Hugh Byrne (Sunday class)
Hugh Byrne, PhD is the Director of the Center for Mindful Living, a Guiding Teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW) and and a leading expert in the field of mindfulness and positive habit change.
Hugh has practiced meditation for 30 years and completed a four-year meditation teacher training program with Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein and other senior Insight Meditation teachers in 2000. Hugh also teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and has completed a three-year training in Somatic Experiencing, a mind-body approach to healing trauma.
He teaches weekly classes on Sundays from 10:30-12:30pm at the Center for Mindful Living, leads retreats and workshops nationally and abroad, and is available for teacher interviews.
Hugh is the author of The Here-and-Now Habit and teaches classes and retreats in the Washington, DC, area, throughout the United States and internationally. He is a co-founder of the Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship.
He is also a popular teacher on Insight Timer, with 20+ meditations for you to listen to!
More information can be found on Hugh’s website.
Weekday Morning Meditation Teachers
Karolynn Coleman (Monday class)
Karolynn Coleman became interested in Buddhist psychology and meditation practices in the mid 90’s as a result of extensive travel throughout the Himalayan mountain regions. Having trained in Western psychology and psychotherapy since the mid 60’s, she was struck with the rich understanding of the human experience and the science of the mind which Buddhist psychology offers. She has done a two-year meditation group for psychotherapists at the Massachusetts Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy; completed the Professional Training for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction offered by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli; participated in The Year of Living Mindfully Program with Jonathan Foust; and graduated from The Meditation Teacher Training Institute’s two-year program with teachers Tara Brach, Jonathan Foust, Hugh Byrne and Pat Coffey in 2013. She has benefitted from numerous other trainings and Vipassana retreats.
Karolynn guides Monday morning meditation at the Center for Mindful Living. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Bethesda, MD. As both a meditation teacher and psychotherapist she integrates knowledge and practices from Western psychology and Buddhist psychology to help promote positive growth and development.
Gene Kijowski (Tuesday class)
In 2003, after a 40-year career as a hard-charging business executive, Gene began the practice of meditation and mindfulness, and a path slowly opened leading him to be in the world with a newfound sense of freedom, joy, and well-being. Having experienced the benefits of the practice for himself, he is committed to being of service to promote healing for others, by breaking the cycle of suffering wherever possible.
Since joining the IMCW community, he has participated in the Insight on the Inside (IOI) prison Dharma program, teaching meditation/mindfulness practices to the incarcerated; served on the Board of Directors; and in 2012, along with Hugh Byrne, started the Center for Mindful Living in Tenleytown, where he guides Tuesday morning meditation and facilitates the Saturday morning KM group.
He has completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training with Jon Kabat-Zinn, the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute SE Professional Training, the hospice/bereavement training at Hospice Caring in Gaithersburg, MD, and graduated from The Meditation Teacher Training Institute’s two-year program with teachers Tara Brach, Jonathan Foust, Hugh Byrne and Pat Coffey in 2013.
Daniel Denecke (Wednesday class)
Daniel Denecke learned to meditate 30 years ago in Boulder, Colorado. He knows first-hand the power of meditation to heal deep wounds and open vast spaces in the self for happiness, serenity, and deepened connection with others and the world we live in.
Daniel has attended 7- and 10-day residential as well as shorter retreats through various centers including IMCW and the Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA, and is currently completing a two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. He is grateful to the many amazing teachers with whom he has studied in the Vipassana/Insight and Theravada traditions.
Daniel holds a Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. He has taught at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland and worked for 15 years in the non-profit sector directing national education reform and research projects. When not on the mat, Daniel is out on adventures with his wife Alexandra and son Nicholas or feeding his soul with creative writing, jazz, and volunteer work to help his community.
Daniel currently guides Wednesday morning meditation at the Center for Mindful Living.
Jane Jackson (Thursday class)
Jane was introduced to Insight Meditation in 1998, when she began attending IMCW’s class in Takoma Park. She was mainly looking for a break from the stresses of parenting, lawyering, and midlife. She found that, and much more.
She continues to sit with the Takoma Park sangha, occasionally leading class as a guest teacher. Her practice for the last 10 years has included annual residential silent retreats with IMCW or at the Insight Meditation Society.
In 2013, Jane graduated from The Meditation Teacher Training Institute’s two-year program with teachers Tara Brach, Jonathan Foust, Hugh Byrne and Pat Coffey. She completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2003, and also has training in Yoga for the Special Needs Child and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. She teaches mindful movement, mindfulness meditation, and lovingkindness meditation through the adult education program at her Unitarian Universalist church. She is the mother and stepmother of three adult children, including one with intellectual disability, and grandmother of two.
Jane retired from the Federal Communications Commission in 2017, after practicing telecommunications law for over 41 years.
Peggy O’Kane (Thursday class)
Peggy O’Kane has been meditating for seventeen years. She began using meditation as a stress management tool, and quickly came to understand its profound usefulness for self-knowledge, awareness and cultivating peace and contentment. She is eager to share the techniques of meditation and the teachings of the dharma with all who are interested.
In 2013 Peggy graduated from The Meditation Teacher Training Institute’s two-year program with teachers Tara Brach, Jonathan Foust, Hugh Byrne and Pat Coffey. With Jane Jackson, she guides Thursday morning meditation at CML.
Sarah Pendergrass (Thursday evening class)
Sarah Pendergrass has been studying Vipassana meditation for more than 20 years, with multiple silent retreats through the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (IMCW) and the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts.
She began practicing mindfulness to reduce stress, but now the practice has become a way of life. She has a deeply held belief in the wholeness and dignity of all beings. She believes that the practice of insight meditation and other forms of Buddhist and spiritual practice can assist individuals in reconnecting with their inherent wholeness, and their interconnectedness with all beings, that is ever present. Through this sense of connection, stability and growth can flourish.
She is grateful for the gifts of the practice and the opportunity to share the practice with others. Sarah leads a Thursday evening sit and frequently substitutes for morning sits at the Center.
Silvia Garcia Pereira (Friday class)
Since moving to DC, Silvia became a follower of Tara Brach’s teachings and has been formally practicing Vipassana, Insight Meditation for over 10 years. In 2009 she graduated from the Year of Living Mindfully program guided by Jonathan Foust.
Silvia also graduated from The Meditation Teacher Training Institute’s two-year program with teachers Tara Brach, Jonathan Foust, Hugh Byrne and Pat Coffey in 2013. That year, she also received a .b mindfulness in schools, teacher certification.
She attends 7 - 10 day residential retreats once or twice a year with IMCW, the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, helping her to grow in living the dharma.
She currently guides Friday morning meditation at the Center for Mindful Living. As a video producer, Silvia is happy to work on multiple video projects to spread her love for the dharma. She has contributed as video producer to several of IMCW’s videos.
As a mother of two young adults, her practice is an integral part of daily life.
Alessia de Pierini
Alessia is a certified teacher of the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association. Born in Rome, Alessia travelled all over the world and found her true vocation in Zhineng Qigong. With her Argentinian husband and two wonderful kids born in Buenos Aires, she feels she is in harmony being both North and South, East with Chinese practices and West with the United States, where she happily lives now. She believes we can all contribute to a better world, and loves teaching both Tai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong at the Center.