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MEET OUR TEAM

Amy, our Founder and CEO, brings more than 30 years of corporate, entrepreneurial and non-profit experience to Just Meditate.
 

She holds an undergraduate degree in Physical Education from Ithaca College and an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business. Amy has held diverse positions including General Manager of Ceremony Operations for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002, CEO of the YMCA Tauranga in New Zealand, COO of Caerus Associates (a government R&D contractor), Vice President of Administration of an enterprise software company, Arthur Andersen Business Consultant, and founder of Knead a Massage Inc. (www.kneadamassage.com), a successful affordable massage studio which was acquired in its second year of operations.

 

She is also a volunteer puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and is raising Henley, her 14th puppy. Amy, a native Washingtonian, lives in Bethesda with her daughter Blythe, their cat Latte, and their career change dog Nexus.

Karen Bralove is a certified Yoga instructor, Level II Reiki practitioner and native Washingtonian. Her first experience with meditation was TM, Transcendental Meditation, in the early 1970's. She has been teaching Yoga and meditation for 20 years in in the DC area, Los Angeles, and Italy.
 
She is a graduate of The Holton-Arms School and Vassar College. Her previous career was acting, and she taught drama at Sidwell Friends School for 24 years, where she met Amy Thaler, the Just Meditate Founder, as a middle school student! She looks forward to sharing her experience and "sitting" and breathing with this new community in Bethesda.
Michelle Ann Johnson was born in Bethesda, MD and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has been teaching meditation and Yoga since 1999. She is an RYT500 hour teacher with over 1000 hours in yoga, Ayurveda and meditation training. She is an Ordained Minister trained in the healing arts that involve pranayama breath work, mysticism and healing energetics. She is an authority in the mind body field and has been engaged as keynote speaker at many health conferences and large organizations.
 
Michelle has suffered from PTSD and anxiety as a result of abuse and trauma since a young age. This was crippling her life and manifested in physical side effects that included severe panic attacks. Meditation was a catalyst that helped her learn tools that calm the mind and nervous system down. In turn, she learned how to effectively manage, deal, and heal her own life. She has personally used meditation and visualization as tools to help her, not only manifest her dreams and desires, but to help others achieve success.
 
It is her own story and pain that inspired her to help others. She began to alter her lifestyle, diet and exercise regime in a way that helped her feel better and more energetic. She used meditation to ground her energy so she could focus better and get clarity regardless of a once chaotic mind and life. Over time, she became a professional athlete in the sport of fitness and bodybuilding. This helped her feel empowered to lead the way for many others. She is the owner of her own sports team and three websites. She is a regular contributor for many world-wide magazines, continues to lead, heal, speak and write in effort to inspire others to become the best versions of themselves.
Devin is a practitioner and teacher of mindfulness meditation. He practices with the intention of cultivating awareness and compassion in himself and helping students learn to do the same. In addition to working with adults, Devin also teaches meditation to middle school students, high school students, and young adults, including individuals with learning and emotional disabilities. He has studied Insight Meditation since 2011, including several months of silent residential retreats. Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield and Jonathan Foust have been his primary teachers.

Prior to teaching meditation, Devin worked for six years in the labor movement as a strategist and lobbyist for the hotel workers union in New York City and Washington, DC. Before going into politics and advocacy, he taught middle school English in Oakland, California. Somewhere in his files he has a Masters Degree in Education Policy from Teachers College and a BA from UC Santa Cruz in history and literature. Mostly, he has really good memories of reading on the beach.

Cindy Maxted has spent her life in the mind, body, and spirit field. She has over 25 years of experience working with children and families as a registered nurse in the neonatal ICU, Operating Room, and School Nursing with a degree from Georgetown University. As a certified Mindful Educator/Yoga Instructor in conjunction with Johns Hopkins D-stress Baltimore, she has taught over 400 young people in the Baltimore City Schools. As a nurse, coach, and yoga teacher she has integrated Mindfulness into her plan of care and teaching for throughout her career.


Cindy has an interest in advancing the health and well-beings of individuals and communities by bringing awareness, compassion, and joy while teaching tools and strategies of ways to be present in our lives, with ease.

