Ben Engel is an experienced mindfulness practitioner and facilitator with extensive first-hand experience of the benefits that mindfulness practice brings to daily life. Ben 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 did her first meditation course in her late teens and has had mindfulness as a significant part of her life ever since. Tienne 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.
Hannah Perkins discovered mindfulness as an antidote to the stress of working with various environmental campaigns: UNDP, Greenpeace (Southeast Asia) and Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine (UK). She took up regular meditation, because she noticed it made her day better and helped her to recognise the spiral of negative thoughts that she often found herself in.
But when diagnosed with cancer, at age 29, she discovered the incredible healing potential of her mind. She turned towards the pain, grief and uncertainty of illness, embarking on a journey of ‘radical self care’ and learning to be in her body ‘exactly as it is’. She has since trained as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher and facilitates The Sit In, a weekly mindfulness meditation support group (The Sit In Sangha) in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.
Lyndi Smith 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.
We are a new organisation and we are looking for highly skilled retreat teachers who share our vision and passion for enriching teens' lives. If you are interested in joining us, please visit our 'APPLY' page, or contact us - we would love to hear from you.