eowyn Ahlstrom, MEd

Éowyn Ahlstrom, MEd, is a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and has been teaching mindfulness since 2008. Éowyn leads the Mindfulness Center’s community and online programming initiatives. In that role, she has co-authored the curriculum “MBSR 2: Expanding Your Practice, Ecology of Mind-Body Health” a next step course for MBP completers based on MBSR and has developed a program for training MBSR teachers to successfully transition to teaching MBSR in the live-online environment. She has extensive experience teaching MBSR live-online, and also leads multi-day mindfulness retreats that serve as pre-requisites to MBSR teacher training and bring the wider mindfulness community together for periods of deeper practice. 

Éowyn also holds the highest registry mark obtainable for yoga teachers from the Yoga Alliance and is a certified massage therapist with years of experience. Embodying mindfulness, and teaching others how to do the same, is the heart of her practice and work. 

For over a decade, Éowyn has taught yoga for retreats at the Insight Meditation Society. Her master’s degree is from the American College of Education, where she studied health and wellness. She is the author of a forthcoming volume of poems about mindfulness practice entitled Mindscapes: Practice Poems.

Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and lovingkindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. In 1989, together with several other teachers and students of insight meditation, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Joseph first became interested in Buddhism as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in 1965. Since 1967 he has studied and practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation under eminent teachers from India, Burma and Tibet. He is the author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, A Heart Full of Peace, One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism, Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, The Experience of Insight, and co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom and Insight Meditation: A Correspondence Course.

Patti Holland, MS, CRC 

Patti Holland, M.S., C.R.C. is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Assistant Director for the Mindfulness in Public Health & Medicine initiatives and is a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher. In addition to teaching MBSR, Patti teaches Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and other mindfulness-based programs including Mindfulness Based College (MB-College) and the science and practice of mindful habit change. Additionally, Patti works on Mindfulness in Healthcare, partnering with social service providers, healthcare organizations and systems to implement mindfulness-based trainings, programs and interventions tailored to meet the organization’s unique needs and challenges to promote positive impact on the health and wellbeing of staff and organizational culture. 

Prior to teaching mindfulness full time, Patti worked for over 30 years in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation as a clinician, non-profit agency administrator, consultant and in public policy as an Assistant Director for the New Jersey Division of Mental Health. In these roles, she created recovery-oriented services and resources to enable independent living for those least likely to have access to these opportunities. 

Patti first received formal mindfulness training in 1986 and has studied meditation in India and the United States.

Lynn Koerbel, MPH

Lynn Koerbel serves as the Assistant Director of MBSR  Teacher Training and Curricula Development at the Mindfulness Center at Brown. She oversees the MBSR teacher-training pathway and other Mindfulness-Based Program curricula.

Pervious to coming to Brown, Lynn was Director of MBSR Teacher Education and Curriculum Development at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness. In that role, Lynn had the privilege of nurturing hundreds of MBSR teachers and teachers in training, supporting the integrity of the MBSR curriculum and best practices in teaching. 

Prior to her MBSR teaching and training, Lynn spent over 25 years as an integrative bodywork therapist with a focus on supporting individuals who had experienced early trauma and assisting in the integration of the body in healing. This work influenced Lynn’s deep trust in the body’s wisdom, the nature of resilience, the power of presence, and the inspiring human capacity to meet injury, trauma and stress with resources reflecting the inherent wholeness in each person. 

She began meditation in 1986, studying in the non-dual tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. In 2004, interested in reaching those who might best be served by an evidence-based approach, she began teacher training in MBSR. 

Lynn Koerbel currently serves on the working committee of the International Mindfulness Integrity Network, a global initiative establishing international standards for MBP teacher training. Her publications include “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook for Anxiety,” (2013) Meleo-Meyer, F., Stahl, B., and Koerbel, L., New Harbinger press and “The suitability of mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic hepatitis C.” J Holist Nurs 25(4): 265-274; pgs 275-277. Koerbel, L. S. and D. M. Zucker (2007).

Eric B. Loucks, PhD

Dr. Loucks is Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Medicine at Brown University, as well as Director of the Mindfulness Center at Brown. He has held teaching positions at Harvard, McGill and Brown Universities. Dr. Loucks is formally trained in cardiovascular physiology, social epidemiology, and mindfulness interventions. He has over 80 peer-reviewed publications. His work on mindfulness and cardiovascular health has been widely distributed through media organizations such as TIME Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, CNBC, and The Washington Post. Dr. Loucks and his colleagues were among the first to show associations of dispositional mindfulness with cardiovascular health, and they developed the first consensus theoretical framework of how mindfulness meditation could potentially reduce risk for cardiovascular disease. He is now implementing practical applications of the work, including randomized controlled trials of mindfulness interventions to address social disparities in cardiovascular disease. 

Practically, Dr. Loucks has had a personal mindfulness meditation practice for almost 20 years. He is a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor. Dr. Loucks is experienced teaching a number of mindfulness-based interventions including MBSR, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP). He is the lead developer of MB-BP, and with his colleagues currently has a $4.7 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health to evaluate effectiveness of MB-BP and other mindfulness-based interventions.

Florence Meleo-Meyer, MS, MA, LMFT

Florence works to develop and promote the access and potential for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based programs (MBPs) to foster public health and well-being globally. Florence trains MBSR teachers at all levels of development as well as training MBSR teacher trainers. With equal focus on the refinement of teaching skills, attitudes and knowledge, she develops cultivation of the deepest understanding of MBSR as a path of love, healing and transformation. She is a leading contributor to the development of the MBSR curriculum, teacher training programs, materials and best practices for teacher training in the growing field of MBSR and MBPs.

Previous to coming to Brown, she was, for seventeen years, the Director of Oasis Institute for Professional Education and Training at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts’ Medical School where she supported the development of thousands of MBSR teachers globally with rigor, depth and cultural sensitivity. 

Florence trained directly with Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD and Saki Santorelli, MA, EdD. and for more than four decades has taught mindfulness and meditation to adults, youth, clinical populations, and professionals in the fields of education, medicine, psychology, and business. A student of wisdom traditions for more than 40 years she is a student in the Siddha Yoga tradition, a practitioner of Insight meditation for 25 years, and a senior Insight Dialogue teacher. She offers mindfulness meditation retreats, Insight Dialogue retreats and Interpersonal Mindfulness Program teacher trainings. She is a licensed family therapist, and holds degrees in education and psychology. 

Publications include “MBSR Workbook for Anxiety” with Stahl, B., and Koerbel, L., New Harbinger press. Chapters include “Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship,” with Gregory Kramer, PhD, Hick, S. & Bien, T. eds. Guilford Press; and, “Resources for Teaching Mindfulness,” McCown, D. & Reibel, D. eds. Springer. She co-authored a preventive medicine report “Integrating Mindfulness Training in School Health Education to Promote Healthy Behaviors in Adolescents:  Feasibility and Preliminary Report” with Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher, MD, PhD. Media include a Professional Formation module, Drexel College of Medicine; dvd, “Living Awake, Mindfulness for Young Adults”; and the self-study program, MBSR On-line through Sounds True.

George Mumford

George Mumford is a globally recognized speaker, teacher, and coach. Since 1989, he’s been honing his gentle, but groundbreaking mindfulness techniques with people from locker rooms to board rooms, Yale to jail.

Michael Jordan credits George with transforming his on-court leadership, helping the Bulls to six NBA championships, while Mumford has also worked with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and countless other NBA players, Olympians, executives, and artists.

Mumford’s book The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance is both memoir and instruction guide. He believes everyone has a masterpiece within, which he can show you how to access.

While at the University of Massachusetts — where he roomed with future Hall-of-Famer Julius Erving — injuries forced Mumford out of basketball and eventually into an addiction to pain medication and drugs. With the help of meditation and mindfulness, he got clean and made it his mission to teach and work with others.

Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg experienced a childhood involving considerable loss and turmoil. An early realization of the power of meditation to overcome personal suffering determined her life direction. Sharon first encountered Buddhism in 1969, in a college course and sparked an interest that, in 1970, took her to India, for an independent study program. Sharon traveled motivated by “an intuition that the methods of meditation would bring me some clarity and peace.” 

She spent three years in India studying returning in 1974 and began teaching vipassana (insight) meditation. In 1976, she established, together with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, which now ranks as one of the most prominent and active meditation centers in the Western world. Sharon and Joseph Goldstein expanded their vision in 1989 by co-founding the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS). In 1998, they initiated the Forest Refuge, a long-term retreat center secluded in a wooded area on IMS property. 

Today she leads teaches a variety of offerings around the globe, is a featured speaker and teacher at a wide variety of events, has served as a panelist with the Dalai Lama and leading scientists, addressed audiences at the State of the World Forum, the Peacemakers Conference (sharing a plenary panel with Nobel Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Jose Ramos Horta) and has delivered keynotes at Tricycle’s Buddhism in America Conference, as well as Yoga Journal, Kripalu and Omega conferences among many others. 

She is the author of eleven books including Lovingkindness, the NY Times best seller Real Happiness, and her 2017 work, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection and her newest book, Real Change: Mindfulness To Heal Ourselves and the World, released in September of 2020 from Flatiron Books.

Robert D. Smith, DO

Robert Smith, DO, is assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and senior teacher for Oasis Professional Education Programs. Director of Baystate Health’s (BH) Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs, he is also program coordinator and lead instructor for the mindful practice curriculum for BH Pediatric and Psychiatry residents.

Bob Stahl, PhD

Bob Stahl, PhD, has founded eight Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs in medical centers in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently offering programs at Dominican Hospital, El Camino Hospitals in Los Gatos and Mt. View, and Good Samaritan Hospital.  He serves as a Senior Teacher for Brown University’s Mindfulness Center.  He also was a Senior Teacher for the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School prior to its closing. Bob teachers MBSR Teacher Trainings and Insight Meditation retreats worldwide and is the guiding teacher at Insight Santa Cruz and a visiting teacher at Spirit Rock. He is coauthor of 5 books:  A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Living With Your Heart Wide Open, Calming the Rush of Panic, A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook for Anxiety, and MBSR Everyday.

Zayda Vallejo, MLitt

Zayda Vallejo, M.Litt. is a faculty member at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University, and an adjunct faculty member at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard University Medical School’s Cambridge Health Alliance. Since 2006 Zayda has been training professionals who aspire to teach the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society, and conducting MBSR supervisions and mentoring for other institutions.

Zayda is second author of the Mindfulness Training for Primary Care (MTPC) curriculum developed by the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard University Medical School’s Cambridge Health Alliance. In 2015 she co-authored a manual for mental health clinicians “Treating Co-occurring Adolescent PTSD and Addiction: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Adolescents with Trauma and Substance-Abuse Disorders”. In 2008 she co-authored “Moment-by-Moment in Women’s Recovery: A Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Program,” (available now as a free download), published by SAMHSA and Northeastern University. 

Zayda was born in Colombia, South America – completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and a master’s degree in Political Economics at Oxford University in England. She holds a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification from Kripalu School of Yoga. She has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1978.