Inspired by the Dharma Punx movement, Mikey began his Buddhist practice in 2009. Initially he studied under Claude AnShin Thomas in the Soto Zen tradition at the Magnolia Zen Center in Fort Walton Beach, FL. In 2012 Mikey formally took precepts in the White Plumb lineage.
In 2014, Mikey moved to Nashville and found a new home in Against The Stream. He found comfort in a community that was willing to be open and vulnerable discussing the same dissatisfaction which drew him to the punk scene. Mikey has since embraced the Theravada tradition and has sat on retreat with Noah Levine, JoAnna Harper, Dave Smith, Vinny Ferraro, and Josh Korda to name a few. Mikey has completed both a dedicated and an advanced practitioners course through One Dharma Nashville. He has completed a 12 week course on Pali language course offered by Western Kentucky University professor Jeffrey Samuels, Ph.D. Mikey is currently in Against The Stream’s facilitator training under the guidance of JoAnna Harper and Vinny Ferraro. He holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Troy University. Mikey regularly teaches mindfulness classes in recovery centers, jails, public libraries, and with the Nashville Humanist Association. He also works one on one as a spiritual mentor and mindfulness coach.
Jess is currently enrolled in the Awareness Training Institute Mindfulness Teacher Training program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. She works as a child and adolescent psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner providing mindfulness based therapy for clients. Jess has presented didactic and experiential workshops and lectures to several different professional programs throughout Vanderbilt. She has taught to social workers, medical doctors, nurses, lawyers, therapists, psychiatrist and several other populations. Starting in January 2018, Jess will begin a PhD in Mind-Body Medicine and Integrative Mental Health and will utilize this training to bring healing in clinic work as well as integrating this into mindfulness teaching. Jess identifies as a queer lesbian female and is eager to bring these teachings to the LGBTQIA community.