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Leslie Booker

Booker brings her heart and wisdom to the intersection of Dharma, Embodied Wisdom, and Liberation. Using this framework, she supports folks in being a part of a culture of belonging by changing the paradigm of self and community care.

She has spoken at Mind & Life Institute's International Symposium, Contemplative Minds in Higher Education, Mindfulness in America, and Mindfulness in Education conferences, along with other leaders in the mindfulness field such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Linda Lantieri, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Booker has been a featured speaker at the Fetzer Institute, Vassar and Pitzer Colleges, and the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia. She’s especially passionate about supporting the sustainability of folks on the front lines, and training future mindfulness and classroom teachers. She leads modules in several mindfulness - based programs, the Peace Corps’ Jaffe Fellows and Teaching Residents at Teachers College at Columbia University.

Booker learned to center the heart and the importance of cultivating relationships when she began sharing the practices of yoga and mindfulness with incarcerated and vulnerable populations in New York City two decades ago. She served as a senior teacher and Director of Teacher Trainings with Lineage Project for 10 years, and facilitated a mindfulness and cognitive-based therapy intervention with the Lionheart Foundation on Rikers Island for 2 years - a partnership between New York University and the National Institute of Health. She also supported the efforts of the beloved Charlotte’s Place in Lower Manhattan in their vision of an interfaith community space rooted in radical hospitality.

She is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute and the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street. She is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law's Center on Poverty and Inequality's report: Gender & Trauma—Somatic Interventions for Girls in Juvenile Justice, YOGA: The Secret of Life, contributed to Sharon Salzberg's book ‘Happiness at Work’ and ‘Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition’ by Dr. Rima Vesely - Flad. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock's Mindful Yoga and Meditation training (2012), Community Dharma Leaders' Training (2017), and their four year Retreat Teacher Training (2020). In 2020 she was invited to be a Sojourner Truth Leadership Fellow through Auburn Seminary, and was voted by her peers as one of the 12 Powerful Women in the Mindfulness Movement.

View Booker's upcoming programs.


Featured Audio Talk
January 07, 2020 - Letting Go

Letting go is a reflective practice, one that we sit with, that we explore, that we play with. We move at the speed of trust. We don’t just let go of everything at one time. We cultivate discernment and wisdom so that we do it in a way that allows us to move with grace, ease, and deep care for our practice. We get to let go of greed, aversion, and most importantly delusion that has been blocking our hearts and minds, and this creates the space to move into a life that we truly want to live.

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