Susanna Weiss is the Executive Director of the Community Meditation Center and teaches the CMC Wednesday evening sessions. She also teaches a women’s monthly sangha. She has practiced meditation since 2000, studying with Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hanh, Allan Lokos, Andrew Olendzki, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and others. She has taught at Columbia University Buddhist Association, New York Insight Meditation Center, Marymount Manhattan College, and The New Seminary. A former professional dancer, Susanna is also an ordained Interfaith minister. She is now in training as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.
Cathy Bristow is the founder and principal of Bridges, a consulting firm whose mission is “Relanguaging the conversation around diversity and giving the topic a contemporary paradigm that reflects the complexity of people and change.” In particular, it aims to initiate a fresh conversation about race and gender. Cathy’s professional career includes senior corporate roles, and international assignments. She has practiced meditation for several years and with the Community Meditation Center for two years. She is also actively involved in her Harlem-based church, First Corinthian Baptist.
Tom Cummings has been practicing meditation since 2008, and has been attending CMC sessions since February of 2013. After a 20-year career as a corporate information technology specialist, in 2001 he established an executive coaching and management consulting business in order to be able to work from home while his two children attended school. In 2013 he closed that business, and now focuses on studying Buddhist philosophy and writing about mindfulness as an effective way of engaging with others. He maintains an active presence on a number of social media sites, where he promotes both Buddhism and mindfulness as pathways to a more sustainable and peaceful world.
Betsy Dean has been meditating since 1990 when she started a Zen practice with Anna Christensen, a Dharma heir to Charlotte Joko Beck. She was trained to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in 2009. Betsy had a 42 year career in NYC real estate during which she was founder and Director of Cooperative Sales on the upper west side for Austin K. Haldenstein Real Eatate until 1972 when Douglas Elliman bought the company. Betsy remained with Douglas Elliman until she moved in 1990 when she went to be the Managing Director/Senior Vice President for Stribling and Associates. She completed a three year certified coaching program in 2003 while with Stribling. In 2008 she retired to be with her husband. Betsy now continues her life coaching practice and has been a member of the Board of Directors of Goddard Community Center for 14 years.
Cori Ellison is a leading creative figure in the opera world and has served as staff Dramaturg at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and New York City Opera. She is a Vocal Arts Faculty member at The Juilliard School and Ravinia Steans Music Institute, and has taught and lectured worldwide. Active in developing contemporary opera, she teaches dramaturgy for American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program and is a dramaturgical consultant to companies including Canadian Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Fort Worth Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera. She creates supertitles (projected translations) and singing translations for opera companies across the English-speaking world, and helped launch the Metropolitan Opera’s simultaneous translation system. She has often written for the New York Times, and has contributed to books including The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Cori began attending CMC in 2014 and has found it a transformative and welcoming experience.
Andrew Lipton has practiced law for more than 35 years, focusing on environmental litigation and toxic tort cases involving occupational exposures to carcinogenic and other hazardous substances. Andrew is also a passionate photographer. He first learned to meditate in 1970 and continued off and on until he began a regular practice in 2007 at the Durango Dharma Center in Colorado. He then began attending CMC sessions in 2012. In addition to Allan Lokos, he has studied with Sharon Salzburg, George Pitagorsky, Jack Kornfeld, Eric Kolvig, and others.
Allan Lokos Founder/Guiding Teacher
Cornelia Santschi has practiced insight meditation and been a dedicated student of Buddhist psychology since 2000. She has studied with various teachers in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and the US. She is the Director of Neuropsychology at the Institute for Neurology in New Jersey, and the founder/director of Anatta World Health & Education Outreach, a grassroots non-profit that creates and supports medical and educational programs in developing countries worldwide. She is also co-founder of Newark Community Meditation Center where she serves as meditation instructor. Cornelia is currently enrolled in the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leaders 5 program, and is mentored by Allan Lokos.
Jennifer Taylor has been practicing meditation since 2000. She found CMC in 2012 when she sought a more formal mediation practice as a natural extension to her yoga practice, which she began more than 20 years ago. Jennifer is a managing partner of the Taylor-Gefaell Team at The Corcoran Group where she has worked since 2003. While raising her two sons, she spent many years volunteering at their schools. She and her husband Tom enjoy traveling and sailing.