Nina Paul is a mindfulness educator and consultant. Nina began practicing mindfulness 20 years ago to better manage the stressors in her life. Upon studying the science behind the effectiveness of mindfulness in reducing stress and seeing the results from her own practice, she became inspired to dedicate her career to teaching mindfulness. Nina loves sharing her passion for transformation through mindfulness to adults, college and high school students. She holds certificates in mindfulness through Mindful Schools, .b Mindfulness in Schools Project (UK) and MBSR-T (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens). In addition Nina has studied mindfulness online at UCLA and The National Institute for the Clinical application of Behavioral Medicine. Nina holds a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware, has studied Early Childhood Education at San Francisco State University and received her Montessori Teaching Credential from Pacific Coast Montessori.
Ofosu Jones-Quartey has been practicing meditation since 1999. He studied under Bhante Buddharakkhita in the Burmese style of vipassana. Ofosu has taught with with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW) since 2004 as well as working with Minds, Incorporated to bring mindfulness practice to schools, working with students directly in the classroom since 2014.

 

An accomplished musician, Ofosu also performs both domestically and internationally as a Hip Hop and Electronic Music artist. His writings on how he incorporates his Buddhist philosophy into his secular music have been published by Mahachulalongkorn University in Ayutthaya, Thailand. He currently lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife and their four children.

Farhan comes to Just Meditate with an extensive background in meditation with a special interest in the pragmatic value of the theta and alpha brain states. He has taken numerous courses and participated in many retreats ranging from Vipassana Meditation, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Transcendental Meditation, Loving Kindness Meditation and is also certified in Hypnotherapy and Reiki (Master-Teacher). Farhan's goal is to target the meditative state as a means to progress and develop the brain. Farhan has worked in Mental Health for ten years during which time he has incorporated many Mindfulness techniques. In addition, Farhan has taught Mindfulness at Johns Hopkins University and at Elev8 in Baltimore.
Born in India and raised in Southern California, Sumir began his meditation practice at the age of five under the instruction of his mother, who wanted to ensure that he embraced his heritage. His practice remained quietly personal until 2004, when he embarked on an eight year journey of discovery and education. After being certified in Fire-Walking and Breath Work in California, Sumir began developing unique workshops on overcoming fear and leading men's groups. He has led all of these classes as well as meditation classes across the United States, India, the UK and Germany, enlightening thousands of seekers. Sumir believes in the value of continuing to expand his consciousness and has learned from masters from around the world. One of his strengths is his ability to take esoteric knowledge from the East and deliver it with a language that is clear and accessible to those in the West.
 
 
Arnold Raizon began to learn about meditation and mindfulness to alleviate his once complicated life. He adopted a dialy practice and became a certified Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor at the McLean Meditation Institute, a 200 hour program of theory, science, and practice. More recently, Arnold completed the Search Inside Yourself Program, a training using tools of neuroscience, mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

Arnold was born in Zimbabwe and after finishing high school moved to Cape Town, South Africa, to attend medical school. In 1985, he came to the US to pursue his medical career. He has since enjoyed a successful Diagnostic Radiology career in Washington, DC. Arnold has an amazing wife and four children.

Dave joins Just Meditate with over 15 years experience in mind-body practices including Mindfulness, Yogic Meditation, Guided Imagery, Hypnosis & NLP, and the internal Chinese martial arts of Tai Chi, Qigong & Baguazhang. Dave is also the Program Director of MINDS (Mindfulness in DC-area Schools) and currently teaches mindfulness to school administrators, educators, parents and teens. Through his studies, Dave has developed a comprehensive set of tools to teach clients to live with greater peace, confidence, and well-being.
 
Patricia is a senior teacher and meditation instructor in the Tibetan Buddhist and Shambhala traditions, having studied and practiced for over forty years under the guidance of some of the most renowned teachers of our day. She was a close personal student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche from the mid-1970’s until his death in 1987, and with his blessing received many teachings and empowerments from the Sixteenth Karmapa, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, and other great masters. She later studied intensively with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, and has a close personal connection with Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, who has a retreat centre in Virginia. She also studied for many years with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the son and dharma heir of Chögyam Trungpa.

Patricia has led workshops and retreats throughout Europe, Canada and the U.S. for children, professionals, students and adults, from beginners to advanced practitioners of meditation and authentic presence in everyday life. Through these simple yet profound practices, people of all ages and backgrounds can gain confidence in their innate intelligence and worth and lead more full, productive and compassionate lives.


Patricia holds a J.D. degree and has spent her professional life in law, mediation, restorative justice, and non-profit leadership. She brings mindfulness techniques into these fields as part of the natural process of transforming organizational culture and working with conflict. She works with private clients and groups who wish to gain tools for improving the quality of their lives, work, and relationships with others.

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