Council Members

We offer mindfulness-based classes, drop-in meditations, workshops, retreats, presentations, and workplace training; provide resources; and support each other’s teaching and personal practice.

Julie Woodward, MSW, MA, RYT-200

Julie Woodward, MA, MSW, RYT-200

Social Worker, Wellness Coach, Mindfulness Teacher.

Julie teaches: Mindful Yoga & Mindful Yoga for Depression and Anxiety

Julie has practiced as a social worker, psychotherapist, health educator and wellness coach since 1985. Her training includes MBSR for Health Care Professionals, with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, and Registered Yoga Teacher trainings (RYT-200) at White Lotus Foundation. Julie integrates yoga with the mindfulness-based curriculum to support embodied awareness. She works as a Health Educator at the UM Health and Wellbeing Services, teaching mindfulness for stress reduction. She teaches Mindful Yoga and Mindful Yoga for Depression and Anxiety at Inward Bound Yoga. She specializes in adapting Mindful Yoga to meet specific needs; recent classes include "Mindful Yoga for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis" and "Mindful Yoga for Medical Students." Julie also offers individual Mindful Yoga instruction.
(734) 657-6605

Claire Weiner, LMSW, RYT

Claire Weiner, LMSW, RYT-200

Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher; AACFM Leadership Team

Claire teaches: Mindfulness Meditation to cancer patients and their supporters.

Claire has a mindfulness-based psychotherapy practice in downtown Ann Arbor. She has advanced training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and taught MBCT groups at UM Department of Psychiatry. Claire provides individual, couples and group psychotherapy and has taught and supervised social work trainees and post-graduate fellows.

She was a founding member of the PsychOncology Clinic at the UM Cancer Center, seeing individuals and groups. She volunteers at the Cancer Support Community in Ann Arbor, where she teaches meditation. In 2013 Claire completed her Registered Yoga Teacher Training (RYT 200), furthering her understanding and appreciation of mind-body connections.

In her spare time, Claire enjoys choir, writing poetry, and traveling.

Libby Robinson, PhD, MSW, MPH

Libby Robinson, PhD, MSW, MPH

Mindfulness Teacher; AACFM Leadership Team

Libby teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Libby began practicing mindfulness meditation in 1979 and has attended over 25 one-week mindfulness retreats. Her teacher training includes two MBSR trainings with Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues at U. Mass and two MBCT trainings with Zindel Segal and colleagues.

She also received training in Inquiry from the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto, as well as advanced training in Mindfulness-Based Interventions with Susan Woods.

She began teaching MBSR in 2003 and has taught it to individuals in recovery, psychotherapists, UM medical school faculty, nurses and other health professionals, as well as members of the community in Ann Arbor and Flint. She leads many drop-in meditation sessions locally and provides presentations to organizations and businesses on mindfulness.

Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW

Mindfulness Teacher; AACFM Leadership Team

Laura teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC)

Laura leads the Wellness Initiative for the University of Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center where she designs, implements and evaluates well-being and mindfulness-based programming. She is also a long-time consultant to UM Silver Clubs and facilitates the Coffeehouse Mild Memory Loss Wellness Seminar. Laura holds advanced professional certifications in aging, dementia and contemplative clinical care. As a long-time meditator, she began teaching mindfulness meditation in 2010 and has extensive professional training in MBSR from the UMass Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society. Laura serves as the CEO of the Presence Care Project, bringing mindfulness to caregivers and training dementia experts to teach the MBDC curriculum. She a national and state presenter on memory loss and caregiver well-being and committed to co-creating and sharing contemplative programs assisting care partners and adults living with memory loss in their desire to live meaningful, connected and healthy lives. Laura received her MSW from The University of Michigan School of Social Work in 1997.

Sharon Mudd, PMHCNS-BC, NP

Sharon Mudd, PMHCNS-BC, NP

Psychotherapist and Mindfulness Teacher

Sharon teaches: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCT)

Sharon is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the UM Department of Psychiatry and an Adjunct Clinical Instructor in the School of Nursing. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

An experienced cognitive behavioral therapist, Sharon has taught Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for the last three years. She received basic and advanced training with Susan Woods through the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto and the University of California San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute. Sharon offers the MBCT classes through the UM Ambulatory Care in Psychiatry, where she also provides individual mindfulness-based psychotherapy to ongoing clients.

Patients receiving care from UM practitioners in the Psychiatry Department or Family Medicine may take her course with a referral from their practitioner.

Paulette Grotrian, MA

Paulette Grotrian, MA

Mindfulness Teacher

Paulette teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

Paulette teaches MBSR and MSC, leads Days of Mindfulness, and is the founder of Open Meditation Saline, a weekly drop-in meditation group. Paulette has been practicing mindfulness meditation since reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living in the early 1990’s. She began teaching MBSR since 2010 when she trained with MBSR founder Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts. She has taught Mindful Self-Compassion since 2016, after training with Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer at the University of California at San Diego.

She was also a Communication faculty member and Humanities Department Chair at Washtenaw Community College. Helping others cultivate inner peace, awaken joy, and gain insights into living a fuller life is her passion!

Mariko Foulk, LMSW, ACSW

Mariko Foulk, LMSW, ACSW

Psychotherapist and Mindfulness Teacher

Mariko teaches: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT); Mindfulness-based Forgiveness (MB-Forgiveness) for Older Adults (age 60 plus).

Mariko Foulk is a mindfulness-based psychotherapist, who has been practicing at the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center for over 25 years. She received both basic (2008) and advanced (2011) training in MBCT from Zindel Segal and Susan Woods.

She has been teaching Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy since 2010 and Mindfulness-Based Forgiveness since 2013.

In addition to her clinical practice, she teaches a mini-course, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Older Adults at the UM School of Social Work.


Rita Benn, PhD

Rita Benn, PhD

Mindfulness Teacher

Rita teaches: Mindful Living, Mindful Skills for Educators and Stress Management & Resiliency Training (SMART)

Rita Benn is a clinical psychologist, long term practitioner of meditation, and co-founder of the Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education, AACFM, and Mindful City.

She is an adjunct research scientist at the University of Michigan and has been the Director of the Faculty Scholars Program in Integrative Healthcare for over 15 years.

Dr. Benn teaches about mind-body healing and integrative medicine. She has published research about mindfulness and presents widely on these topics to both local and national audiences. She is passionate about teaching mindfulness programs to support individuals on their path to self-discovery and healing, and to infusing k-12 school communities with mindfulness.

Deepest gratitude to founding members Lynn Sipher, LMSW, LMFT, ACSW; Denise Kozikowski, PhD, RYT-200; , and Laurel Hicks, MSW, PhD, ERYT-200.


Classic and innovative mindfulness-based interventions. Registration required.

Class Descriptions
Detailed description of mindfulness classes offered.
Drop-In Sessions
Weekly guided meditation sessions open to members of the community.