Sensei Paul Kisho Stern
Paul sees his work at Manitou and in life in general as being focused largely on developing contexts within which individuals are able to engage in life practices that allow them to connect more completely with themselves, their communities, and their world. This work is central to the Zen education and practice, mindfulness programming and martial arts/movement arts practices offered through Manitou. All of these areas of study are pathways that foster this type of holistic personal development and help connect people more fully to their communities and their world.
Paul began his journey with martial arts in 1989. He has studied martial arts consistently from that time forward with an emphasis on Choy li Fut Kung fu and Chen Taiji Quan. He has studied extensively in the United States,Taiwan, Canada, and Europe. He has taught martial arts since 2000. He continues to cultivate and grow his personal practice of martial arts under the instruction of Masters Lee Chang Ren and Lee Chang Chih in Taiwan as well as Tai Sifu Neil McRitchie and Sifu Eric Muchowski in North America.
Paul began his interest and study of meditation in the early 1990’s. This journey brought him to study with a variety of teachers both in North America and abroad. He deepened his connection and study through during his years in Taiwan, where he studied at Bu Dong Shi in Pingdong Province of southern Taiwan.
Upon returning to Minneapolis, Paul studied Zen Meditation and Buddhist studies at Dharma Field Meditation and Learning Center in Minneapolis under Steve Hagen and Tibetan Buddhism with the Bodhicitta Sangha under Khenpo Sherab Sangpo. This journey has lead him to becoming a dharma successor in the tradition of Roshi Paul Genki Kahn and Roshi Monika Genmitu Kahn from Zen Garland Community and Order in Arizona, where he continues his study and growth in this area of meditation and Zen practice.
Currently, Sensei Kisho lives with his family in Winona where he works at WSU and is a director/instructor at Manitou Center.
Trish began her work with meditation, mindfulness and embodiment practices almost 20 years ago. She has been a mindfulness and meditation instructor for 5 years and works with children and adults throughout the community. Trish teaches secular mindfulness practices in the schools and believes that offering these skills to youth supports their social, emotional, and academic abilities as well as their overall health and happiness. Trish studies with Mindful Schools in Oakland, California. In addition, Trish leads mindfulness workshops in public and private sectors throughout the community. She also teaches mindfulness to families, leads youth camps (movement, mindfulness, social engagement and service) and adult wellness retreats at Manitou.
Trish, RYT 200, also teaches yoga. She first began her yoga practice in 1998 in Rishikesh, India and has had the fortune of studying with many wonderful and diverse teachers over the years. She loves introducing yoga asana, study and meditation to people of all ages and is grateful to share her understanding and experience with new and continuing practitioners. She completed her 200 hour teacher training with Heartwork Studio in 2017 and a Trauma-Informed Yoga Training with Firefly Yoga International in 2018.
In 2001 Trish began her formal studies of Zen Buddhism with Steve Hagen (Dharma Field Meditation and Learning Center in Minneapolis), in the lineage of Dainin Katagiri Roshi. In 2014 Trish met and began her formal studies with Roshi Paul Genki Kahn and Roshi Monica Genmitsu Kahn ( of Zen Garland In Sedona, AZ), in the lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi. She is deeply grateful to each of her teachers.
Trish loves living an adventurous life with her 2 children Nico and Willow and her husband Paul. She also loves learning new things, moving her body in creative and healthy ways, traveling, cooking, dancing and spending time with her family and friends. Trish is co-director and an instructor at Manitou Center.
Pam is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher who has taught for many years at Winona State University and the Winona Yoga Center. She loves sharing her love of yoga with others, from adults and adolescents to elderly and children. She is a long-time meditator, now learning from the Tibetan Buddhist Mahamudra tradition, and has found yoga asanas and pranayama to be very helpful in clearing her mind and satisfying her fidgety body. She works as a writer and editor for Big River Magazine.
Francie took her first yoga class more than 30 years ago on the advice of a friend who thought she looked stressed. From her first class, she enjoyed the practice and the way it made her feel. But most of all, she found it cleared her mind. Thoughts or concerns that were bothering her at the beginning would be gone by the end of the class or practice session.
She started teaching yoga as a way to do more yoga and learn more about it. She discovered she was able to guide students to experience joy in their physical bodies, relief from physical pain, and to learn a new approach to mental and psychological concerns.
Francie enjoys practicing and teaching the art of yoga, working to make each posture as beautiful and integrated and perfect in the moment as possible.
She is grateful to B.K.S. Iyengar who showed her how technique and its dedicated application can lead from physical accomplishment to spiritual enlightenment. Presently she especially enjoys teaching older students who are grateful to be learning how to strengthen their bodies and retard the aging process. Yoga can help us all learn how to face whatever comes.
Francie has been teaching yoga since 1993 and previously taught Iyengar yoga in Southern California for 15 years. She holds a Senior Intermediate III certification from B.K.S. Iyengar, and has studied at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, India on numerous occasions.
Jacque is a certified Classical Nia Technique and Nia 5 Stages Instructor as well as the creative director and founder of the local performance arts movement troupe, Ignite. As a movement artist and educator, she has been dancing with and in the Winona community for seven years. Jacque believes all bodies are designed to dance, and hopes that you find time to dance today. For more information about Nia and Jacque visit http://nianow.com/
Erica first began meditating in 1995, after overcoming great difficulty in her adolescence. In addition to personal meditation practice, Erica began formal training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 2009 sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness. She has been teaching mindfulness meditation classes since 2010. Erica works as a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Winona, MN. As a therapist, she uses creative and empowering methods to evoke client-centered transformation and that provide individuals, couples, and families with tools to take away with and use over their lifetime.
Gretchen Cohenour (MFA, RSME) is evolving with a 35-year career as a teacher, movement artist and choreographer. Gretchen is a Somatic Movement Educator (SME), and is certified in ‘Embodied Anatomy and Yoga’ and ‘Embodied Developmental Movement and Yoga’ from the School of Body Mind Centering©. In addition to BMC, her practice includes Meditation, Iyengar Yoga, Qigong, Alexander Technique, and playing with puppies and dancers. She directs the Winona State University dance program where she integrates somatic practices, art making, interdisciplinary collaboration, meditation, yoga, and embodied movement research as a ground for living, teaching and learning
Tom Roberts is a retired Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist. He has over 40 years of experience in clinical psychotherapy and has been a practicing Zen Buddhist for nearly 50 years. In 1992 he received lay Buddhist vows from Thich Nhat Hanh. He has gained widespread recognition in the field of health and healing as an educator, author and speaker who shares practical strategies for enjoying a healthier, happier, more fulfilling everyday life
As a regular teacher at regional and national retreat centers, Thomas routinely receives high praise and positive responses from those who attend for his sincere, informative and practical methods of teaching and relating with participants. His retreats and classes reflect his authentic commitment to helping individuals achieve a deep and lasting resolve to their spiritual, emotional and physical health and healing. He is well known for offering and guiding retreats that are easily integrated into each person’s personal journey.
Nicolle NEILL Jensen
Nicolle NEILL Jensen is a teacher, musician, facilitator, and interdisciplinary artist born in Winona and residing in Santa Fe NM since 2003. She began studying yoga in college in 2004, and meditation after she graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary art in 2007. She is a senior teacher in the Prajna Yoga school, and a student in the somatic meditation lineage of Reggie Ray and Dharma Ocean. NEILL travels the world sharing a love of yoga, meditation, music, and creative expression through retreats, workshops, concerts, and classes.