Dorsey Standish is the Chief Operations Officer of Mastermind, the region’s first “gym” for your brain. Dorsey has nearly ten years of experience practicing and teaching mindfulness. She’s completed four-day and ten-day silent retreats and is currently studying the UMass Medical School’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction technique. Dorsey has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently working on earning a M.S. in Applied Cognition & Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas. In 2016, Dorsey left the tech industry to pursue a career in teaching mindfulness, where she teaches high performers how to harness greater equanimity and depth of focus through mindfulness-based brain health.
Dr. Martin Lumpkin is our Mindfulness Godfather, bringing four decades of mindfulness expertise, which provides a rich history of how mindfulness can impact and improve our mental and physical health. Dr. Lumpkin has served as a professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center, teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as part of the Clinical Psychology curriculum, and he has incorporated mindfulness based approaches into is own psychology practice since 2002. Regarded as one of our region’s top mindfulness experts, Dr. Lumpkin began learning mindfulness practices in 1982 with Joseph Goldstein in a retreat hosted by the Insight Meditation Society (one of the premiere organizations teaching mindfulness meditation). He also studied MBSR over several training periods provided by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction and the Center for Mindfulness staff. Dr. Lumpkin is the author of Into The Music of The World: Living Life Mindfully, published in 2015. For decades, Dr. Lumpkin has taught an Introduction to Mindfulness Seminar for the public which will be offered on a regular basis at Mastermind.
Dr. John Gasko has been engaged in mindfulness and other meditation practices for two decades and currently serves as dean and professor of the school of education at the University of North Texas at Dallas, and Founder of the Emerging Teacher Institute™. As a Strategic Advisor to Mastermind, Dr. Gasko helps guide the curriculum for training in-service and pre-service teachers, and the curriculum for introducing mindfulness to schoolchildren. As a thought leader in using mindfulness to address broader social challenges, Dr. Gasko’s mission is to help teachers to thrive in diverse, challenging classrooms through a holistic approach that addresses intellectual, social and emotional needs, including a regular mindfulness practice – thus, improving public education in at-risk communities.
Chelsey is Mastermind’s Chief Mindfulness Officer. With a deep commitment to science-driven, brain health-focused mindfulness, Chelsey leads the curriculum development and evolution for Mastermind, working to ensure that our classes evolve and capture the latest research in brain health and mindfulness. With over a decade of experience as meditation coach and therapeutic yoga therapist, Chelsey’s passion is helping people become happier and healthier through a daily practice of mindfulness and meditative therapies. A respected speaker on mindfulness and yoga therapy, Chelsey has appeared on FOX, NBC and Eye Opener Television, and her work has been circulated globally.
Mari Woodlief is a founder of Mastermind. Mari decided to learn meditation as a New Year’s resolution in 2015. After a short time working one-on-one with a coach, she discovered the life-changing effects of mindfulness and meditation and wanted to find a way to not only deepen her own practice, but also make mindfulness more accessible in a science-driven, secular environment. The Mastermind concept was created to fit the needs of mindfulness practitioners like Mari, who want a structured, data based mindfulness program in a convenient class environment. In addition to her commitment to Mastermind, Mari also works as CEO of Allyn Media, one of our region’s largest public relations and public affairs firms. She is recognized as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Women in Business” by the Dallas Business Journal, the has been named in the Dallas 500 most powerful business leaders in DFW by D CEO and has been profiled on KERA's CEO with Lee Cullum.
Jennifer Pascal is co-founder of Mastermind. She believes mindfulness-meditation can cultivate self-awareness and compassion, which makes for stronger leaders, and that mindfulness-meditation stress reduction can help people with illnesses like cancer and heart disease manage depression, anxiety, anger and other mood disturbances. She is proud to bring an accessible, science-driven, meditation studio to her hometown of Dallas. Jennifer also is co-owner and chief operating office of Allyn Media, one of our region’s largest, locally-based public relations and public affairs firms. She serves as vice chair for Friends of Wednesday's Child, a nonprofit helping children in foster care receive the education they need to be successful in life, is a member of UT Dallas Development Board and coaches YMCA youth basketball.
Melissa Marks Garner teaches Mindfulness to business professionals and athletes. She helps clients get that "edge" through mental focusing and relaxation techniques. Melissa started her Mindfulness practice 20 years ago as a 24-year-old burned out Real Estate agent in New York City. A Licensed Professional Counselor by trade, she has been teaching Mindfulness since 2005 and has worked with thousands of people, from CEOs to trauma survivors to professional athletes. She is also a frequent presenter at many executive meetings and conferences. WWW.
Amanda had her first encounter with mindfulness through her family business, Integrity Martial Arts. Growing up in the Dojo and taking karate, she learned the power of stillness and concentration. She still uses these skills today as a teacher in a South Dallas elementary school, and as a mindfulness and stress-management coach with more than 8 years of experience. Amanda holds a Bachelors Degree from The University of Kansas in Management & Leadership with a Concentration in Human Resources and a Masters Degree from Baker University in Organizational Leadership. She is the co-founder of A Peace of Yoga, which serves as an Ambassador for The Niroga Institute, a non-profit organization, which strives to foster health and well being for individuals, families, and communities through the practice of Mindful Yoga.
Cheryl King first encountered meditation in 1990 as an undergraduate student at SMU and she was hooked. Not long after that she made her first trip to Thailand for a cultural immersion. A lifelong student and longtime teacher, Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies and a Masters in British Literature from Southern Methodist University. She teaches Literature at Richland College and is working on her MBSR certification. She finds passion and purpose in practicing ways to greater sustain a connection to self and each another.
