• "Meditation is not something we do,
  • is what we are..."
    –"Rupert Spira"-

Mission & Vision

"There are three possibilities in life: to be something, nothing or everything. In the first, there is suffering; in the second, there is peace; and in the third, there is happiness and peace." - Spira

Mindful Harlem is a non-profit meditation center that requires no spiritual or religious affiliation to participate. There is no preparatory practice that is necessary for the simple recognition of our individual and collective capacity to live an awakened life.

This capacity is equally available to all people, in all places, under all circumstances, and in all situations.

We are committed to bringing the practice of meditation to the Harlem community. We believe that mindfulness has the potential to lead us toward genuine authenticity and active engagement with the world around us and within us.

Collectively we come together with a deep interest in the nature of reality. Realizing that the peace, happiness, or love for which we all long cannot be satisfied by objects, activities, relationships, or substances.

We offer a safe and supportive environment where people can learn and deepen their practice together.

Welcome to our community.

  • Mindfulness is a love affair – with life, with reality and with imagination, with the beauty of your own being, with your heart and body and mind, and with the world.

    Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness is not a destination or an end by itself, It aligns with the truth of every moment without arguing about what is present.

    Christina Feldman

Who Are We

Meet Our Team

Hallee Altman Melt Instructor

Melt Master Trainer and co-creator of MELted Pilates

Hallee Altman was trained by Joesph Pilates' protege, Romana Kryzanowska and has been teaching the Pilates Method since 2001. Hallee is also a MELT Master Trainer and co-creator of MELTed Pilates: a revolutionary approach that focuses on rebalancing the nervous system and hydrating connective tissue, resulting in greater overall performance of the body. Hallee has presented her curriculum at the annual Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) conference, Balanced Body’s Pilates on Tour (POT), and most recently on Pilates Anytime.

Hallee graduated summa cum laude from Emory University and authored her first Psychological research study in 1999. In 2003 she earned a Master’s degree in Dance Education from NYU. Prior to opening The Center Studio in 2004, she worked as a creative movement teacher and social skills educator, teaching children with special needs to discover the power of movement and nonverbal communication. She lives in Harlem with her husband, two daughters, and puppy, Kona


Adrian Bueno Co-Founder- Board President

Co-Founder, Guidance Teacher of Mindful Harlem and MBSR, Ying Yoga Instructor

Adrian is the co- founder and guidance teacher of Mindful Harlem and MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). He has been practicing Mindfulness and Insight Meditation for many years; a practice which has been a deep transformative experience for him and for the people around him.


Mindy Bacharach Yoga Teacher

Yoga Instructor

Mindy Bacharach www.mindybacharach.com

A seriously playful and inspiring yoga teacher – my teachings invite a meaningful connection and are full of self-discovery. I strive to expresses a depth of knowledge to students of all levels. My yoga classes weave the historic traditions of yoga with current relevance. I teach publicly and privately, educate and consult on Ayurvedic methods of health and wellness, mentor new yoga teachers, lead retreats, and teach seriously playful workshops.

As a student of yoga since 1995, I continue to broaden my studies with nationally recognized teachers.  I currently teach Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Alignment Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Relaxation, Meditation, Pranayama (breathing), Relaxation Techniques, Ayurveda and more.


Alex Beckmann

Sound Bath Facilitator

Alex Beckmann is a musician, producer, and sound meditation facilitator based in NYC.   He has toured the world as a drummer and makes electronic music under the name MMBLR.  A fascination with sound healing and sound meditation has led Alex to study various techniques and instruments including tuning fork Biosonics with John Beaulieu and Gong Yoga with Don Conreaux.


Allison Foley

Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique

Allison is so grateful to have joined the Mindful Harlem community in meditation and so much more, and is excited to share the Alexander Technique, a mindful movement practice she has been teaching for over 20 years. She received her certification at the American Center for the Alexander Technique, NYC (a unique and life-altering 3 year training).

She was a faculty member of Barnard College for 10 years where she originated the Alexander Technique program and has taught at the 92nd Street Y, Manhattan School of Music, Movement Research, yoga studios, public libraries, and corporate offices.



Meditation Teacher

Jean-Sebastien is Vipassana meditation practice in 2004. Since then he has developed a daily practice and undertakes regular long term retreats in both Vipassana and Zen traditions. He is a certified professional mindfulness meditation teacher (CMT-P) with the International Mindfulness Teachers Association.


