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Building communities of trust

Creating cultures of inclusion

Empowering people to discover their
authentic voice

About Dave
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David Trachtenberg mindfulness


Dave Trachtenberg is a mindfulness guide & mentor, restorative justice educator, cross-cultural dialog facilitator, and inclusive leadership coach with over 20 years of experience practicing mindfulness.  He has dedicated his life to integrating mindfulness  & well-being with inclusion and social justice, and creating communities that honor our collective wisdom, celebrate our identities and lived experiences, and embody the courage and humility needed to create a more welcoming society.   

Currently - Dave facilitates mindfulness & restorative justice at American University (School of Education, Department of Health Studies), serves on the Peace of Mind Advisory Board, facilitates international cross-cultural dialog with Soliyahelps organizations utilize Appreciative Inquiry & Inclusive Leadership to design more inclusive cultures, and has helped people flourish in private practice as a mindfulness mentor & wellness coach for 13 years.

Previously - Dave had the honor to serve with five
 different mindfulness in education nonprofits: Program Director of Minds Inc. (serving over 18,000 educators, students and parents in Washington DC), and as a guiding teacher for Mindful Schools, Mindfulness First, Millennium ForumPeace of Mind.  He has also facilitated mindfulness and restorative justice in DMV-area public schools.

Storytelling - Dave is passionate about storytelling's power to inspire and give hope.  His "Seven Foundations of Storytelling" training helps people engage listeners by discovering their innate voice to speak authentically, with confidence, and from the heart.

Integrative Mindfulness


  • Formal Mindfulness

  • Applied Mindfulness

  • Relational Mindfulness


  • Celebrating Our Differences

  • Cross-Cultural Dialog

  • Honoring Our Lived Experiences

Community Building

  • Sharing Our Stories

  • Circle Facilitation

  • Cultivating Empathy


  • Allowing Our Hearts to Feel

  • Compassion for Self & Others

  • Compassionate Action

Listening Circles

  • Life Affirming Questions

  • Speaking With Presence

  • Listening With Heart

Self Discovery

  • Embodying Your Values

  • Intentions for Well-Being

  • Living Authentically

Integrated Mindfulness Approach


I create intimate spaces for people to authentically share, begin a journey of self-discovery, and to live with greater awareness through mindfulness practice. 

All sessions fully integrate mindfulness with community buildinginclusion, and restorative practices that empower people to:


  • Access their innate-wisdom

  • Cultivate resilience

  • Fully welcome & accept emotions

  • Make healthier choices

  • Listen with compassion 

  • Speak with presence

  • Navigate difficult emotions 

My Story
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My Story

I teach mindfulness because it helped me transform my life.

The Struggle - When I was younger, I deeply struggled with depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.  I was flooded by an all-consuming sense of loneliness, low self-esteem, constant self-judgment, and having no sense of self-worth or agency.  Phases of overwhelm took over my life, causing a paralysis where I felt barely able to function. 


The Transformation - Learning mindfulness and tai chi 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, instead of blindly reacting to it.  It opened up a new world of how I experience my body, and how tuning into body awareness allowed me to feel grounded amidst difficulty.  Relational mindfulness helped me listen better, speak more authentically, and cultivate more empathy and compassion for other people.  


Mindfulness allowed me to honor all parts of myself: my feelings, thoughts, and past experiences. It helped me feel whole. I began to treat myself with more kindness, and developed a fierce sense of self-love and gratitude for the hurdles I had overcome. For the first time in my life I felt a greater sense of peace and agency, born out of meditation's ability to cultivate greater clear-seeing, letting go of things I had no control over, and allowing myself to fully feel my emotions.  With time, it allowed me to make healthier decisions, live in harmony with my values, and to access an unshakable resilience within during challenging times.

Work Experience

"You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."

