Working with a Teacher
Working with a teacher is important. We usually look to a teacher to give us directions and tell us what is the right way, and by inference, what is the wrong way, to meditate. This approach is more individualized; we learn how to meditate from looking into our meditative experiences and seeing what actually is going on. In this way we become better able to discern the positive qualities that are developing in our meditation and the obstacles that are blocking us. Working with a teacher stimulates this inquiry. We recommend an ongoing relationship with a teacher as the best way to learn and develop within this meditation approach.
Nelly Kaufer is our lead teacher. Diane Yatchmenoff and Judy Butler, lead meditation groups and work individually with students.
Nelly Kaufer is the lead teacher for the Pine Street Sangha. She was introduced to Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation in 1978 and began teaching women meditation in the early 1980s, as there were no female teachers in her community at that time. In 1989 she received a master’s degree in transpersonal psychology with a focus on the integration of psychotherapy and Buddhism. Shortly after that, she co-authored A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Renewal (HarperOne,1994), a book for which she interviewed women about their spiritual experiences. In the 1990s she completed a 3-year mindfulness teacher training. Nelly met Jason Siff at a Buddhism and Psychotherapy conference in 2004, entered the Skillful Meditation teacher training several months later and completed this in-depth training in 2008.
Nelly is a psychotherapist in private practice, integrating Buddhist psychology into her clinical orientation. She has been teaching meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhist psychology to therapists for over a decade. She teaches continuing education workshops for psychotherapists.
Because she has witnessed a more intimate understanding of dharma along with a kinder regard for the variety of meditative experiences, she now teaches exclusively using the Recollective Awareness approach.
Contact Nelly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Yatchmenoff, Ph.D. began studying and practicing Recollective Awareness meditation with Nelly Kaufer in 2009 after meditating in the Vispanassa tradition and studying Fourth Way practice for many years. Diane entered the Skillful Meditation Project teacher training program, under the direction of Jason Siff, in 2013 and regularly goes on retreat with Jason and her cohort of teachers-in-training.
Diane works in the field of trauma and brings an understanding of the impact of trauma into her work with Recollective Awareness students. She currently teaches an evening meditation group at the Pine Street Sangha and shares in leading the Sunday morning open meditation sessions.
As president of the Board of Directors of the Pine Street Sangha, Diane is also involved with Nelly and other members of the Board in program planning.
Contact Diane: email@example.com
Judy Butler met Nelly Kaufer and Jason Siff at a psychotherapy conference in 2005. She became involved in an on-going group for therapists practicing Recollective Awareness the same year and has since studied consistently with Nelly Kaufer in both group and individual settings. In 2013 she entered the Recollective Awareness Teacher Training Program. She regularly assists Nelly in workshops for therapists on the use of meditation as a part of self-care and ethical practice. She also leads an open sit one Sunday a month at Pine Street Sangha and serves on the Advisory Board.
While retired as of April 2016, Judy spent the last 15 years as a Psychotherapist in Private Practice with adults. Previously, she had worked for 14 years at CARES NW and 9 years for the State of Oregon. Her specialty in both organizations was the assessment and treatment of child abuse. She was frequently sought out as a trainer on this topic both in Oregon and other parts of the U.S. She has a Masters’ in Counseling from Lewis and Clark.
Judy is a mother of three adult children, grandmother to five, an avid walker and a yoga practitioner for more than 30 years. She values the balance and insight that meditation brings to her life.
Contact Judy: firstname.lastname@example.org