Andrei Pitut

Executive Director, Mindfulness Meditation Teacher.
Andrei is a mindfulness meditation teacher who has lead corporate meditation classes throughout New York City. He holds the position of executive director at Mindful Harlem.

Andrew Miles

Board Member, Sales & Marketing Director

Andrew has been a Harlem resident since 2008 and it was the only neighborhood he considered living in when moving from Los Angeles to New York City. He's been involved with Mindful Harlem since its inception three years ago and looks forward to its continued growth in the community. 


Archimedes Bibiano

Mindfulness Meditation & Adaptive Yoga Teacher

Archimedes is an inspirational teacher, fluent in three languages, and has served as a keynote address and guest speaker for a number of organizations both in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.


Bhante Suddhaso

Teacher, Buddhist Monk, Ordained in both the Theravāda and Soto Zen. Co-founder of Buddhist Insights.

Bhante Suddhāso is a Buddhist monk living in New York City, ordained in both the Theravāda and Soto Zen traditions of Buddhism. The co-founder of Buddhist Insights, an organization designed to connect people with Buddhist monks and nuns, his work aims to convey Buddhist concepts and their practical applicability to everyday life.


Rev. Daiken Nelson

Teacher, Buddhist Zen Monk, Founder of The Mandala Café and Guiding Teacher for The Pamsula Zen Center.

Rev. Daiken Nelson, Sensei began Zen Practice 30 years ago. Since that time, he has practiced at the Zen Center of Los Angeles, where he ordained with Nyogen Yeo in 1996; The Zen Peacemaker Order, where he studied with Roshi Bernie Glassman & Sensei Jishu Holmes; The Village Zendo, where he was Shuso (Head Trainee) under Roshi Enkyo O’Hara in 2001 and Upaya Zen Center, where he studied with Roshi Joan Halifax. In October, 2013, Daiken received Shiho/Dharma Transmission from Sensei Genkoji. 

Daiken is the Guiding Teacher for The Pamsula Zen Center which meets on Mondays at 6:00 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 521 W. 126th Street (betw. B’way & Amsterdam). pamsulazen.org.


Fay Leeper

Board Member. Treasurer of Mindful Harlem.

Fay Leeper, the treasurer of Mindful Harlem, can be found at meditation most Saturday mornings at 9 am. She has taken the MBSR class many times. Each time, for her, it is simply a magical revelation. she declares that through Mindful Harlem's teachings and meditation, the breath and breathing mindfully for her is the most powerful discovery toward relaxation.

Fay has encouraged many people to come and check out the Mindful Harlem family. Not only will one learn and share, but as importantly, it's a lot of fun.



Qi Gong Teacher
Medical Qi-Gong and Bioenergy are the healing modalities that Erdan uses in expressing his innate healing abilities. He began his healing journey in early childhood, after surviving a 21 day coma and experiencing a NDE (Near death experience). This awakening lead him to a practice in the Martial Arts for many years. Later Erdan was drawn to other energy practices such as Reiki and Bioenergy. He studied Bioenergy with world renowned healer, Zdenko Domancic, and uses this method in his healings. In 2015 he found Zhineng (Wisdom/Ability) Qi-Gong and studied with Master Liu Jianshe from China, a direct student of Grand Master Pang Ming, MD, creator of Zhineng Qi-Gong. In 2017, Erdan began teaching this form of Medical Qi-Gong in NYC.

Elena Ubeda Montero

Retreat Chef

Elena is a member of the Mindful Harlem community and the creator of our delicious retreat menus. Chef trained in the French Culinary School in Manhattan, with experience in 1 and 2 Michelin Star NYC restaurants. She is a personal chef specialized in Spanish, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine with a strong focus on gourmet healthy alternatives. Elena's style of cooking is very detailed oriented, emphasizing a nutritious diet but never sacrificing the flavor. She is constantly researching about new products and styles of cuisine that might be of interest to the people she cooks for. Always seasonal, organic and local is her rule when it comes to the product she uses.


Elizabeth Gary LSW

Marketing Coordinator

Elizabeth is a licensed social worker and discovered Mindful Harlem when exploring ways to manage stress while pursuing her graduate degree.  Having a space for the practice has benefited her more than she could have imagined.  Her involvement has allowed her to work collaborate with teachers from different modalities, including meditation, somatic movement, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), all of which continue to enrich her work and therapeutic perspective.  She is passionate about the center's dedication to making mindfulness practices accessible to the Harlem community.  

