More About Valerie York-Zimmerman

About Valerie York-Zimmerman


Ms. York-Zimmerman has practiced meditation since the 1980’s and in 1998 was accepted into and completed the MBSR professional Internship Program at UMass Medical Center’s Stress Reduction Clinic, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979. 

Since 1998 Valerie has taught in her husband Dr. Leonard Zimmerman’s medical office and in other clinical or institutional settings. She wanted to provide an organic, peaceful setting for her students so in 2008 she and Dr. Zimmerman built The Sanctuary, a meditation hall nestled in the tranquility of a tropical Zen garden, deck and waterfall. Classes and the All-Day Retreat are held at The Sanctuary.

She has continued to deepen her practice, broaden her experience, and sharpen her skills by participating in mindfulness meditation retreats and teacher trainings with auspicious meditation masters from both the East and the West such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Venerable Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Ram Dass, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ferris Buck Urbanowski, Christina Feldman, Sharon Salzberg, Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Susan Woods, and others.

In addition,Valerie has completed advanced teacher training retreats and achieved designations such as:

  • CFM Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher awarded by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • MBSR Professional Training Retreat Co-Teacher for the University of California San Diego (UCSD)’s Professional Training Institute with Susan Woods, Char Wilkins and Allan Goldstein in Tampa, Florida (2015)
  • MBSR Professional Training Retreat Ass’t Teacher for the University of California San Diego (UCSD)’s Professional Training Institute with Susan Woods and Char Wilkins,Virginia (2014)
  • Mindful Education Institute (MEI) based in Oakland, CA - 1st in-depth, year-long training to equip educators to effectively design and deliver mindfulness programs to children and teens with leading teachers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Linda Lantieri, Daniel Rechtschaffen, Chris McKenna, Megan Cowan, Susan Kaiser-Greenland, and others (2012-2013)
  • MBSR-MBCT Teacher Residential Training at Spirit Rock, California, with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Christina Feldman, Senior Teacher and Cofounder of Gaia House, meditation center in Devon, England, and John Teasdale, Cambridge University, retired and coauthor of MBCT for Depression (2009)
  • MBSR-MBCT Advanced Teacher Residential Training at Sky Meadow Retreat Center, VT, with Ferris Buck Urbanowski and Susan Woods (2006); Ferris Buck Urbanowski (2007, 2011)
  • Supervision in teaching the MBSR Program by Florence Meleo-Meyer, Senior Teacher, UMass Medical Center, Center for Mindfulness (2003)
  • MBSR Residential Retreat at Mt. Madonna, CA with Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli (1998)
  • Advanced Vipassana Teacher Residential Training at Bhavana Society with Venerable Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Ph.D. (2003)
  • Western Regional MBSR Teacher's Retreat, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA with Ferris Buck Urbanowski (2003)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) 1st Residential Teacher Training Retreat in Toronto, Canada, with Drs. Segal, Williams, Teasdale, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Ferris Buck Urbanowski (2002)
  • Vipassana Teacher Residential Training at Bhavana Society with Venerable Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Ph.D., former professor at Georgetown and American Universities, a Buddhist scholar, and highest-ranking Theravadan monk in North America (2001)
  • Teacher Development Intensive in MBSR, UMass Medical Center (2000)
  • Professional Internship Program at UMass Medical Center (1998)
  • MBSR Mind-Body Medicine 5-Day Professional Training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, UMass Medical Center, at Mt. Madonna Center, California (1998)
  • Thich Nhat Hanh Key West 7-Day "Opening the Door to Healing and Transformation" Residential Retreat (1997)