T H E T E A M
CHERYL SLEAN – Director, Mindfulness Programs, UCLA CMF (Certified Mindfulness Facilitator)
Cheryl has been practicing meditation intensively since 1995. She was authorized to teach in 2007, and is currently on the . She teaches classes and retreats at several centers in both spiritual and secular venues including Seattle Insight, Mindful Schools, Refuge Recovery Centers, Santa Monica Hospital, Google (Los Angeles), and many other health and wellness and business settings. She has also helped design research on the efficacy of meditation for chronic pain, and developed associated trainings for healthcare professionals. Cheryl has a Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation (CMF) from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC), and regularly offers meditative interventions in addiction outpatient programs. Cheryl is also a writer, filmmaker and educator working in the arts and sustainability, and is executive producer of VisionLA, Climate Action Arts Festival.
NICOLE TAHER, Founder, MBSR Teacher
Nicole Taher has over ten years experience in the music industry working for high-profile brands and corporations; developing, managing and fostering talent, consulting for profit and non-profit start ups and lifestyle brands on their identity, branding and marketing strategy. She has worked with large corporations, boutique organizations including Universal Music Publishing Group and Geffen Records, with Multi-Platinum Record Producer Ron Fair, as well as artists such as Pussycat Dolls, Mary J. Blige, System of a Down, Deftones, Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, and hit-making songwriters in Nashville, Tennessee. During her own entrepreneurial venture, she developed an independent band from Nashville on all fronts from grassroots to garnering several rotations and support from NPR’s KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic with Jason Bentley.
Mindfulness changed Nicole’s life. She spent many years living everywhere but the present, accomplishment-oriented taking every opportunity to further her career music industry. Although intensely connected to music and the songwriting process, she yearned for a deeper connection with herself and also with the ocean. Her path lead her to a significant connection through which Nicole learned the way to her heart, which was a vividly explorative experience . Deep in her core was hardness and self-judgment, yet with the tender guidance of her teacher, gentleness and self-compassion were cultivated and her alignment with Mindfulness began. Mindfulness provides Nicole a way of life that is playful and nurturing, leading her daily practice and writing. What inspires her is the integration of traditional Buddhist philosophy with the ebb and flow of the ocean and its powerful effect on teaching Mindfulness for ease in work and life, as well as for treating mental illness. Nicole seeks every opportunity to guide those into experiencing their own aliveness toward awakening to the joy and fulfillment of life itself.
Nicole Taher founded Compassion Conscious with the intention to bring Mindfulness into the workplace to inspire strong leaders of today and tomorrow. She is passionate about collaborating with entrepreneurial and corporate clients on on defining and implementing their core values into their internal and external business strategies, while improving office cultures and behaviors using non-conventional methods like mindfulness and compassion.
Nicole is a University of Massachusetts, Center for Mindfulness qualified MBSR teacher. (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program developed by Jon Kabat Zinn). Her practice is rooted in vipassana (insight) and she is honored to be a noble Dharma student of the teachings of the Buddha in the Theravada Thai Forest tradition. Her teachers include: Mary Stancavage, Christiane Wolf, Dave Smith, and Cheryl Slean. and indirectly Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein.