Owner | Meditation Teacher
I’m a regular person who meditates every day.
As a meditation teacher, I’ll meet you where you are in life and together we’ll develop a meditation practice that works for you.
Comfort and sustainability are key, and my style is using real life examples of how to bring more chill into your life through meditation and just taking a few minutes to think before you act.
I believe that happiness and mindfulness can be easy to learn and even easier to maintain when you keep it real.
Jeff Gamer brings compassion, science, athletic performance, and humor to meditation. For most of his life, he found his happiness any time he was in motion…preferably outside. Rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, and long-distance hiking kept him outside and exploring. He’s a math geek and engineer and thinking outside the box is his super power.
Jeff’s life took a sudden turn in 2008 when his wife passed suddenly. The loss of his climbing, hiking, skiing and life partner left a huge hole in his life and heart. Jeff turned inward to make sense of this change. He shepherded many through their grief, while healing his own heart. When his next phase of life presented him with new challenges he found that his usual tools of “getting outside” weren’t quite cutting it.
He began formal meditation instruction in 2013 with davidji, and has gone on to study with Don Miguel Ruiz, Joe Dispenza, and of course, his wife Melissa. Jeff explores mindfulness and meditation with a curious mind and an open heart, while keeping things authentic and approachable. He brings Ninja-like competitive edge to sports meditation and as a former NCAA Tennis Champion, he understands and demonstrates the “winning mind” of an athlete.
When he’s not meditating you’ll find him outside hiking, golfing, climbing or paddle boarding…and he won’t be far from a book!
My first Introduction to meditation occurred after a yoga class nearly 15 years ago. After practicing on and off again and dabbling in many different meditation practices for a few years, I tried Vedic meditation, which is a mantra-based practice. Something about Vedic just seemed to click for me. Several years later, I began a year long study with the Chopra Center and I became a certified meditation teacher. I have also studied with Sara Avant Stover, Jack Canfield, Roger Gabriel, and Tara Brach.
I have a degree in holistic nutrition and a deep passion for food. You will often find me dancing in the kitchen creating delicious and nutritious foods or at the local farmer’s market. In addition to teaching meditation classes, I also teach cooking, nutrition, and mindful eating workshops and classes.
My meditation practice is the most important thing I do each day. This practice has opened me up to deeper levels of awareness and helped me to connect more authentically within my relationships with friends, family, strangers, and myself.
Hello there, I’m Etta. I’ve been meditating since 2013. I started my practice determined to heal a life spent in denial of my own suffering. I grew up with a mentally ill single mother who could not adequately take care of me, so I was in and out of the foster care system for nearly a decade. Then, at age 8, she lost her battle with mental illness and I was adopted by family I never knew I had.
I had no idea that I even suffered from PTSD and depression until I was 23. Fresh out of college and facing the world in my new town of Portland, I realized after a panic attack that I had no idea how to make a life of my own, let alone how to love and take care of myself. I soon became protective of my own mental health and set about finding ways to improve it. I first tried the western approach to mental health, but was very unhappy with the results. I then looked into alternative routes of healing.
Since then, I’ve worked with various life coaches and healers, a medicine man from Peru, and even had an amazing transformative spiritual mentorship with Jayna “Warm Nest Woman” Gieber of Battle Ground, WA. She had been ordained into the Order of Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh, along with taking Bodhisattva vows with “Thay” himself. I studied mindfulness and meditation in this tradition for two years with Jayna. She was an incredible force of love, healing, and transformation in my life. Unfortunately, I lost her to pancreatic cancer in October of 2017, but because of what I had learned from her about self compassion and grief, I was able to heal from the shock of her sudden death in a way I never thought could be possible.
After losing her, I made a year-long commitment to monastic practice at San Francisco Zen Center, after which I moved back to Portland. This yielded some incredible results, because I was able to combine the self compassion tools I had learned from Jayna with the mindfulness practice at the monastery.
While I still have my human struggles and issues to deal with, I have to say that I’m in the best place of my life since 2013. I am now confident about who I am and what I’m here to do, even while knowing there is always so much more to learn.
I am a big fan of the works of Dr. Peter Levine and Gabor Maté, who work in the field of somatic experiencing. I’ve been learning a lot about the nervous system lately and I’m every excited to share what I know with my students! In my classes, I personally enjoy the idea of expanding people’s idea of what meditation actually is, and how flexible it can be in day-to-day life. Other than mindfulness and meditation, I love writing, hiking, dancing, music, art, singing, poop jokes, and learning how to be in flow with life itself.
Spirituality came suddenly into my life in July 2017. Fed up with years of social anxiety, self-hatred, OCD, and circular thinking, I attended a week-long silent meditation retreat at Great Vow Zen Monastery, not far from Portland.
Zen retreats are called sesshin, which translates to “touching the heart-mind.” Through this experience, I began to realize that we don’t have to believe our thoughts, and there is spaciousness, beauty, and metta underneath the stress and misery that the thinking mind creates. I saw that so much of my suffering is actually optional suffering, and so many of my negative judgments and stories about myself and others are quite simply false.
Meditation for me is the humbling art of realizing this over and over again, seeing the beauty of reality, and feeling the sorrow, love, and joy of this human life deep in the heart. I’m a Zen practitioner by training, but I’m especially passionate about the practice of metta, or lovingkindness.
I recently completed a seven-month period of intensive monastic Zen training and I’m eager to offer the practice to others. In my free time I like cycling, climbing up on things, and cracking myself up.
Let me get this out of the way first: sitting in quiet contemplation does not come naturally to me. Growing up in Queens, NY, under the stern but loving guidance of Eastern European immigrant parents, my life was pretty well charted towards the high-decibel “burn the candle at both ends” direction. I rode that wave willingly, assuming there wasn’t another way that might suit me.
I had a social studies teacher introduce the concept of meditation to me in high school. Reared in the Catholic tradition, I found the simplicity of just sitting in silence fascinating but foreign. As I got older I continued to find myself drawn to the practice but still resistant to just get on the damned cushion and do the thing. I thought if I read about it enough I could absorb some of its benefits. It wasn’t until I was effectively forced into a version of a mindfulness practice in recovery that I allowed myself to try to quiet my very loud mind. Full disclosure: it started with yoga, but I really didn’t worry much about the physical aspect. I just wanted a place to learn to be okay with myself.
After several years of earnest practice, I survived my first yoga teacher training in 2007 and began teaching yoga. Shortly thereafter I stumbled upon Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project, and began practicing under her guidance in 2010. I completed my meditation instructor training with Susan and Jenna Hollenstein in 2018 in an effort to supplement my yoga teaching and broaden my reach.
I aim to create a safe, welcoming space for exploration and acceptance when I teach, with a fair number of corny jokes sprinkled throughout for good measure. I want folks to know meditation really is for everybody. You can start in the here and now and find your way to a more joyful, courageous, and genuine life.
I spend my time off the cushion at the beck and call of a menagerie of rescue animals and in the company of a cantankerous Midwestern motorcycle fanatic. I enjoy accompanying him on rides when my schedule allows, overloading my library hold list, and having entirely too many feelings about basketball.
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