Brian has intensively studied embodied awareness methods at the Gurdjieff Foundation Los Angeles since 1993, Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana, shamatha, and vipassana practices for over thirteen years, and has completed nine week-long retreats, acquiring over 4,000 hours of both sitting and moving meditation. 

With degrees in Kinesiology and Psychology / Interpersonal Neurobiology setting the foundation for embodied awareness, Brian also completed the year-long facilitator training at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) in 2011 under the direction of Diana Winston, Dr. Susan Smalley, Dr. Dan Siegel, and Dr. Marvin Belzer. As senior MARC faculty, Brian is an IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher - Professional Level, and an Authorized MAPs Teacher, facilitating the signature MAPs I and II programs for UCLA MARC, as well as serving as a Mentor in the TMF training program for new facilitators.  

For 4 seasons he has served as the Mindfulness Coach to the UCLA Bruin Women's Varsity Volleyball Teams, and has brought mindfulness to organizations such the FBI, NASA / JPL, Disney Animation Studios, Nestle', Mattel Inc., and  Brian also leads silent 3-day retreats for law enforcement in the Pacific Northwest, and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#114627) specializing in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy at Westside DBT (

Brian is passionate about translating mindfulness practices for people from diverse cultural and organizational backgrounds who are searching for inner balance, bridging the gap between science and experience, practice and everyday life.  He lives in Studio City with his wife, Laurie, and his son, Bodhi.

You probably have read about mindfulness meditation in places like the NY Times, Wall St. Journal, Time Magazine, The Oprah Magazine, Men's Fitness, and Yoga Journal, to name a few.  Yet despite its time in the sun, most people who read about it have a hard time explaining what it is.  Part of the challenge is that we have to rely on using abstract ideas to describe what is essentially a felt experience, unique to the experiencer.

A state of mindful awareness might be:

* Doing a simply activity like washing the dishes while remaining vividly and non-judgmentally aware of your body, thoughts, and feelings.

* Seeing a person - your child, a friend, a stranger - exactly as he or she is in the moment: alive, embodied, connected to you, without being veiled by any pre-conceptions.

* Recognizing you've been triggered, and awareness of anger arises (as opposed to "I am angry!"); this awareness includes a sense of space around your experience.  In that space is the possibility of choice.

* Becoming aware of a deep stillness inside yourself as you watch a sunset, giving rise to a sense of gratitude and the realization that this moment will never again happen to you in the same way.


Why Meditation?

Mindfulness is the intentional moment-to-moment awareness of what is happening in our mind, body, emotions, and environment, imbued with a sense of warmth, kindness, and curiosity.  It's remembering to search simply in the moment for who we are and why we're here, without jumping to conclusions or settling on narrow definitions. To experience this more often than the occasional insight or surprise situation, we need to train the mind in meditation.  We do this in four ways:

 1. We develop our capacity of attention

 2. We develop clarity about what we experience

 3. We develop the ability to gently let go of criticism

 4. We develop the naturally occurring human qualities of equanimity, kindness, compassion, and joy.

Mindfulness meditation is classically practiced as a sitting experience, but also includes lying down, standing, and moving.  When one's practice is developed, mindful awareness can accompany us wherever we are and whatever we're doing.


The Science

Mindfulness meditation has been the subject of a significant amount of scientific enquiry, and although much more research is needed and currently under way, the initial view is extremely encouraging.  Some of the many benefits revealed by research institutions around the world include:

- Increased ability to wisely manage stress, anxiety, and fear

- Increased ability to concentrate and balance the mind

- Increased emotional resilience

- Increased ability to slow down and relax

- Increased immune function

- Increased neural connectivity and white matter in the brain

- Increased sense of meaning

- Decreased emotional reactivity and negative thinking

- Decreased incidence of depression relapse

To learn more about mindfulness meditation, check out these links:

An overview article in The Week Magazine:

A Good Morning America segment on the benefits of mindfulness for teens:

Watch these behind-the-scenes videos from Anderson Cooper's "60 Minutes" foray into mindfulness: