welcome to a community of practice

The Mindful Educators Alliance was formed to help support the practice of adults serving youth.  Our retreats are offered as part of an ongoing project with Mindful Schools.

What a joy it is to connect with teachers, counselors, and parents whose lives are informed by this heart-opening practice!

If you're in the Bay Area, we hope you will join us and enjoy being supported by community.  How dear it is to learn and grow in ways that are unavailable to us when we practice alone.

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What's more, if we are to effectively bring mindfulness to young people, we must first feel grounded in our own personal practice.   This way, our sharing of mindfulness emerges naturally and from the depth of our own experience.  

Practicing with others can help us receive -- and give -- this support.

By attending one of these events you will:

  • Meet educators, counselors, parents, and others utilizing mindfulness in their work

  • See your practice reflected back to you in the faces of your community

  • Learn how your own nervous system IS the classroom intervention

  • Discover new strategies for supporting your own mindfulness practice

  • Explore mindfulness strategies you can use in your work with youth

  • Stay up to date with the latest mindfulness research

Our first retreat took place in October of 2017 at the Sonoma County Office of Education.  Special guest speakers included Daniel Rechtschaffen, founder of the Mindful Education Institute and the Omega Mindfulness in Education Conference, and author of The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-being in Teachers and Students.  

In January of 2018, we met at the Napa County Office of Education with guest speaker Doug Lerch of Seeds of Awareness, a North Bay mindfulness initiative that promotes emotional intelligence and wellbeing through school-based mindfulness, therapeutic, and nature-based programs.

Our next retreat takes place Saturday, Septemebr 22nd at Community Well in San Francisco with special guest Andrew Jordan Nance, founder of Mindful Arts San Francisco, whose mission is to provide volunteer mindful educators to teach at underserved San Francisco schools, and author of Puppy Mind and Mindful Arts in the Classroom. You can learn more and register here.

 We offer retreats throughout the year, so be sure to subscribe below to receive information on upcoming events.  

An October retreat will take place in Napa or Sonoma County.  Learn more or register here.


The Mindful Educators Alliance co-founders are:

Chelsea True, a native to Napa California and the founder of Sonoma County nonprofit Joyful Mind Project. She is passionate about her work providing mindfulness education in the North Bay and supporting schools and families. Chelsea presently holds two certifications in secular mindfulness, in MBSR-T (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens) and as a Mindful Schools Certified Instructor. She leads mindfulness programs for schools, parents, teens, and children throughout the Bay Area. Her work is featured in the book, Happy Teachers Change the World, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare.  Chelsea has been practicing mindfulness for over twenty years.  You can read her full biography here.  You can read about Chelsea's experience as a Zen student and her commitment to secularity here.

Pam Walton, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Mindful Schools Certified Instructor. Ms. Walton currently serves as a Mental Health Clinician for the Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD). She holds master’s degrees in Physiology and Clinical Psychology and is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Ms. Walton has been studying and practicing minfdulness for over thirty years, including several years in intensive retreat settings. She currently teaches mindfulness and leads trainings on mindfulness, mental health and trauma.

Sarah Wilmarth taught upper Elementary grades before starting her own family. Mindfulness practices were a great support in her personal life… then certain political events of 2016 jolted her into action, looking for ways to share the tools of mindfulness with others. As a result, she is currently in the Mindful Schools certification program. Sarah currently works behind a desk at the Sonoma County Office of Education as a Regional Program Assistant, where she leads an adult mindfulness program; she also volunteers at her daughter’s school teaching mindfulness to third graders.  Sarah has been practicing mindfulness for nearly twenty years.