Behind the Curtain: Search Inside Yourself Teacher Stories

Part of our mission is to develop wise and compassionate leaders worldwide. The paths that lead to becoming a Search Inside Yourself-certified teacher are wonderfully varied, and the goals and communities of each certified teacher are also different. We've enjoyed their many stories and would like to share a few. 


Michelle Gale

California, USA
Chief of Staff at Autodesk and Strategic Advisor, Wisdom 2.0
Passionate about mindful parenting and bringing emotional intelligence to organizations

Michelle Gale is a corporate mindfulness teacher, author and public speaker. She enjoys connecting with audiences to explore the power of presence, living with intention and mindful parenting. She was previously the head of learning and leadership development at Twitter and is the author of a bestselling book titled “Mindful Parenting in a Messy World.”  

Michelle says, “I love working with parents who are interested in parenting from a whole new paradigm…the one where we look to ourselves for all the trouble we find ‘out there.’ I care about practicing mindfulness, building community and holding the parenting journey with lightness and humor.”

Currently, Michelle is also a strategic advisor to the Mindful Schools and the Wisdom 2.0 conference. She received her master’s in psychology from Meridian University and is a long-term practitioner of mindfulness. Between 2016 and 2019, she studied with Mark Coleman, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach and became a Search Inside Yourself Certified Teacher.

In this video, Michelle shares her experience of going through the SIY Teacher Training program: 


Jon Carlson

Ontario, Canada
Ontario Police Department
Passionate about bringing mindfulness to the emergency services world

Jon Carlson has served for over 18 years as a police officer in Ontario, Canada. It was in 2009, when he encountered a traumatic work call involving a baby, that his journey took a turn. Eventually, he was diagnosed with PTSD.  During the initial stages of his diagnosis, he began self-medicating.  In 2013, he was presented the opportunity to take a different approach by using mindfulness practices to look within and prevent trauma from taking its toll.

Jon became a Search Inside Yourself certified teacher in 2018, is a well-known speaker throughout North America and leads Mindful Cop Consulting, which aims to train people before trauma arrives so they’re better prepared to manage it. Jon has been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions, including the 2018 Chief of Police award for his commitment and dedication to providing innovative and mindfulness-based training to members of the organization. He was also recently featured on The Huffington Post in an article titled “Canadian ‘Mindful Cop’ Offers Tools to Change Policing.”

In the video below, Jon shares: “I’m in one of the best spaces I’ve ever been in my entire life—not only to deal personally and professionally with everything I encounter throughout the day—but also in receiving invaluable training that will no doubt further enhance my ability to create (...) impact.”


What Other Certified Teachers Have Shared About Their Experience

“One great aspect of the certification process was doing a practicum, where we taught at organizations or with friends and  family. At every practicum, I saw how impactful the program was for people who participated. It showed me there’s so much need for this type of training! Now I’m looking forward to teaching a lot more, and I’m particularly interested in bringing the program to nonprofit organizations.”

—Priya Kasturi, USA


“Now that I’m certified, I want to bring SIY into the world in a way that is accessible and approachable. I’m interested in bringing the program to minorities, including people of color and the LGBT community. Some years ago, I experienced burnout and was inspired by someone from a minority group to go into the path of mindfulness in order to thrive in life, so imagining that I could pay that forward and be someone who could inspire and help others would mean a lot to me.”

—Ban Ishii, USA


“I had wanted to take the teacher training program for quite some time and was very glad when it was finally offered in Asia. I would really like to share mindfulness to corporate employees and leaders because I spent more than 30 years in the IT industry, and I know how stressed people are. Up to now, I see my former employees struggling and suffering, and I think this program will really help them.”

—Heraldina Salonga, Philippines


“I have been able to teach seven SIY two-day programs: four in Spain, two in Argentina and one in Mexico—and I feel profoundly grateful. I shared this feeling with participants during one of the sessions, emphasizing that mindfulness is useful not only to face the bad moments of life more effectively, but also to better enjoy and be more present in the good moments, like this one. It was wonderful!"

—Jose-Antonio Aguilar, Spain


“If you get an opportunity to attend a program like this, grab it with both hands.”

—Deiric McCann, Ireland