Peter Carlson is the founding teacher for the Orlando Insight Meditation Group. He has been practicing Buddhist mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation since 1982, and teaching since 1988, including introductory meditation courses, weekly Dharma talks, topical study groups and residential retreats. He is a retired psychotherapist, integrating Buddhist psychology and contemporary Western psychology in his practice. He identifies his affiliation with this tradition as a Secular Buddhist, practicing and teaching without rituals.
Lezlie Laws describes herself as a life-long learner, having devoted more than five decades to studying the wisdom traditions, psychology, literature, and the classical 8-limbed path of Astanga yoga and meditation. She taught literature and creative writing at the University of Missouri-Columbia and then at Rollins College, retiring in 2013 to develop and teach the LifeArt curriculum: a system of tools, techniques, and practices that help fellow seekers embark on their own journeys of self-discovery, purpose, and passion. Lezlie holds a PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia, is a 500-RYT certified Astanga yoga teacher, and has studied with American yoga pioneer Beryl Bender Birch for the last twenty years. In 2022 she completed an intensive certification program for teaching meditation and guiding students to deeper levels of self-knowledge. This program, Mindfulness Meditation Certification Program, led by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, confers on Lezlie her second certification as a meditation teacher. Now, in what she calls the last turn in her fifty-two-year teaching career, Lezlie gives her attention fully to the practice and teaching of meditation. Through Orlando Insight Meditation Group she offers introductory meditation courses and workshops on the core teachings of the Buddha. In addition, she conducts private and small group coaching for those seeking to learn about meditation—what it is, what it can do for us, and how to establish a rewarding practice.
Based in Orlando, FL, April Koester is a mindfulness meditation teacher certified by the Sounds True MMTCP program under the guidance of Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. Her wellness journey seriously began when she attended her first yoga retreat at Kripalu with her father when she was 21. That transformative experience began a love affair, as Jon Kabat-Zinn often describes, with mindfulness and health, inspiring her to become a certified holistic health counselor where she lived in NYC. More recently, with a decade of dedicated personal meditation practice under her belt, April’s approach to teaching integrates her experiences, allowing her to share with authenticity the fruits and challenges of her life and practice. She believes in the transformative power of mindfulness meditation to foster a sense of inner peace, compassion, and deep clarity in ourselves which can then radiate to all of life on earth. Beyond her daily sitting practice, April is a student of nature. She is an ardent advocate of nature walks, recognizing the therapeutic and grounding qualities inherent in the natural world, and often enjoys walking meditation outdoors.