Our Team

​Jill Satterfield, Founder and Director

is the founder of Vajra Yoga + Meditation, a synthesis of meditation and yoga, contemplative and compassion in action practices. She was named “one of the 4 leading yoga and Buddhist teachers in the country” by the Shambhala Sun Magazine, and is also the founder of the School for Compassionate Action: Meditation, Yoga Therapy and Educational Support for Those Who Serve Communities in Need.
Jill is a founding faculty of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Mindfulness Meditation for Yoga Training and guest teacher for UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Jill recently completed the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies Chaplaincy Training and volunteers at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. She teaches embodied mindfulness locally and internationally, has been training teachers for over 25 years, is a guest speaker for conferences and in corporations, and creates wellness programs.

Spiritual Advisor, Venerable Ajahn Amaro

Born in England in 1956, Ven. Amaro Bhikkhu received his BSc. in Psychology and Physiology from the University of London. Spiritual searching led him to Thailand, where he went to Wat Pah Nanachat, a Forest Tradition monastery established for Western disciples of Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah, who ordained him as a bhikkhu in 1979. He returned to England and joined the newly established Chithurst Monastery. He resided for many years at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hemel Hemstead, UK, making trips to California every year during the 1990s.

In June of 1996 he established Abhayagiri Monastery in Redwood Valley, California. Ajahn Amaro has written a number of books, including an account of his 830-mile trek from Chithurst to Harnham Vihara called Tudong – the Long Road North, republished in the expanded book Silent Rain. Other works published by him include Small Boat, Great Mountain (2003), Rain on the Nile (2009) and The Island – An Anthology of the Buddha’s Teachings on Nibbana (2009) co-written with Ajahn Pasanno. Ajahn Amaro returned to Amaravati in July, 2010 and is currently the Abbott.

Advisor, Mark Coleman

Mark is an inner and outer explorer, who has devotedly studied mindfulness meditation practices for three decades. He is passionate about sharing the power of meditation and has been teaching mindfulness workshops and meditation retreats in six continents for the past fifteen years. Mark holds a MA in Clinical Psychology and works individually with people as an executive coach and consultant, drawing on his extensive experience in working with people as a therapist. Mark is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, a renowned leader in the mindfulness field, and teaches regularly with pioneering teachers such as Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg.

Mark has always been keen to share the fruits of meditation to wider audiences and founded The Mindfulness Institute, where he has brought mindfulness trainings to Fortune 500 companies and the non profit sector across North America and Europe. Through the Mindfulness Training Institute Mark leads Professional Mindfulness Teacher Trainings in the US and UK annually.  Mark is a trainer for Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, developed at Google and leads their mindfulness and emotional intelligence leadership programs worldwide.

Mark is writer and author of Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from the Inner Critic, and Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery. He is an unabashed nature lover and through his organization Awake in the Wild, Mark likes nothing more than sharing his passion for integrating meditation and nature. He has led wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru, taking people on inner and outdoor adventures.

Mark lives in Marin County, California and enjoys spending his free time hiking, biking and kayaking.

Advisor, Diana Winston

Diana Winston is the Director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA Semel Institute’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) and the co-author, with Susan Smalley PhD, of Fully Present, the Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness (DaCapo, 2010). She teaches mindful awareness practices to the general public to promote health and well-being. Called by the LA Times “one of the nation’s best-known teachers of mindfulness,” she has developed curriculum and taught mindfulness since 1993 in a variety of settings including hospitals, universities, corporations, non profits, and schools. She has taught mindful awareness to health professionals, leaders, teachers, activists, seniors, and adolescents in the US and Asia.

Diana is the founder of the Certificate in Mindfulness Facilitation, a pioneering year-long UCLA program that provides training, support, and supervision to those wishing to incorporate mindfulness into their occupation or to share mindfulness with individuals, groups, communities, or institutions. She is considered one of the early founders of meditation programs for youth, and taught on the seminal mindfulness and ADHD research study at UCLA in 2005. Her work has been mentioned in the New York Times, O Magazine, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and in a variety of magazines, books, and journals. She is also the author of Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens (Perigee Books, 2003), the CD “Mindful Meditations,” and has published numerous articles on mindfulness.

Diana is a member of the Teacher’s Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California. She is a graduate of Brown University and has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 1989, including a year as a Buddhist nun in Burma. Currently Diana’s most challenging practice is mindfully parenting a kindergartner.


Matthew Brensilver, PhD

served as a Buddhist chaplain at USC for four years and teaches about the intersection of mindfulness and psychotherapy at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Matthew was trained by Noah Levine and teaches at Against the Stream. He is currently in the Spirit Rock/IMS teacher training program. He spent years doing research on addiction treatment at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine and continues to be interested in the unfolding dialogue between dharma and science.

