Jiyoon Lee (She/Her)
– Center Director
Jiyoon (pronounced June) immigrated to the United States alone as a teenager at 16 and moved around the country many times. She has an MFA from Notre Dame, worked at a large non-profit (the International Rescue Committee), and participated in a wide range of community organizing activities (immigrant storytelling events, homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, poetry readings, and more). She learned from her experiences in a wide range of roles, such as a legal office assistant at a refugee resettlement agency, a piano teacher, and a meditation teacher.
At the Dallas Meditation Center, as part of the Wake Up YES group, Jiyoon has worked to bring back the Plum Village music portion to the gathering, collaborating with other members to plan how best to enrich Tuesday night meditation with music.
As a Korean, Jiyoon was fortunate to have grown up in a culture where meditation is present in mainstream awareness, and visiting Buddhist temples for holidays is a common practice. As a preteen, she learned to do body scan meditation from her Taekwondo teacher. Her formal meditation practice started with her Yoga practice in 2011. Ashtanga Yoga practice was her moving meditation practice of choice, and Yoga Nidra her stillness-meditation practice. Influenced by her late brother’s growing interest in Buddhism, Jiyoon joined the group meditation at the Bohyun Zen Buddhist Temple in 2018 until the covid threat became serious. Also in 2018, she started Qigong practice with Michael Stallings of Sandhill Crane Chikung, and she continues to practice with the group. Becoming interested that same year in the connection between mental wellness and meditation through a scientific lens, she also got trained to teach Mindfulness techniques under Dr. Kay Colbert, LCSW (who is a student of Dr. Jon Kabat Zin) at the Dallas Yoga Center.
Mindful Body Scan and Compassionate Self-talk continue to be central to her meditation practice. But perhaps the most important growth in her meditation journey began when Jiyoon started attending the Wake Up YES group at the DMC in 2019. The interfaith nature of the community and Thich Nhat Hanh’s compassionate teaching, which corrected some of her misconceptions about Buddhist teaching, helped her grow as a human. Most importantly, it was here at the Dallas Meditation Center where she truly realized the importance of Sangha, and she is honored to be serving the community as a regular facilitator. It is truly her pleasure to share the power of meditation with the world.
Cornell Kinderknecht is a professional musician and a software engineer. He serves our organization as a director, facilitator, webmaster, and musician. Cornell’s first career is as a software engineer, and he has worked in the high-tech industry for many years, developing Internet applications and specializing in security and privacy. He also provides website development.
Cornell has been involved with our community since our early beginnings in 2007. He has served the organization as a musician and music coordinator at gatherings and events. He manages the websites and takes care of most things technological. Cornell is an ordained member of the Order of Interbeing, and a meditation teacher and facilitator, leading the Mindful Mondays meditation group, which focuses on Practical Mindfulness for Everyday Living.
Cornell’s musical resume includes performing his original works at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, a GRAMMY nomination, and numerous recordings and awards. He performs and teaches throughout the United States. He is the director of the annual Pacific Northwest Native American Flute Gathering on Vashon Island; is music director of the Dallas Recorder Society, and was on the board of directors of Earth Rhythms. See Cornell’s musical biography at www.cornellk.com
Mindfulness, Meditation, and Music… three things that he tries to integrate into all aspects of life. Cornell’s Dharma name given by Thich Nhat Hanh is “True Unfolding Awakening.”
Ana Shoemaker (She/Her/They)
– Communications and Digital Marketing Director
– Newsletter, Social Media and Website, Graphics and Print
– Fundraising team member
Ana Shoemaker started working for Brother ChiSing and the Dallas Meditation Center in 2013. Ana received the Five Mindfulness Trainings and Five Contemplations of the Five Mindfulness Trainings Transmissions in 2023.
Ana is also the Business Manager for Ruth King’s Mindful of Race Institute™ which focuses on mindfulness-based racial awareness training & education.
As a Social Artist, Ana is committed to personal & transformational health, wellness, and relational healing through conscious movement, art, dialogue, and dance. She is a professional home and studio organizer. Formerly, she has been a personal caregiver to a Loved one with Alzheimer’s for 10 years; a volunteer in the Dallas County Jail with female inmates for 10 years, she created Move Meditation offering active meditation and the Life/Art process. Sarah Lawrence College is where she received her bachelor’s in Sociology/Anthropology.
Photography by Dave Westbrook.