Genie Johnson draws on years of experience in sound healing and spiritual coaching to facilitate her relaxing and restorative mindfulness classes. In addition to healing vibrations from the gong, singing bowls, and other song elements, Genie regularly includes A Capella Poetry and song in her Sound Sunday sessions. Genie’s students often share that her classes offer them deep relaxation and emotional healing. Genie is a mother of three college students and continues to pursue further education while engaging in a daily mindfulness practice, experiencing it as a path of wholeness.
For more than a decade, Andy has been teaching mindfulness and meditation techniques to students ranging from age 7 to 93, as well as special needs groups including Parkinson's and cancer patients. He is an experienced registered yoga teacher (ERYT 500 with Yoga Alliance) who integrates his training in meditation, metaphysics, and breathwork, along with his deep understanding of nature to help people realize deeper levels of personal wellness. With a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M in Wildlife and Ecology Management, and a Masters in Animal Science, Andy draws on our connection with the natural environment in his mindfulness teaching.
Barney Lane learned Transcendental Meditation in 1971 and Mindfulness Meditation in 1996. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and a Masters Degree in TV-Radio, both from Syracuse University. Barney had three high stress careers: broadcasting, real estate management and middle school teaching and his meditation practice kept him in balance. His interest in brain development initially grew out of his teaching experience. More recently, he has been examining how addiction affects our brains. Barney has demonstrated mindfulness practices to young students and offers regular guided sessions to adults wherever there is interest.
Ryann Hanes-Sloan is a Yoga and Mindfulness teacher in Dallas, Texas. She has dedicated her life to studying the most effective ways to help others move through blockages and increase their presence. Ryann has studied with UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Program and has been lucky to study and teach across the globe. She considers the culmination of these experiences to be her inspiration for connecting with others and helping them to learn the tools to uncover their true brilliance.
While living overseas 4 years ago, Michelle began practicing mindfulness as a way to deal with stress and difficult emotions and be more focused on the present moment. Curious by nature, she began attending classes and reading as much as she could about mindfulness and meditation. With more than 15 years teaching experience, Michelle brings a classroom teacher’s perspective to Mastermind. She believes that it is important to educate the whole child and that teaching mindfulness is an integral component of this. Michelle recently completed Mindfulness Fundamentals training through Mindful Schools. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education from Texas Christian University and a Masters in Special Education from the University of North Texas. She is also a technology integration specialist at The Hockaday School working with students in grades PreK-4.
Nicole Payseur was an attorney who took her practice off the mat and into the court room. She began to breathe with her opponents to tip the scales of justice and win settlements for the City of New York. Nicole has since retired from her law days and has dedicated her time to teaching mindfulness. For the past 10 years, she has been teaching for humanity. Doing her due diligence, she meticulously amassed over 1,500 hours of independent study all over Manhattan, Dallas, New Orleans and San Francisco from the Iyengar Institute to Integral Yoga Center before completing Yoga Works’ 500 hour teacher training program. Her latest yoga certification adds 500 hours of Yoga Therapy to a wealth of know. Her teachings provide innovative solutions to stress and reframing life challenges. Her students discover untapped resources in their bodies and minds. Mischief inspires her. Laughter, better than anything else, coaxes the body into radiant health, strength and grace.
Kristin Bemis is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist who specializes in providing play therapy for children and pre-teens with emotional and behavioral difficulties. She received her Master's Degree in Counseling from the University of North Texas, and her Bachelor's in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Kristin provides parent consultation in her work with families and believes strongly in empowering the parents and caregivers in a child’s system. Having provided therapeutic services at Children's Medical Center Dallas for over 10 years, Kristin has extensive experience treating children and adolescents with medical needs. This is where she developed her passion and skills to integrate mindfulness practices into her work. Additionally, she served on the Texas Association for Play Therapy executive board of directors and is active in presenting at the local, state, national, and international levels. Kristin has published several scholarly works in related fields, and believes strongly in the power of meditation and mindfulness to improve client outcomes.
Erin is a Dallas-based, 500-hour certified yoga and meditation teacher. Erin found her way to mindfulness meditation through college yoga classes, where her favorite part of class quickly became the last posture: resting meditation, or ‘savasana.’ In response to personal challenges, Erin deepened her commitment to yoga and mindfulness practices. However, the first time someone suggested Erin could be a teacher herself, she laughed and said no way. Good thing the universe has a sense of humor too, because Erin is now a highly qualified teacher, teaching not only students but also other teachers. The practice of mindfulness has given Erin so many gifts, including physical health and mental peace. Erin’s mission is to share these gifts with her clients through authenticity-themed meditations that include mindful visualization and relaxation.
Poonam Desai is a Certified Instructor of Mindfulness through Mindful Schools, with more than 300 hours of training completed. She has maintained a personal practice for over 10 years and has completed six 10-day meditation retreats in addition to several other shorter retreats. Dr. Desai is a licensed psychologist and a licensed specialist in school psychology in the state of Texas. She has worked in the fields of education and mental health for the past nine years, with a particular area of interest in mindfulness and social-emotional learning. She is currently a mental health trainer and psychologist at Momentous Institute. She believes mindfulness and compassion are the two things that will change the world, but also that the first revolution is always internal.
Kirsten Joy Burch is the founder of Living Yoga Dallas and teaches yoga, meditation, and nutrition throughout the DFW area. Kirsten is certified in ParaYoga and Yoga for Anxiety & Depression. She is also an Ayuredic Lifestyle Counselor & Nutritionist. A longtime practitioner, Kirsten is known for her science-based approach to the teaching of yoga and meditation.