Teen Mindfulness

With Willow Brook, Paolo Caserta, John Combs, Kima Nelson, Kirry Nelson, Julie Tato, and Dylan Trachtman

June 8-11
$400 (Scholarships Available)

Mindfulness practice is a life skill, one that benefits people of all ages. For teens especially, this form of compassion to oneself and the world can make all the difference in an often challenging stage of life. Meditation relieves anxiety, provides clarity and gives us a sense of confidence in ourselves. It also tunes us into other people and increases empathy. Mindfulness and meditation are skills that require practice to develop yet require no special ability.

Join our dedicated teachers in the breathtaking mountains at Lama Foundation for three days of mindfulness cultivation and practice. This is our fourth annual retreat for youth, focused on developing basic meditation techniques through exercises that concentrate our whole being. Activities include seated and walking meditation, hiking, yoga, tai chi, communication development, and more. We will enjoy evening campfires, daily community service (seva), time for socializing, and time to rest.

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Willow Brook is an earth loving educator, spiritual seeker, artist, and yoga teacher. She is a licensed K-12 art educator and has taught students in countries across the world including alternative education models like Waldorf and Montessori. Willow lived at the Lama Foundation and went to many spiritual camps as a teen and young adult. She has a lifetime of interspiritual practice with a deep training in Sufism and meditation. She is overjoyed to be a returning member of the Teen Mindfulness staff.

youth mindfulness teachers

Paolo Caserta is a dharma practitioner with over 30 years of meditation practice. He is a father of 17 and 11 year old daughters and works in renewable energy research. He was a Buddhist Monk for 5 years in his mid twenties who trained with Bhante Gunaratana in the forest monk tradition of West Virginia at Bhavana Society. He has worked with youth in substance abuse recovery, as a Spanish teacher, and in a community youth mentorship program. He has lead meditation retreats and has taught mindfulness practice to inmates in Las Cruces New Mexico. He is a former Lama Foundation resident of 5 years and sees Lama as his spiritual home.

John Combs is a Buddhist practitioner of many years having started a meditation practice during his time at the Lama Foundation in 1995 where he was a resident for two years. John considers Lama his spiritual home. He has participated in many retreats since then and took refuge vows and bodhisattva vows in 2001 with Reggie Ray and has been part of that sangha ever since. He recently completed the two-year mindfulness meditation teacher certification with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. John lives in Colorado where he serves as a host home provider for two developmentally disabled adults who live with his family.

Kirry Nelson is a licensed professional clinical counselor with a private practice in Santa Fe, NM. She incorporates mindfulness into her own life and work with clients and specializes in grief, loss and trauma. Kirry has been a teen, raised a teen, and has worked with teens in educational, wilderness, and therapeutic settings. She holds a special place in her heart for the Lama Foundation and is honored to be a part of Teen Mindfulness.

youth mindfulness teachers

Julie Tato is a Meditation & Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction instructor. She has also worked throughout Northern New Mexico as a hospice chaplain, as a special education teacher with teens, and as a case manager & advocate for people with disabilities and their families. Julie has practiced Mindfulness & Lovingkindness meditation since 1988 and has been privileged to teach meditation for more than 15 years, including with youth at Taos area charter schools and with people recovering from loss at Golden Willow Retreat. She teaches meditation at Taos Mountain Sangha, the Lama Foundation, the Sage Institute, and organized an outreach program bringing skilled mindfulness instruction to area schools & youth groups. Julie is passionate about sharing these life-enhancing practices, and is deeply inspired seeing the way young people enthusiastically open and blossom as they learn meditation. She is a member of the Lama Foundation board of trustees.