Building communities of Trust

Creating Cultures of Inclusion

Empowering people to discover their

Authentic Voice


Wellness Coaching

David Trachtenberg mindfulness in schools


& Educators



Storytelling &

Public Speaking

Dave Trachtenberg

“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.”

-Jacob Riis

  • Mindfulness Teacher

  • Circle Facilitator

  • Wellness Coach

  • Organizational Consultant

  • Restorative Justice Educator

  • Storyteller


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)


My Story

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."

Marcus Aurelius

Non-Profit Leadership

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 -

  • 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 -

  • Role - Guiding Teacher (Certification Program)

  • Internationally known nonprofit that has trained over 50,000 school leaders and educators

Mindfulness First -

  • Role - Mindfulness Consultant & Trainer

  • Nonprofit providing Mindfulness & Social-Emotional Learning to educators and students

  • Location - Serves Flagstaff, Arizona


Teaching Experience


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:

  • American University:

    • 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

Teaching Style


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


Authentic Communication


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:

  • Empathy

  • Deep listening

  • Authentic speaking

  • Body language

  • 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

  • Positive Psychology

Graduate Certificate (in progress)

Restorative Justice in Education

Eastern Mennonite University

  • Restorative Justice

  • Circle Facilitation

  • Peace Education

B.A. History

American University

  • African History

  • Middle-Eastern History

  • 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 Training


Personal Practice

  • 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

Mindful Schools

  • 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:

  • Heart-Mind Education

  • 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.


Walk The Middle Way

David Trachtenberg

Silver Spring, MD


Serving the Washington DC metro area:

  • Washington, DC

  • Maryland

    • Silver Spring

    • Bethesda

    • College Park

    • Hyattsville

    • Rockville

  • Northern Virginia

    • Arlington

    • Fairfax

    • Falls Church

    • McLean

    • Tyson's Corner


© 2018 by Walk The Middle Way