Building communities of Trust
Creating Cultures of Inclusion
Empowering people to discover their
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.
Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
WHAT I DO
I create safe spaces for people to share authentically, and begin a journey of self-discovery and living with greater ease, through mindfulness practice.
Classes and Coaching sessions blend traditional Formal Mindfulness practice with emphasis on two off-the-cushion practices: Relational Mindfulness (deep listening, authentic speaking, cultivating empathy) and Applied Mindfulness (how we can apply meditation to practical, every-day scenarios). and
I help empower people to...
Find their inner-strength
Access their innate-wisdom
Fully accept themselves
Make healthier choices
Communicate with presence
Navigate difficult emotions (stress, overwhelm, anger, sadness, fear, self-judgment)
I teach mindfulness because it helped me transform my life.
The Struggle - When I was younger, I struggled deeply with depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADHD, and Tourette's syndrome. There were phases where constant feelings of worry and overwhelm took over my life, causing a mental-paralysis where I felt unable to function or accomplish basic tasks. I remember an all-consuming sense of loneliness that overtook my life; I had low self-esteem, was plagued by doubt and self-judgment, dark thoughts flooded my mind, and I had no real sense of self-worth or agency.
The Transformation - Learning mindfulness and other mind-body practices had a lasting impact on my life. It taught me to find a place within that was peaceful, and steady. It allowed me to observe my mind and where my thoughts would go, instead of blindly reacting off them. It opened up a world of experiencing how my body sensations manifested my emotions, and how tuning into my somatic experience allowed me to feel grounded and centered amidst difficulty. Relational mindfulness helped me listen more deeply, speak more authentically, and cultivate more empathy and kindness for other people.
Most importantly, mindfulness allowed me to welcome and accept all parts of myself: my feelings, my thoughts, my experiences, my decisions, my body sensations. It helped me feel whole. I began to treat myself with more kindness and gentleness, and develop a fierce sense of self-love, and even gratitude, for the hurdles I had overcome. For the first time in my life, I felt a sense of peace and empowerment, two emotions that used to be completely foreign to me. The peace came from learning to let things be that I had no control over, and allowing me to lean into and fully feel what arises within. The empowerment came from a new clear-seeing and awareness that comes with meditation practice. Within this space, it allowed me to make healthy, confident decisions to live life in harmony with my values, and to access an unshakable pillar of strength within when challenging life situations arise.
"You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."
Mindfulness in Schools
Minds Incorporated - For five years, Dave had the honor of serving as Program Director, Senior Trainer, and Curriculum Designer for Minds, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing mindfulness and social-emotional learning to Washington DC area K-12 schools. He also helped with outreach, building relationships with mindfulness & youth organizations around the country.
During this 2013-18 period, Minds' team had:
Served over 18,000 students, educators, parents
Served over 40 schools in four school districts
Created a team of 35 mindfulness trainers
Designed mindfulness curricula for Teen & Elem
Partnered with Georgetown University to create Circle-Mindfulness programs for DC parents
Peace of Mind - https://teachpeaceofmind.org/
Role - Advisory Board Member
Washington DC based nonprofit integrating Mindfulness, Peace Education, Neuroscience
Peace Program - Curricula for Elementary (Pre-K, K-2nd, 3rd-5th) and Middle School students
Mindful Schools - https://www.mindfulschools.org/
Role - Guiding Teacher (Certification Program)
Internationally known nonprofit that has trained over 50,000 school leaders and educators
Mindfulness First - https://www.mindfulnessfirst.org/
Role - Mindfulness Consultant & Trainer
Nonprofit providing Mindfulness & Social-Emotional Learning to educators and students
Location - Serves Flagstaff, Arizona
Dave has 20 years of experience in mindfulness and mind-body practices, and is a certified Mindfulness Teacher, Wellness Coach, and Restorative Justice Practitioner. Dave currently teaches with:
School of Public Health - Mindfulness
University-wide - Restorative Justice
Mindful Schools - Guiding Teacher & Mentor
Mindfulness First - Advanced Series Trainer
Millennium Forum - Mindful Educator Circles
Schools (K-12) - Leadership, Educators, Teens
Organizations - Corporate & Nonprofits
Community - Wellness Centers & Yoga Studios
Dave is known for his warm, passionate and engaging teaching style, a sense of humor and depth, and creating spaces where people feel fully accepted. He places strong emphasis on Applied Mindfulness and Relational-Mindfulness, in addition to formal practice. Dave's classes are taught in Mindfulness Circles, founded on principals of Restorative Justice, and allow people to be held in community with deep listening and empathy.
