Ben Engel.

Ben is an experienced mindfulness practitioner and facilitator with extensive first-hand experience of the benefits that mindfulness practice brings to daily life. He attended his first silent retreat close to twenty years ago and has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses as an Associate Teacher with Openground since 2010. Ben has a background in Human Resources and is currently completing a two year PACFA accredited postgraduate training in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy as part of his ongoing professional development. Ben brings a pragmatic and compassionate approach to mindfulness with a focus on leading a life fully lived.

Tienne Simons.

Tienne did her first meditation course in her late teens and has had mindfulness as a significant part of her life ever since. She currently works part time as a counsellor in a Sydney University and is the Principal of HeadRest Mindfulness Training where she teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) , Mindful Parenting, and Compassion Based courses, as well as teaching in-school mindfulness programs to NSW teachers.

Tienne strongly believes that being mindful can allow us to be more present in life and to better enjoy or negotiate the ups and downs that come our way. Tienne’s other passions are visual arts, long bushwalks and her clarinet.


Mary A. McIntyre.

BA, Dip Couns ACA II , Cert. Sandplay & Symbol Work, Openground Associate, Somatic Experiencing ® Advanced level 

Mary began meditating over twenty years ago in response to family, career and relationship stress. She was born in the US and moved to France for uni, staying there to work in fashion. She ran away from the circus fourteen years later to live in Sri Lanka where she explored Insight Meditation and a simpler way of life for seven years. Mary is passionate about human development and healing through contacting our own innate goodness.

Now settled in Australia, she is a counsellor/ psychotherapist working with meditation (MBSR), positive neuroplasticity (PNT) parenting (COS and TIK) and trauma resolution (Somatic Experiencing ) amongst other modalities.

She is unsuccessfully refining her Aussie accent with her cats.


Lyndi Smith.

Lyndi started practising mindfulness meditation and yoga ten years ago when close to burn out. The practices had a massive impact on her life, and are now the rock she rests her happiness on.

Lyndi works for the charity Mind With Heart Australia, helping introduce mindfulness into schools for staff and student wellbeing. She has trained in both traditional and secular mindfulness, has a background in performing arts and teaching and has lots of experience working with meditation and teenagers. She has instructed on over twenty-five different retreats with young people.

She is a qualified meditation teacher and is currently working towards MBSR-accreditation as part of her ongoing professional development. Lyndi finds dancing and being in nature also help her enjoy the present, connect with herself and feel alive.

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Timothea Goddard.

BA, Dip. Psychotherapy (ANZAP), Cert. IV Workplace Tr., Clin. Mem. PACFA.

Timothea is recognised as a pioneer in bringing mindfulness approaches to Australia over the past 14 years. She was the first person in Australia to be accredited as an MBSR teacher with the renowned Center for Mindfulness, UMass. She has broad experience as a psychotherapist, supervisor, and educator over the past 30 years having trained in humanistic, somatic and psychodynamic approaches. She is founding Director of Openground - a body of teachers offering quality mindfulness-based programs across Australia.  She a founding Director of the Mindfulness Training Institute – Australia and New Zealand – which trains mindfulness teachers and is an active member of the global network of teacher training organisations.

She is an enthusiast - having trained extensively in MiCBT as well as in MBCT, ACT, MSC, Breathworks, the Mindful Schools Curriculum Training, the .b Mindfulness in Schools training, Tuning into Teens and recently completed a yoga teacher training. She is a long time student of yoga, Aikido and meditation and practices in the Insight tradition. She swims in the ocean every morning, practices yoga like a maniac, and loves cooking, people and straight-talking.

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Gustavo Se Cestari.

BPsych, PGDipPsych, BSocSc, Yoga Teacher (500RYT), Associate Teacher with Openground.

At his essence Gustavo is a simple human being who followed his breath for long enough to reconnect with his innate joy, naturalness and freedom. 

He believes all people have immeasurable worth and beauty and that they often loose sight of this while growing up in the busy, unwise and disconnected world we see today. Yet he knows that through developing mindfulness and compassion, honouring one’s natural strengths and reconnecting to one another in our simplicity and humanity we can navigate this life with more wisdom and lightness.

He is also an experienced meditator and facilitator, a psychotherapist, a yoga teacher, has degrees in psychology and facilitates a variety of mindfulness courses (incl. MBSR), public talks and nature retreats. He has been an associate teacher with Openground since 2012, is the founder of AMAR Centre for Growth and Mindful Living, For the Love of Humanity Project, and the Inherent Naturalness Process for Flourishing.  Gustavo is passionate about helping others to reclaim their wholeness and thrive being their natural selves.