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.

Claire Weiner, LMSW, RYT

Claire Weiner, LMSW, RYT-200

Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher; AACFM Leadership Team and Founding Member

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 and Founding Member

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 and Founding Member

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.

Barbara Newell, Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher

Pam Bifano Schweitzer, PMHCNS-BC

Psychotherapist and Mindfulness Teacher

Pam has been working at being more mindfully aware in her daily life since participating in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in 2007.

As she established her own meditation practice, Pam began incorporating mindfulness-based interventions into her work with patients experiencing anxiety and depression.  After participating in a course on Mindfulness in Psychotherapy led by Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, she developed a 4-week Introduction to Mindfulness group, which she provided for outpatients in the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, where she worked for 30 years.

Now in her own psychotherapy practice in Ann Arbor, Pam continues using and teaching mindfulness-based interventions in her work with individuals and families.   She leads and participates in guided meditations at Saline Open Meditation, and in retreats and workshops offered by AACFM.



Barbara Newell, Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher

Barbara Newell, JD

Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher

Barbara teaches: Mindfulness Mini-Courses: The Mind of Love; Mindfulness for Parents; Riding the Waves; Self-Care in the Busy Season

Mindfulness, compassion and meditation have been a central focus of Barbara’s life since 1995. For twelve years she lived, trained & taught continuously in a monastery and around the world with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Since 2016 she has been mentoring students in online courses with psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach. She also has studied and practiced extensively in Inner Relationship Focusing.

Here in Ann Arbor, Barbara teaches small-group classes and works privately with individuals. She finds joy in helping people rediscover how to embody genuine presence, connect meaningfully with others, tap into fresh insight, and enliven the everyday.

(734) 224-3822 x 113

Paulette Grotrian, MA

Paulette Grotrian, MA

Mindfulness Teacher, AACFM Founding Member.

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, Mindfulness Teacher, AACFM Founding Member.

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

Anne Asker, JD, MSc

Immigration Attorney and Mindfulness Teacher

Anne teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Anne has been practicing yoga and meditation since 2001. She believes her steady mindfulness practice has helped her be present, accepting, and resilient—especially during challenging moments in her work as a lawyer, a wife and mother of three boys, a daughter of aging and dying parents, and as a sister of terminally ill siblings.

Her passion for the practice led her to the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness in Medicine where she received her training to become a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher.

In addition to teaching the MBSR course, Anne offers mindfulness presentations and workshops to law firms and businesses as well as private instruction. She regularly co-leads retreats and is a lead teacher for Ann Arbor Open Meditation and Mindful City.

Deepest gratitude to founding members Lynn Sipher, Denise Kozikowski, Julie Woodward, Rita Benn, Sharon Mudd, and Laurel Hicks.


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.