A former athlete, Dave trains basketball players through his Mind-Body Basketball program. Coaches and players learn how to use meditation to improve their confidence and resilience during basketball games, better themselves as people, and navigate the high volume level of emotions that arise during basketball training, scrimmages, and games.
Coaching & Consulting
Creating Positive Change
Dave runs a private practice mentoring adults and youth as a Mindfulness & Wellness Coach, helping people connect with their innate wisdom and strength, and empowering others to live with greater peace, confidence, and well-being.
All sessions include foundational teachings of Mindfulness, and draw from the mind-body practices of Guided Imagery, Positive Psychology, and Tai-Chi to help people create healthier lifestyles, and cultivate greater:
Acceptance - Courage - Joy
Kindness - Empathy - Self-Agency
Dave takes great joy in helping people find their voice and communicating more authentically, both in Public Speaking and Relationships. He guides people to balance honoring one's own needs while increasing awareness for the needs of others. Dave guides clients through core teachings of:
Voice tone and projection
The Art of Storytelling
M.S. Positive Organization Development
Case Western Reserve University
Weatherhead School of Management
Organization Development & Change
Executive Leadership Coaching
Restorative Justice in Education
Eastern Mennonite University
U.S. Cultural History
"The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers."
Thich Nhat Hanh
Meditation practice of 20 years
Tai-Chi & Qigong practice of 12 years
Silent Retreats - With: Bhavana Society, Southern Dharma, IMCW, MBSR, Engaged Mindfulness
Engaged Mindfulness Institute
Year-Long Certification (300 hrs)
Certified Mindfulness Teacher
Studied with - Fleet Maull, Jim Bastien
Year-Long Certification (300 hrs)
Certified Mindfulness Teacher
Studied with - Megan Cowen, Chris McKenna, Vinny Ferraro
MBSR - Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Qualified MBSR Teacher (300 hrs)
MBSR in Mind-Body Medicine
MBSR Practice Teaching Intensive, Fundamentals
Studied with - Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli, Florence Meleo-Meyer, Bob Stahl
Mindfulness in Education - Certifications:
The Lineage Project
Mindfulness in Schools Project (.b)
Guided Imagery, Hypnosis, NLP
The Academy of Guided Imagery
Certified in Interactive Guided Imagery
National Guild of Hypnotists
Certified Hypnotist (120 hrs)
National Federation of NLP
Certified NLP Practitioner (80 hrs)
Tai Chi & Qigong
Master Xiao-Ling Liu – Wudang Longmen
Michael Ward – Cloud Hands Tai Chi
Charles Farrell - American Eagle Tai Chi
Other Meditation Traditions
Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati - Yogic Meditation
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi - Kabbalah
Teachers & Inspirations
Meditation teachers who continue to influence and inspire my practice and teaching:
Pema Chodron - Reginald Ray
Jonathan Foust - Florence Meleo-Meyer
Angel Kyodo-Williams - Thich Nhat Hanh
Bhante Gunaratana - La Sarmiento
Joan Halifax - S.N. Goenka
Ram Dass - Ma Joya Sati Bhagavati
Mushim Ikeda - Larry Yang
Alan Watts - Trudy Mitchell-Gilkey
Gangaji - Jon Kabat-Zinn
My other great wisdom teachers:
Sam Holt - My 9th grade history teacher, who taught me the strength to be vulnerable in front of others, the courage to be myself, and the importance of creating safe spaces for teens.
Caleen Jennings - My African American Arts professor, who taught me that our cultural differences can be celebrated, and that a sense of community and an honoring of our hearts belong in every classroom.
Mayer Selekman - My Rabbi, who taught me that kindness has no limits, to always ask questions, and how to speak with grace, intelligence, and conviction.
Sifu Fran Farrell - For showing me the true spirit of martial arts: that warriors train to embody peace to self, peace to others, and to act with heart, mind, and courage. Never violence.
Richard Berendzen - My Astronomy professor, who taught me that sacredness and wonder are a part of science, and that a person who has harmed another is capable of true change.
Steve Smith - My 8th grade history teacher, who taught me that the best teachers are the ones who challenge students, and think way outside the box in order to touch the lives of others.
James Baldwin & Ralph Ellison - Who continue to teach me what it means to explore the depths of injustices that other cultures face, and the importance of fully feeling and embracing anger.
Basketball - For teaching my younger self that was so hurt, angry, and self-hating, that we can find inner peace at the peak volume of challenging emotions.
Tai-Chi - For teaching me to how to let go. For showing me what it means to feel empowered in my body, and to befriend my body's innate wisdom.