Faculty & Staff

Sarah McLean

Director, Presenter, Retreat Facilitator

Becoming More Powerful Through Meditation Along with my 25+ year daily meditation practice, I’ve had some unique opportunities: I served as the founding education director of Deepak Chopra’s Center for Wellbeing, as director of Byron Katie’s international School for The Work, and assistant to Seat of the Soul author, Gary Zukav.

Each of these thought leaders hired me to help them share their knowledge and talents with the world. As I developed mind/body health centers, self-discovery programs, curriculum, and events for them worldwide, I was fortunate enough to become immersed in their wisdom and knowledge.

I’ve explored world spiritual traditions:  I was a 2-year resident in a Zen Buddhist monastery, lived in an ashram in India, bicycled along the Silk Route through Pakistan, and trekked the Golden Triangle in Asia. I also served as a medic in the U.S. Army working with those with post traumatic stress disorder. I’ve journeyed thousands of miles through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia by bicycle in search of the secrets of this world and this life.

My aim is to make meditation accessible to anyone who wants to learn as well as to integrate it with creative practices and everyday life. I teach and speak about self-awareness and meditation throughout Arizona and wherever I’m invited.  Read more here.

Julie Bevirt

Meditation Teacher, Workshop Leader, Meditation Teacher Academy Program Manager

JulieBA few years ago, Julie, took a sabbatical from her work in healthcare marketing and followed a strong intuitive nudge that meditation may be just the right skill to help relieve some serious sleep and stress-related health concerns she was dealing with.

She also took some time for herself and learned to meditate at a retreat with Sarah McLean. She also traveled to Europe for more self-discovery. And that is what led her to working at the McLean Meditation Institute.

She began working with the McLean Meditation Institute in 2014, and she found she had a strong desire to share the gifts of meditation, so she embarked on the teacher path. Along with being the program manager, she now teaches meditation and leads workshops, including the Mindful Approach to Peaceful Eating at the McLean Meditation Institute.

To this day her meditation journey continues to expand. She knows now that balance and peace are always just a breath away. Julie finds joy in helping others navigate the journey from head to heart. She also trusts that what she is seeking is also seeking her.

Retreat, Study Group, & Class Facilitators

Marty Birrittella

MartyforEmail1Marty has been meditating since he was in college. He has since made it his priority to immerse himself in the spiritual life. He lived in an ashram (a meditation community) for many years, and is well-versed in the effects of meditation and expanded awareness.

He was the founder and president of several successful well-known public companies. When he turned 41, he retired and was able to fully devote himself to his spiritual practices.

Marty has turned to painting and writing, and calls himself one who “painted by ear” as he really listens to his spirit and is guided by that.  He is a gifted facilitator who loves to work with others and share his approach of the practice of self-inquiry. He reveres nature and the outdoors and does a walking meditation everyday in the wilderness.

Ani Williams

aniwilliams-283x280Ani Williams is world-renowned harpist and singer, and has recorded more than two-dozen albums of original sacred music based on ancient spiritual traditions. She has done seminal work in the study of sound healing and the relationship between musical tones, the human voice and healing.

Ani has been recording her enchanting style of music since 1981, has been produced and distributed by such noteworthy companies as Music Design, White Swan, New Leaf, Ladyslipper Records, and internationally in Europe, England, Australia, and Mexico.

In addition to her own releases, Williams has recorded four releases of sacred chant with Lisa Thiel, three co-created recordings with Brooke Medicine Eagle, and a recording at George Lucas’ Skywalker Studios for the CD “The Psalms of Ra” by composer Jim Berenholtz.

To read more about Ani, click here.

Zac Occhiline

zacZac Occhiline is a delightful, wise guide into the world of meditation, yoga, and self-discovery. He will offer you meditation and yoga guidance throughout the program. He has studied and practiced yoga since 2000, including Hatha, Kundalini, and Kriya yoga, and has developed a unique and well-rounded understanding of the path of yoga and meditation. His studies include the philosophies of Sufism, Shamanism, reiki, and energy work, and he employs practical applications of Ayurveda and Jyotish. Growing up in Sedona has given him a deep appreciation and love for the wilderness. He has hiked and backpacked throughout the deserts of Arizona and considers nature to be his biggest teacher. Through his yoga and meditation practice, as well as nature’s influence, he has found the stability that allows him to better understand his own nature, which helps him guide others to discover theirs.

Julie Bevirt

JulieBA Certified Meditation & Mindfulness Instructor, Julie, also manages the McLean Meditation Teacher Academy in Sedona, Arizona. Following a strong intuitive nudge that meditation may be just the right skill to help relieve some serious sleep and stress-related health concerns, Julie trusted that what she was seeking was also seeking her. The meditation journey continues to expand and is a daily reminder that balance and peace are always just a breath away. With a grateful heart and the desire to share the gifts of meditation, the teacher path became a next right step. Julie finds joy in helping others navigate the journey from head to heart.

Eva Maurice

Eva-MauriceEva Maurice is a spiritual counselor, transformational speaker, and meditation facilitator. After 20 years in corporate America, she began her personal journey of self love. This inspired her to live her soul’s purpose. Through her private practice, she enjoys counseling others through transformation to awaken to their divine truth.

 

Joy Nanda, PhD, CST-D

20151022_www.Great-Story.net_2270Joy Pamela Nanda, Ph.D., received her doctorate in biological anthropology from the University of Kansas, and was a tenured professor at Case Western Reserve University until she left to study alternative healing modalities, including craniosacral therapy with the Upledger Institute. She is a graduate of the first meditation teacher training session at the MMI. She specializes in cranialsacral therapy, therapeutic yoga, and meditation classes at her practice Healing With Joy, and delivers lectures and health workshops across the country. This work is an expression of her lifelong fascination with the evolution and development of consciousness, and her calling to present the science of brain health in a way that is understandable and relevant to meditation students and spiritual seekers. When not teaching or working privately with clients, she enjoys a daily meditation practice and time spent hiking the trails of Sedona and beyond.

Devani Paige

devani-1Devani is a facilitator of guided meditations at MMI. She has created many healing guided meditations, often utilizing her native American flutes, buffalo drums, and vocals. She is passionate about her own practice of daily meditation and is dedicated to living a yogic lifestyle. She is continuously amazed as she witnesses the transformation within herself and her students through the practices of yoga and meditation. Devani was certified as a yoga instructor in 2007 through 7 Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona, and is a holistic life coach, earning her Ph.D. from the University of Sedona. She is also a certified Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) facilitator and is a meditation instructor at L’Auberge de Sedona. Devani is also a mom, a musician, and a lover of nature.

MTA Course Advisors

Suzi von Mensenkampff

suziSuzi von Mensenkampff is based in Ireland. She travels regularly to share these teachings, fully aware of how stressful life can be. Her daily practice of meditation has kept her grounded and healthy throughout.

Sarah and Suzi connected when Sarah graciously accepted to travel to Ireland and become an Ambassador for The Hope Foundation, freely giving her time for a fundraising events which promoted meditation. It was a life-changing connection for Suzi who then had the opportunity to work and study with Sarah and when she returned to Ireland in 2015 to co-host her first retreat in Ireland.

As Group Leader with Yoga for Hope, Suzi gets to see first-hand how meditation and yoga can change lives. Each year she takes a group to Kolkata, India to support and witness the work of The Hope Foundation, sharing yoga and meditation with the street and slum children—an incredible opportunity to make a difference, explore India, and deepen your understanding and meditation practice.

Inspired by the transformation experienced in her life,Suzi is committed to sharing these teachings. She has immersed herself in these timeless teachings of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, and traveled to California to study with Dr. Chopra at The Chopra Centre, becoming a Chopra certified teacher in all three disciplines, graduating in 2012 as Ireland’s first Vedic Master.

Working with Sarah and graduating as an instructor at The McLean Meditation Institute in 2014 has further expanded her knowledge, experience, and skills while fueling her passion to teach. She loves to create regular retreats and wellness days throughout the year connecting with teachers across the globe.

She also offer SEED Meditation classes, Primordial Sound Meditation, and Corporate Mindfulness in Ireland, U.K. & Europe.

suzi@mcleanmeditation.comwww.omyogaevents.net, Mobile: 00353 85 7214170

Christine Rolfe

Christine Rolfe - McLean Meditation Institute

When Christine was six-year old was having trouble sleeping one night, so she gazed at a Holly Hobby picture hung on the wall to settle her mind. Only decades later did she learn she was practicing Trataka, the meditative practice of gazing at an external object. Christine was naturally drawn to meditation, and started practicing again as a way to calm her mind and increase mindfulness in her daily life.

As Christine continued to develop her meditation practice, she experienced even more benefits, including reduced insomnia, more focus, and an increased connectedness with life.  She was happier. She was drawn to the practice and wanted to learn as much about meditation as possible. Christine explains “If I can meditate (with my over-active mind) anyone can!”

Christine earned her in Communications and Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara. She is certified to teach Simple, Easy, Every Day (SEED) Meditation, and instructs individuals and groups seeking to improve their well-being through meditation. Christine lives in Orange County with her husband, teenage son, and two furry friends, Ruka and Maya.

Lisa Campbell, HHT, CMMT

LisaCampbellLisa Campbell loves that peace is her profession.Founder of Mindfulfilled Meditation, she leads classes, workshops, and retreats throughout New England to help others experience a more peaceful, healthier, and happier life through meditation. Lisa received her Meditation & Mindfulness Instructor certification through the McLean Meditation Institute in Sedona, Arizona, where she returned as a Course Advisor to mentor international students who are working towards becoming certified meditation teachers. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Lisa felt that no veteran should be left behind, especially those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). She trained and became certified through the Warriors at Ease organization to specialize in trauma-informed meditation for active military, veterans and their families. Lisa is both an Advisory Board member, and member of the Holistic Health Group, for Project New Hope, a Massachusetts nonprofit organization that provides free weekend retreats for veterans and their families throughout New England. Learn more about Lisa at www.Mindfulfilled.com.

Sarah Fletcher

sarah-fletchersq-500x500Sarah first experienced meditation as a teenager, and inspired from that first experience has continued to explore, attend retreats, receive teachings and sit for close to 30 years. In 2009 while on retreat Sarah knew she had to find a way to share her passion for meditation, so she started Quiet Mind Meditation, offering local classes and an online blog of her journey. Having survived a corporate career in a highly competitive sector, Sarah has a deep appreciation for the stress and challenges faced when trying to find balance; so in 2012 she started taking meditation to the boardrooms and lunchrooms of Australian business. In 2015 Sarah completed a year of wonderful studies to become a McLean Meditation Institute Certified Meditation Teacher.

Sarah believes that meditation is a life skill, her approach is grounded in the ancient, time tested teachings, integrated with current scientific research, and an emphasis on providing a practical application of meditation for modern day life.

Carol Studenka, M.A.

Carol Studenka, M.A., is a social media expert and curriculum assistant who will help you as you dive into the distance learning component of the teacher training program. She says her life-long passion is teaching people to find the key to unlock their own door, and she believes meditation is that key. Since learning to meditate in 2006, she has inspired others to awaken their confidence, to be at the center of  their own story, to love themselves more, and to open their hearts to paths never imagined. After 30 years of teaching high school in Detroit and undergoing some life-changing experiences, she finds herself in Sedona where she explores personal transformation modalities and shares them with others to help them find a more expansive and peaceful way of living.

MTA Faculty

Sarah McLean

Becoming More Powerful Through Meditation Along with my 20+ year daily meditation practice, I’ve had some unique opportunities: I served as the founding education director of Deepak Chopra’s Center for Wellbeing, as director of Byron Katie’s international School for The Work, and assistant to Seat of the Soul author, Gary Zukav.

Each of these thought leaders hired me to help them share their knowledge and talents with the world. As I developed mind/body health centers, self-discovery programs, curriculum, and events for them worldwide, I was fortunate enough to become immersed in their wisdom and knowledge.

Each one has been a great teacher on my path to self-discovery and living a great life. Meditation, however, has been my constant companion and continues to be the most important practice in my journey.

I’ve explored world spiritual traditions:  I was a 2-year resident in a Zen Buddhist monastery, lived in an ashram in India, bicycled along the Silk Route through Pakistan, and trekked the Golden Triangle in Asia. I also served as a medic in the U.S. Army working with those with post traumatic stress disorder. I’ve journeyed thousands of miles through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia by bicycle in search of the secrets of this world and this life.

My aim is to make meditation accessible to anyone who wants to learn as well as to integrate it with creative practices and everyday life. I teach and speak about self-awareness and meditation throughout Arizona and wherever I’m invited.  My articles on mind/body health have been featured in Green Lifestyles Magazine, Earth Odyssey, Frontdoors, AZ Net News, and other publications.  I’m regularly invited to speak on stress-reduction and mind/body wellness on Arizona TV Channel 3’s Your Life A – Z and many radio programs. Read more here.

Carol Studenka, M.A.

Carol Studenka, M.A., is a social media expert and curriculum assistant who will help you as you dive into the distance learning component of the teacher training program. She says her life-long passion is teaching people to find the key to unlock their own door, and she believes meditation is that key. Since learning to meditate in 2006, she has inspired others to awaken their confidence, to be at the center of  their own story, to love themselves more, and to open their hearts to paths never imagined. After 30 years of teaching high school in Detroit and undergoing some life-changing experiences, she finds herself in Sedona where she explores personal transformation modalities and shares them with others to help them find a more expansive and peaceful way of living.

