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.
Johnathan Woodside is an Insight Meditation teacher offering Dharma instruction rooted in the Theravada tradition of ethics, concentration and wisdom. He began his formal meditation practice in his youth and has been teaching Insight Meditation since 2011. Encouraging and promoting mindfulness meditation in the American heartland, Johnathan founded the non-profit Mindfulness Outreach Initiative (MOI) an Insight Meditation organization based in Omaha Nebraska in 2012. MOI’s outreach activities serve the communities of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa and provide services to medical professionals, educational institutions, correctional facilities, recovery programs, community centers, and partners with corporations and other nonprofit organizations. Johnathan also established the annual citywide event Omaha Meditates as well as Mindful Omaha—a contemplative directory. His mentor in the Dharma is Joseph Goldstein who he has met with regularly since 2016. He has practiced at Insight Meditation Society, Forest Refuge, and Spirit Rock meditation centers among others and has over a year of silent meditation retreat experience. He is currently enrolled in the 2021-2025 Insight Meditation Center (IMC) Dharma Teacher Training Program with Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella. Visit www.johnathanwoodside.com to connect with Johnathan.
Mark Wiesman is a mindfulness teacher with 35 years of experience and practice in Insight Meditation and Tai Chi Chuan. His education as a veterinarian and his interest in science is also evident in his practice and teaching. He wishes to serve by giving the tools he has used in his life to others so they may be happier, more content, and more present in their lives.
Anne’s mindfulness practice began when she started practicing yoga over twenty years ago. In 2010 her interest in meditation became more concentrated. Then in 2012 with the birth of MOI, she began her Insight instruction that has since continued to deepen her practice. Her educational background as a public school teacher and administrator has furthered her interest in developing compassionate communities. Anne completed the year-long Mindful Teacher Certification Program with Mindful Schools in 2019 and is currently working on projects to support and bring mindfulness practices into schools across our community. Her interests in self inquiry, nature and social justice have a role in shaping her thoughts on mindfulness and her teaching is guided by encouraging awareness and compassion through everyday mindfulness and a consistent meditation practice. Visit www.annesaverycoaching.com for more information on Anne.
Katie Hupp came to Insight Meditation in 2012 as a student in a Basic Mindfulness course. She immediately recognized the far-reaching personal benefits and sought to introduce mindfulness into her work life. In 2014 and 2018, she facilitated staff workshops and follow-up exercises aimed at creating a culture of mindfulness in the Writing Centers at Metropolitan Community College. She has also attended various meditation classes and the 2017 Wisdom 2.0 conference, completed two courses in the online Mindful Schools curriculum, and spent a sabbatical studying mindfulness and deepening her own practice. She recently attended “Sitting in the Fire: Training to Teach Mindfulness in Prisons” at the San Quentin State Prison and begins the year-long Mindful Schools Certification program in June. The teachings of Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg, especially, resonate with and inspire her. She feels grateful for the local mindfulness community and all that she continues to learn from them.
Carlos Figueroa has been practicing Insight Meditation since 2015 and has discovered a commitment and dedication to daily meditation practice that is marked by kindness and compassion. With a personal interest in providing support, understanding, and care to those who’ve experienced great emotional and physical difficulty, Carlos emphasizes that through consistent practice peace of mind can be realized. Carlos currently supports MOI by working with students who are just beginning their practice.
Kyle Sorys started practicing mindfulness meditation in 2008. Inspired by the fruits of the practice, Kyle then moved to Boulder, CO to study Buddhism at Naropa University in 2011, receiving both a Bachelors in Contemplative Psychology and a Masters of Divinity. In 2016 Kyle returned to Omaha where he currently works as an interfaith chaplain, providing spiritual care to those who are distressed, sick, dying, grieving, in pain, and suffering. Understanding the importance of a spiritual community, Kyle came to MOI with the intention of strengthening and supporting his own practice alongside other meditators in the Insight tradition. Kyle is passionate about mindfulness meditation, especially within the container of a structured retreat setting. Kyle has participated in numerous silent retreats over the years and knows firsthand the importance of periodically unplugging from the chaos of daily life. It was in these settings — in silence, stillness, solitude, and seclusion — that Kyle truly discovered his own innate capability of cultivating compassion, peace, and understanding. It is Kyle’s hope to share the wisdom and the teachings of the Insight tradition with all who are interested, helping others to cultivate their own sense of peace, joy, and happiness.