More than 20 years ago, my search for a meaningful life led me to yoga and meditation. The dramatic emotional and physical relief and the change in perspective I gained from practice inspire me to share what I’m learning.
In 2011, I accepted the invitation to teach with the Penn Program for Mindfulness (PPFM). Encountering students with PTSD and anxiety sparked my interest in teaching trauma-sensitive meditation and becoming a Somatic Experiencing practitioner.
I currently teach 8-week mindfulness classes for the PPFM, meditation courses for experienced meditators, and mindful yoga and meditation classes around the region. Teaching mindfulness to medical and nursing school students at UPenn has been particularly rewarding.
Several years after I started facilitating for the PPFM, I began developing curriculum with Dr. Dan Gottlieb. We’ve taught three courses together. My advocacy for immigrant communities led to small parts in two documentaries: Talking through Walls and Under One Roof (Not yet released.)
Although I mainly teach secular meditation, I receive ongoing guidance and training in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and presently serve as an administrator of a Buddhist monastery and facilitator of a dharma study group. My firsthand experience of the benefits of mindfulness fuels my deep respect for the practce, and my commitment to sharing it with others.
A social activist for many years, lately I’ve become more interested in facilitating inner change. Meditation, infused with self-compassion, leads to a greater sense of wellbeing and promotes compassion for others – a powerful way to change the world.
Education and certifications
- B.A., Hamilton (formerly Kirkland) College
- Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT)
- Mindfulness Based Stress Management Facilitator Certification, Penn Program for Mindfulness
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine 7-day residential professional training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli
- Teaching Trauma-Sensitive Meditation Certification, Warriors at Ease
- Teaching Yoga and Meditation to Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma Warriors at Ease
- Foundations of Teaching Trauma Sensitive Yoga Certification – Transformation Yoga Project
- Somatic Experiencing Practitioner-in-Training (Completed 90 hours)
- Syndromes – The Somatic Side of Trauma Master Class (Peter Levine, Phd) 4- day training
- Essential Somatics Coach – Level 1
- Circle of Security-P, Registered Facilitator
- Frontiers of Trauma Treatment weekend workshop with Bessel van der Kolk
- Case Western Reserve University: Conversations That Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change certificate
- Systems-Centered Training – Foundation Workshop
Dr. Dan Gottlieb
Dan began his practice in 1969 after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees at Temple University. As a young psychologist, his early career specialized in addictions where he ultimately was the director of a community based treatment program at Belmont Institute in Philadelphia. At the time he was director of two outpatient clinics and one inpatient unit supervising over 30 staff. He was also a graduate of the highly respected Family Institute of Philadelphia, a program that later elected him as president
During this time he became a highly respected clinician, teacher and supervisor of psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers. He taught at Hahnemann University and consulted with many other faculty members throughout the region.
Personally, he was happily married and had loved being a father to his young daughters. However, his early successes were tragically interrupted.
In 1979 Dan was in a near fatal automobile accident which left him paralyzed from the chest down. As expected, there were years of despair and depression. He experienced loss on top of loss as his wife left the marriage and passed away several years later. And in the ensuing years he mourned the loss of his sister and his parents. And for the last three decades, he has been observing life with passion and discussion and learning valuable lessons about what it means to be human and how adversity can teach us how to live better and love better.
Despite this adversity, he resumed his private practice which was to grow substantially over the next several decades. In addition to his practice, he has continued to lecture, train and supervise a variety of healthcare professionals.
Since 1985, Daniel Gottlieb has been hosting “Voices in the Family,” an award-winning mental health call-in radio show aired on WHYY 90.9 FM, Philadelphia’s local public radio station. From 1993 until 2008, he wrote a highly regarded column for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled: “Inside Out,” reflecting his perspective on the intersection of the events in our world and the events in our minds and hearts. He has also published four books, including the international bestseller: Letters to Sam: A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life .
His newest book, The Wisdom We’re Born With: restoring faith in ourselves, was released in March, to rave reviews from mental health professionals around the country. All of his royalties will be donated to the Khulani school for disabled children in South Africa.
In addition to his writing and radio show, he delivered over 1000 lectures all over the world on a variety of topics affecting the well-being of people, families and the larger community.
The essence of his philosophy can be found on his business card. After his name there are no degrees and no fancy titles. His card simply says “Gottlieb. Human.”
Through personal and professional experience, Dan has learned that our greatest suffering is alienation and loneliness. That is these powerful emotions can produce prejudice, hatred, violence, withdrawal and depression. He has learned that all humans long for human contact, compassion and understanding. And without compassion, our spirits wither.
When asked to summarize his life’s work, he says simply: “I teach kindness.”