If you have ideas about potential program offerings, send her an email at elizabeth@mindfulharlem.org


Howard Brooks

Board Member

Howard joined Mindful Harlem at its inception in 2014. He serves Mindful Harlem as a board member, digital strategist, and mindfulness instructor. He started and led the center’s Wednesday evening meditations, and has served as assistant facilitator for several MBSR courses. Howard has led Mindfulness classes for the New York City Board of Education, Bellevue Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and in several New York based corporations. 

Howard is a media and marketing executive with deep industry experience in utilizing digital platforms in the concert, television, and music industries. Notable producing team credits include concerts for Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Diana Ross, and Metallica, as well as the Broadway show, Liza’s at the Palace starring Liza Minnelli (which won a Tony Award), and the Emmy nominated TV show Wonderama.

His current practice centers around a simple Vipassana meditation, and bringing the tenets of mindfulness into everyday activities and interactions.


Jayne Gumpel LCSW


Jayne Gumpel LCSW - Co-founder of MindfulHarlem and a qualified MBSR teacher.


Joan Walsh

Board Advisor, CNN Political Contributor

Joan Walsh is The Nation’s National Affairs Correspondent and a CNN political contributor. She is the author of What’s the Matter With White People? Finding Our Way in the Next America, which the Philadelphia Daily News called “one of the best books of 2012 – and even more relevant now.” Author Anne Lamott described it as “a brilliant and illuminating book about America since the upheavals of 60's and 70's." Walsh lives in New York.


Jomaire Crawford J.D. Yale Law School

Board Member

Senior complex litigation and white collar associate with experience in securities lawsuits, international white collar investigations, arbitration, and a robust pro bono practice that encompasses criminal defense, economic justice, and immigrants’ rights.


Nevah Assang

Board Advisor, Senior Vice President of Cultural and Community Affairs at NYC & Company

Nevah Assang is a long-time member of Mindful Harlem and supporter of the arts and humanities in New York City. She currently holds the position of senior vice president of Cultural and Community Affairs at NYC & Company, serving as a key liaison between New York City’s official tourism organization and the many cultural institutions and community organizations throughout the five boroughs.


Pamela Newkirk PhD

Board Advisor, Journalist, Author, & NYU Professor

Pamela Newkirk, PhD, is a native New Yorker and award-winning journalist who spent ten years working as a reporter and writer before joining the journalism faculty at New York University. Pamela began her meditation practice at Mindful Harlem about three years ago and cherishes the brilliant minds she meets in the community.


Rafael Yuste PhD, MD

Board Member, Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience at Columbia University

Rafael Yuste is a professor of biological sciences and neuroscience at Columbia University, where he has served as director of the Neurotechnology Center since 2014. He is a long time member of Mindful Harlem and is passionate about the intersection of meditation and philosophy of mind.


Shalyni Paiyappilly

Sound Bath Facilitator
Shalyni Paiyappilly is a NY State Licensed Master Social Worker, Certified Life Coach, Registered Yoga / Meditation Teacher, and a Singer. At a young age she felt a calling to share her presence and her voice to help those in distress. It is her mission to inspire peace in others. She currently works full time providing psycho-therapy, meditation, yoga, and sound vibration at a private detox clinic in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.




Will LeBlanc

Yin Yoga Teacher

Will thinks of his yoga training in three phases:

-Studies of strong foundational styles and scriptures and owning and directing a yoga studio.
-Discovering my true love, Yin yoga.
-The ongoing education I receive from my students and the learning that comes from intuitive awareness and life.

  • Drop In & Sit

  • Dharma Talks

  • Qi Gong

  • Sound Bath & Mediation

  • Pilates

  • Yin is in!

  • Mindful Walking- shinrin yoku

  • Men's Monthly Meditation Group

  • Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction

  • Advaita Vedanta Non-Duality / The Direct Path

  • Noblemen

  • Radical Hospitality

  • Mindful Yoga

Let's Connect

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Become a Mindful Harlem Friend. This is a powerful way to express your personal appreciation for what we offer and you wish to make it accessible to others. Membership is an expression of mutual support, whereby we are given the chance to nurture this community as it nurtures each of us.

Mindful Harlem is a 501c3 charitable organization that relies on your generosity to sustain its day-to-day operations, outreach into the Harlem community and build new programs. Friends donations are tax-deductible. Giving can always be tailored to one’s individual financial situation. We are dedicated to ensuring that anyone who wants to be a member can afford to do so.


Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you.

2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd, [ entrance on 119th St green door] New York, NY 10026

E-mail us at talk2us@mindfulharlem.com, or use this form to contact us online: