14991230_10211310829947449_4507009290782896822_oChelsea True is the founder of Joyful Mind Project, a Sonoma County 501(c)(3) nonprofit bringing mindfulness education to schools and families in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A native to Napa California, Chelsea is passionate about bringing mindfulness education to the North Bay. She has enjoyed teaching mindfulness in over a dozen local schools, including Sonoma Academy where she currently teaches an elective course for grades 9-12.  Her work is featured in the book, Happy Teachers Change the World, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare.

Chelsea believes that mindfulness can transform not only individual stress and suffering, but also entire communities.  Mindfulness has supported her life for more than two decades, teaching her how to turn towards difficulties with tenderness and acceptance — and to allow sorrow to inform joy.

Chelsea believes that an ongoing and significant commitment to the theory and practice of mindfulness is essential for all mindfulness educators.  She began her studies more than twenty years ago with a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies , investigating the many roots and disciplines within contemplative practice.

Since then, she has received MBSR-T certification from Gina Biegel’s organization Stressed Teens and graduated from a year-long program with Mindful Schools as a Certified Instructor.  Most recently, she completed a certificate training in Trauma-Informed Care at the Center for Adolescent Studies with Sam Himelstein, Ph.D.

Chelsea’s secular work is informed by her personal practice in the Soto Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki.  She is the Youth & Family Programs Coordinator for San Francisco Zen Center, leads the Children’s Program at Stone Creek Zen Center, and received lay-ordination from Hoka Chris Fortin with the dharma name, Mei Kyo Ko Gen, “Luminous Mirror, Ancient Source.”   Chelsea has also been deeply influenced by the work of Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and has received transmission of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.

Chelsea’s daughter Amelie, age thirteen, is her most dear mindfulness teacher.  They’ve attended many retreats and practice periods together, including at Plum Village in Southern France, Deer Park Monastery, and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

Chelsea is  happy to share a presentation with your school or give a talk on mindfulness to your group.  If you would like to explore having Chelsea come speak with your school, please feel welcome to contact her here.


“Chelsea and the Joyful Mind Project provide a much needed service to Sonoma County.  As new residents, we were searching for a place to land and begin to build community with like minded families.  Chelsea took us under her wing, provided resources and connections, while offering her beautiful program to our twins. As a parent volunteer I had the honor of watching her reverent and thoughtful classes: From her initial greeting with each child to her closing circle,  Chelsea gave the children tangible skills to foster meaningful relationship, help regulate emotion,  and bring developmentally appropriate awareness to their daily experiences.  Joyful Mind project is a model organization in how mindfulness can be a tool for providing “wrap around” care and education for the entire family.

Dr. Liza Fox, Clinical Psychologist, Mother to Hannah and Elijah, 8 years old

“I want to raise my two daughters in a world where ideals such as generosity, love and compassion feel abundant and not scarce… Participating in Joyful Mind Project has been an opportunity for me to bring forth these ideals as part of my children’s education AND to do it in community!””

– Marie-Michel Tasse, Yoga Instructor, Mother to Malaya and Zumielle, ages 9 and 6

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