Marcus Aurelius

Mindfulness in Education: Nonprofit leadership

Minds Incorporated - For five years, Dave had the honor of serving as Program Director for Minds, a nonprofit integrating mindfulness programs in Washington DC area schools. During 2013-18, Minds:

  • Served over 18,000 students, educators, parents

  • Served over 40 schools in four school districts

  • Created a team of 35 mindfulness trainers

  • Designed curricula for Educators, Teens, K-5th

Peace of Mind - - PoM's innovative program integrates: Mindfulness, Peace Education, Neuroscience, Social Justice. Roles served:

  • Advisory Board - Consultation on mindfulness practice, building partnerships, equity & inclusion 

  • Program Designer - Co-creator of year-long "Virtual Community Circles" program 

  • Facilitator - Co-Facilitator of year-long VCC's 

Soliya International 

  • Cross-Cultural Dialog - Guiding virtual circles of students from Africa, the Middle East, and North & South America in increased empathy & awareness

Mindful Schools -

  • Program Design - Co-created revision of Mindfulness Teacher Certification Program 

  • Guiding Teacher - MTCP educator cohorts

Mindfulness First -

  • Program Design - Co-created "Teaching Mindfulness II" Training Series for educators

  • Facilitator & Coach - Mindfulness educator circles

Millennium Forum

Mindfulness, community, and flourishing for educators

  • Facilitation - Year-Long mindfulness-circle guide

Organizations & Schools:
Facilitation, consulting

American University

Mindfulness, Restorative Justice & Well-Being - Designs & facilitates 15-week courses integrating mindfulness, social justice, and inclusive facilitation 

  • School of Education - Doctoral & Master's program

  • Department of Health Studies - Undergraduate 


Restorative Justice & Circle Facilitation - Trains and coaches AU School of Education faculty & staff in:

  • Community Building through RJ  

  • Inclusive Facilitation Practices 

  • Restorative Conflict Resolution  

  • Guiding Principles & Values of Restorative Justice


Guest-Speaking & Panels - Mindfulness

  • Children's National Hospital

  • Kojo Nnamdi Show (WAMU) 

  • iBme - Inward Bound Mindfulness Education

  • IMCW - Insight Meditation Community of Wash DC

  • Mindful Kids Peace Summit

  • Mindful Schools

  • The Peace Alliance

  • Washington DC Interfaith Leadership Summit 

Schools (K-12) - Mindfulness, Restorative Justice 

  • District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) 

  • Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) 

  • Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)

Organizations - Org Development, Mindfulness

  • Associated Builders & Contractors 

  • CollabraLink 

  • ECIN - Early Childhood Innovation Network 

  • EYEJ - Empowering Youth, Exploring Justice 

  • Henkel (Belgium) 

  • Port of Antwerp (Belgium) 

  • Swagelok (Cleveland)

Education & Training
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M.S. Positive Organization Development   

Case Western Reserve University

  • Appreciative Inquiry

  • Executive Leadership Coaching

  • Positive Psychology

Grad Cert - Restorative Justice in Education 

EMU - Center for Justice & Peacebuilding

  • Circle Facilitation  

  • Peace & Conflict Resolution 

  • Restorative Justice 

B.A. History

American University

  • African History  

  • Middle Eastern History 

  • U.S. Cultural History 

Certificate in Executive Coaching 

& Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Case Western Reserve University 

  • Compassionate Leadership 

  • Inclusive Leadership

  • Resonant Leadership

Professional Coaching - 13 years experience

Walk the Middle Way

  • Leadership & Life Coaching 

  • Well-Being Coaching 

  • Mindfulness Mentorship

  • Public Speaking & Storytelling

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Qualified MBSR Teacher - 300 hrs


Teachers - Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli,                        Florence Meleo-Meyer

Engaged Mindfulness Institute

Certified Mindfulness Teacher - 300 hrs


Teachers - Fleet Maul, Jim Bastien

Guest-Teachers - Goldstein, Kornfield

Mindful Schools 

Mindful Teacher Training - 300 hrs


Teachers - Megan Cowen, Chris 

                  McKenna, Vinny Ferraro

Inclusive Facilitation Training

Appreciative Inquiry

& Inclusive Leadership

Case Western Reserve:

  • Appreciative Inquiry                                    David Cooperrider & Ronald Fry

  • Compassionate Leadership                        Richard Boyatzis & Melvin Smith