Mark Coleman

(see above)

Barbara Demman, MS, MSN, CNS, ACNP-BC 

Barbara Demman is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist. Her twenty years of nursing clinical experience has ranged from large urban teaching hospitals in varying specialties to small community international centers. She currently serves as lecturer and program director at UCLA School of Nursing.

Barbara’s passion for global health concerns has paved the way for extensive international nursing work extending from the Caribbean, Africa, to South East Asia. Most recently, she works with Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative training Ghanaian nurses. This program has successfully implemented the first ever-nursing certification program within Ghana.

Barbara has a strong interest in decreasing burnout symptoms and compassion fatigue among health care providers using mindfulness based interventions. After experiencing her own burnout in 2008, she greatly values health promotion and wellness in nursing.   She and her husband, an ER physician, have created and facilitate six week courses called S.H.A.R.P.- Stress in Healthcare: Awareness, Reduction, and Prevention.

Kate Johnson

​Kate’s favorite words are awareness, embodiment, and action. She is a lifetime dancer, a longtime educator and meditator, and an emerging organizer/ process queen. Currently, Kate teaches mindful movement and meditation to people of all ages, facilitates somatic approaches to organizational and leadership development for change agents and communities, and produces programs integrating spirituality and social justice at Buddhist Peace Fellowship. She received a BFA in Dance from The Alvin Ailey School/ Fordham University, an MA in Performance Studies from New York University. She recently began a four year meditation retreat teacher training in at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where she also completed the Mindful Yoga and Meditation Teacher Training and Community Dharma Leader Training. Her first book, Friendship As Freedom: Mindful Practices for Resisting Oppression and Building Community, will be published by Parallax Press in spring 2018.

Daniel Khodabakhsh, MD

is a board certified Emergency Medicine physician working at Antelope Valley hospital, one of the busiest ERs in the state. He is also the Palliative Care Medical Director for the hospital, helping patients and families with end-of-life care. Medical missions abroad include extended time in Haiti after the devastating earthquake and cholera epidemic, as well as in Philippines, Thailand and Panama.
Khoda turned his focus from international work to focusing on caregiver burnout and co-founded Stress in Healthcare: Awareness, Reduction, Prevention (SHARP) with his wife Barbara Demman. This is a free multi-week course offered to hospital staff and their families using mindfulness based interventions. He has taken extensive teacher training through the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness and InsightLA.

Zubin Schroff

is the Director of Piedmont Yoga and its Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program. He has been practicing yoga for much of his life, starting with instruction at a very young age from his grandfather as well as from his mother and family as they took instruction directly from B.Y.S. Iyegar in Mumbai. As Piedmont Yoga’s Director, he spearheads the studio’s outreach program to Oakland schools and healthcare centers and is committed to bringing yoga to underserved communities and to Oakland’s diverse population and to communities nationally.Zubin completed an expansive teacher training with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidmen that included guest teachers Richard Rosen and Richard Freeman. An award winning photographer, Zubin is also the author and creator of Conversations with Modern Yogis: Yoga for the 21st Century.

Consultant, Jay Dee Daugherty

Jay Dee is in his fourth decade as an influential professional musician, songwriter and producer. He has been involved in the recovery community over thirty years and has been able to offer guidance to individuals from all walks of life. He specializes in maintaining creativity in music and the arts during recovery through spiritual pursuits including mindfulness meditation, self-acceptance and compassion practices.

Support Staff

Charese Allen, LCSW

Charese is a licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who has worked in the mental health field since 2003 in various settings including Langley Porter at UCSF, University of Washington in Seattle, and Kaiser Permanente in Richmond. She obtained both her undergraduate degree in psychology and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington in Seattle. During her time at the University of Washington, Charese had the unique opportunity to work with Marsha Linehan, the developer of DBT, as a research assistant and clinical assessor on multiple studies on the efficacy of DBT. Charese received her training as both a skills trainer and an individual DBT therapist during her one year internship at a juvenile prison. In addition, to DBT, Charese has been trained in ​​Exposure Therapy including Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. Charese is a co-director of the program committee for SCA.

Landra Eliopoulos

Outreach Program Coordinator

Landra has over 15+ years of HR expertise and leadership experience in the corporate world working with companies such as Target, Lululemon and One Medical. She began her journey into mindfulness through the practice of yoga in 2004. Ten years later she completed a 200-hour RYT training in 2014 at Yoga Flow SF. In 2016 she went on to complete Jill’s 200-hour Embodied Mind training. Over time, the practice has created balance in her heart & mind and connection with the innate intelligence of her physical body. Landra is passionate about integrating mindfulness & meditation practices into workplace people development. Landra is the founder of Integrate and Flow, offering a variety of personal growth coaching and mindfulness experiences. In addition, Landra is the founder of Mindful HR offering HR consulting & leadership coaching to clients in the SF Bay Area.