Christine Muldoon

Christine Muldoon teaches the art of presentation. She is a dynamic, knowledgeable, and insightful communication educator, speaking coach, and consultant for CM Communication International, with 30 years of experience in the area of persuasive communication. She was the manager of training and development for the Fred Harvey Corporation (headquartered in the Grand Canyon National Park), and deputy director of the division of communications for the Arizona Department of Corrections. She has pioneered major efforts to implement leading-edge communication training and development programs. CM Communication International has earned the loyalty of a variety of unique clients including IBM Corporation, Research in Motion (Blackberry), Aspect Software, MicroAge, Chipotle Mexican Grills, The Charles Machine Works (Ditchwitch), Turner Ranches Enterprises, The National Park Service, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alaska Peace Officers Association, Southwest Head Start, Arizona State University, AT Still University, ADOT, AZ Small Business Association, Iowa State University, California State University, Arizona Red Cross, NASA at Kennedy Space Center, City of Phoenix, City of San Jose, City of Las Vegas, Arizona Game and Fish, and Unity Churches.

Joy Nanda, PhD, CST-D

20151022_www.Great-Story.net_2270Joy Pamela Nanda, Ph.D., received her doctorate in biological anthropology from the University of Kansas, and was a tenured professor at Case Western Reserve University until she left to study alternative healing modalities, including craniosacral therapy with the Upledger Institute. She is a graduate of the first meditation teacher training session at the MMI. She specializes in cranialsacral therapy, therapeutic yoga, and meditation classes at her practice Healing With Joy, and delivers lectures and health workshops across the country. This work is an expression of her lifelong fascination with the evolution and development of consciousness, and her calling to present the science of brain health in a way that is understandable and relevant to meditation students and spiritual seekers. When not teaching or working privately with clients, she enjoys a daily meditation practice and time spent hiking the trails of Sedona and beyond.

Diane Dearmore

Diane Dearmore is an MMI certified meditation instructor whose heart-felt commitment to teach meditation comes after years of devoted meditation practice in the teachings of the Self-Realization Fellowship. She has served as the president/founder of two mortgage companies, asset risk management consulting, president/CEO Gardens for Humanity, executive director of the Institute of Ecotourism, massage instructor at Pima Medical Institute, and founder/owner of Hands of Compassion, LLC and Southwest Herb and Essence, LLC.  A mother and grandmother, Diane specializes in teaching meditation to children of all ages, and has come to know firsthand that meditation heals humanity from the inside out. Meditation increases mental clarity, decreases bodily and emotional stress and provides evolutionary nourishment for the soul.

Zac Occhiline

zacZac Occhiline is a delightful, wise guide into the world of meditation, yoga, and self-discovery. He will offer you meditation and yoga guidance throughout the program. He has studied and practiced yoga since 2000, including Hatha, Kundalini, and Kriya yoga, and has developed a unique and well-rounded understanding of the path of yoga and meditation. His studies include the philosophies of Sufism, Shamanism, reiki, and energy work, and he employs practical applications of Ayurveda and Jyotish. He is also a trainer for the 7 Centers Yoga Arts teacher training program. Growing up in Sedona has given him a deep appreciation and love for the wilderness. He has hiked and backpacked throughout the deserts of Arizona and considers nature to be his biggest teacher. Through his yoga and meditation practice, as well as nature’s influence, he has found the stability that allows him to better understand his own nature, which helps him guide others to discover theirs.

Adrienne Pieroth

Adrienne1Adrienne first learned to meditate in college at the age of twenty. Her love of meditation and her personal practice prompted friends and family asking her to teach them. She searched high and low for a teacher’s meditation program, and knew the minute she read Soul-Centered that she had found the right place—the McLean Meditation Institute. She was certified to teach in the summer of 2014, and has been building a business teaching both individual and corporate classes.

Prior to her work as a meditation teacher, Adrienne worked in corporate America as a network engineer and systems designer. With master’s degrees in computer science and cognitive science, Adrienne especially enjoys the intersection of mindfulness and technology in today’s fast paced, always connected digital world. Her skills in corporate training, user needs analysis, systems design, user/usability testing, and marketing/branding further add to her ability to present and reach diverse audiences, large or small, in a variety of settings.  She is thrilled to be assisting with Teacher Training Intensives by covering the marketing/branding topics. A single mother of two teenage sons, and an aspiring writer, Adrienne lives between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Redondo Beach, California where she can be found hiking in the mountains or walking on the beach.

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