  • Inclusive Leadership Coaching                   Diana Bilmoria 

  • Positive Psychology                                     David Cooperrider, Rich. Boyatzis

Circle Facilitation 

& Restorative Justice 

  • Art of Hosting                                                Facilitating Collective Wisdom

  • EMU - Circle Facilitation & Restorative              Justice (Ram Bhagat)

  • EMU - Peacebuilding & Conflict                        Transformation (Judy Mullet)  

  • Kay Pranis - Circle Process &                                       Peacemaking Circles

  • School Talk DC - Restorative Circles

Cross Cultural Dialog

Certified Advanced Facilitation

  • Soliya & United Nations Habitat Facilitation Training Program

  • Soliya - International Connect Program Facilitator

Mind-Body Training

Personal Practice


  • Mindfulness - 20 years

  • Tai-Chi & Qigong - 12 years

  • Silent Retreats - Bhavana Society, Insight Meditation Wash. DC, Southern Dharma, MBSR, Engaged Mindfulness, Mindful Schools

Guided Imagery & NLP


  • Academy of Guided Imagery           Certified Practitioner  

  • National Guild of Hypnotists             Certified Hypnotist

  • National Federation of NLP             Certified NLP Practitioner

Tai-Chi, Qigong & Bagua-Zhang

  • Master Xiao-Ling Liu                                 Bagua-Zhang

  • Michael Ward – Cloud Hands Tai Chi       Tai Chi - Cheng Man Ching style

  • Charles "Fran" Farrell                                 Martial Arts, Tai Chi, Qigong

Teachers Who Inspired Me

"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

Teachers & Inspirations

Wisdom Teachers from my Youth


My Parents & Family - For raising me to be curious, to ask questions, to always stand up for others (especially when they don't have a voice), for teaching me to trust myself, and for teaching me kindness and generosity.

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. 

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.

Steve Smith - My 8th grade history teacher, who taught me that the best teachers are the ones who challenge students, and think outside the box in order to best touch the lives of others.

Mayer Selekman - My Rabbi, who taught me that kindness and gentleness have no limits, to always ask questions, and how to speak with grace, intelligence, and conviction.

Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi - For teaching me that spirituality has no bounds, that humor can be found in everything, and that the wisest parts of ourselves know how to connect to the wisdom in others. 

Richard Berendzen - My Astronomy professor, who taught me that sacredness and wonder belong in science, to embody humbleness, and that people who have harmed others are capable of change.

Allen Iverson - For showing me how to create and express with unbridled joy, to trust my intuition, and to find the grit and tenacity to keep getting back up.

Meditation teachers who continue to

inspire my practice and teaching:

            Pema Chodron   -   Thich Nhat Hanh 

            Jonathan Foust   -   Florence Meleo-Meyer

            Angel Kyodo-Williams   -   Bhante Gunaratana

            Jon Kabat-Zinn   -   La Sarmiento 

            Marisela Gomez   -   S.N. Goenka   

            Alan Watts   -   Trudy Mitchell-Gilkey 

            Mushim Ikeda   -   Larry Yang  

            Ram Dass   -   Ma Joya Sati Bhagavati  

My other great wisdom teachers:

Music - For being the art that helped me find joy and express sadness.  For helping me process endless emotions.  For tuning me into my true nature.  

Storytelling - For creating spaces where every person has wisdom to offer, and cultivating empathy by  learning from each person's unique life path.   

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.

Basketball - For teaching my younger self that was so hurt, angry, and self-loathing that we can find peace and resilience during our most challenging emotions.

Lloyd Alexander - For being the first storyteller who touched my heart, and made me want to read.  For teaching me that we can learn from everyone, and that that purity still exists amidst life's sorrows.

James Baldwin & Ralph Ellison - For teaching me to explore the depths of injustice rooted in our systems, and the importance of fully feeling our anger.

Richard Pryor - For embodying what it means to be an artist.  For teaching me to balance dualities: that joy is tinged with loss, and that sadness can wear a smile.  

Kobe Bryant - For teaching me discipline and work ethic.  For challenging me to find resilience to work through adversity, and to pursue goals with tenacity.

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