MOI Board Members:
Founded July 27, 2012 by Johnathan Woodside. Mindfulness Outreach Initiative is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to promote skillful living and make meditation instruction accessible to all. MOI leadership consists of individuals who share in the commitment to equip individuals with the skills needed to bring about positive changes through the cultivation of kindness, compassion, and wisdom.
Photography by Marea Whitaker Bishop
Johnathan Woodside is an Insight Meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness and self-inquiry into the mainstream of wellness programs and daily life. He is the Guiding Teacher of Mindfulness Outreach Initiative and a consultant at various locations in Omaha Nebraska where he encourages greater self-awareness through stillness and dynamic meditation practices. He leads classes and retreats on mindfulness meditation for the promotion of greater health and wellness in the Omaha community.
Daniel Lawse’s mindfulness practice started over a decade ago with the study of meditation and spirituality and the practice of active contemplation. In addition to his ongoing sitting practice, he has also participated in traditional silent meditation retreats. Some of his favorite mindfulness authors include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi, Brother Lawrence, and any book that shares new discoveries in neuroscience. Daniel holds a BA in Theology from Creighton University and a Masters of Community and Regional Planning Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Daniel is also an engaged community member serving several organizations and efforts that help make the Omaha community a better place to live, work, play, grow, and be mindful.
Michelle Kohrs has come to realize the profound benefits that mindfulness meditation brings to one’s life. As a business manager, daily meditation helps her to stay focused, be more productive, and skillfully juggle a variety of tasks. Michelle studies meditation through silent meditation retreats, yoga practice, and Mindfulness Outreach Initiative classes and events. She is excited to help others discover how mindfulness meditation improves life.
Stephen Sheehan has been involved in non-profit work since the early 1990’s. Stephen was a founding member of the Healing Arts Council which promoted events in Omaha aimed at personal growth as well as cultural and arts events, such as the first-ever program in Omaha by Tibetan monks. Stephen’s initial exposure to grant writing soon followed during his tenure at Senior Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of Florence Home. From there, Stephen became the grant writer for the largest human services agency in Nebraska, Lutheran Family Services, and was tasked with writing grants for all their programs across the state. Among many wins for LFS, the most significant was the funding awarded to LFS to create the Center For Healthy Families in North Omaha which continues to thrive to this day. An avid cyclist and yoga student, Stephen’s interest in mindful living is supported by his presence on the MOI board and the experience he brings to it.
Dan Boster began his Insight Meditation practice in 2012 while working on a Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska. His dissertation project focused on how writing teachers can cultivate their own mindfulness practice and bring this awareness into their pedagogy and interactions with students. This work continues in Dan’s leading M.O.I’s Teaching and Writing group, a mindfulness-centered support group for local writers and writing teachers. Dan works as instructional coach and English teacher at Ralston High School and teaches education and writing courses at Omaha area universities. In developing his practice, Dan has turned most often to the thinking of Thich Nhat Hahn, Pema Chodron, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Joan Halifax, and, of course, his local mindfulness community.