About Us

Sati Sangha

Sati Sangha is a non-profit organization with meditation communities in Santa Monica, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo, CA.  We offer a variety of opportunities for learning an innovative approach to meditation which enables meditators to integrate the teachings of early Buddhism into their contemporary lives.

Additionally, we offer online events so that meditators can meet with us from all over the world.  Meditators participate with diverse levels of involvement: some attend occasional events, others are members of a committed on-going meditation groups, and others are involved in mentorship.  Our groups and retreats are open to anyone who is interested in meditation.

We rely upon participants’ financial generosity, creative thinking, and voluntary assistance with tasks.  A Board of Directors (Sati Sangha Council) meets regularly to oversee larger decisions.

Linda Modaro

Meditation and Dharma Teacher, Director, and Council Member

Since 1987 Linda has been studying and teaching various meditation styles beginning with chi gong, tai ji, taoist yoga and sitting meditation. In 1997, she completed her Master’s in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and treated patients for 15 years before transitioning to meditation teaching full-time.  Her introduction to Buddhist meditation was in 1997 with Vipassana meditation, and she began teaching Recollective Awareness Meditation in 2001.  She completed the Skillful Meditation Project training in 2008 working closely with Jason Siff; studying, teaching and participating in teacher training development. In 2016 Linda made the decision to form Sati Sangha, a non-profit organization, to continue meditation teaching, on a donation basis, for her livelihood. Linda travels nationally and internationally when invited to teach workshops and retreats, and teaches regularly in San Diego and San Luis Obispo.  Offering unique and individualized mentorship to meditation teachers, Linda encourages a blending of the recollective awareness approach with other mindfulness, insight, and awareness practices.  In Santa Monica, where she lives, she works with small groups and individuals online where she is able to connect with meditators around the world, teaching Dharma and meditation on an ongoing basis.

Sophie Davis-Cohen

Sophie Davis-CohenCouncil Co-President

Sophie Davis-Cohen has been involved with Recollective Awareness Meditation as a student since 2009, and as a teacher trainee since 2014. She received her Masters in Social Work from Smith College in 2015, and completed her thesis on how Recollective Awareness Meditation functions as a self-care process for meditating therapists. Sophie and fellow teacher trainee, Marietta Skeen, co-facilitated a RAM sitting group for students at Smith College in the Summer of 2015. Since 2015, Sophie has facilitated a RAM sitting group at her workplace, Psychological Care and Healing Treatment Center, working with clients experiencing severe mental illness, complex trauma, and other mental health issues.

Nina Asher

Nina AsherCouncil Co-President

Nina Asher is a clinical psychologist, child development specialist, and insight meditation practitioner. She has a psychotherapy private practice for over 30 years, using psychodynamic, relational theory in her work with adults, children, and parents. Her background as a pre-school teacher and coordinator of parent-infant/toddler groups led her to further her education, later becoming a psychologist. Although most of her patients are adults, she continues to love working with children and their parents.

Nina began a meditation practice a decade ago. She found that the dharma, and the gentle, acceptance of all states of being meshed beautifully with her work as a therapist. She integrates these teachings with natural ease with adults and children.

In recent years, Nina developed an ongoing interest into understanding how insight meditation and psychodynamic, relational psychotherapy inform one another. She has written personal essays, thought rolls, and poems as a way of expanding her awareness of meditation and psychotherapy.

Kim Henderson

Kim HendersonCouncil Secretary

Kim Henderson became a student of Recollective Awareness meditation in 2008 and has continued a practice ever since. Professionally, she is an author, writer, magazine editor and writing workshop leader. She wrote the award-winning environmental book 50 Simple Steps to Save the World’s Rainforests. Currently, she serves as executive editor of Beauty Store Business magazine. Formerly, she was the longtime editor of Healthy Living magazine, a national natural health publication. As a writing workshop leader, Kim helps writers discover a well of resources within by incorporating time in nature and informal meditation into the creative process. She has led a writing workshop/adventure in the Peruvian Amazon for the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research and hosts an ongoing writing group in the Los Angeles area. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Pouyan Afkary

Council Treasurer

Pouyan Afkary is an Emmy Award-winning Producer and USC graduate working with ICM Partners one of the world’s largest talent and literary agencies with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Previously, he produced music videos, commercials, and non-fiction narrative content, as well as acting as the Finance Coordinator of Atlas Entertainment.  He joins us at the Treasurer, and brings his financial skills along with a fresh view of meditation to our group.

Amanda Navar

Advisor to the Council

A longtime fundraiser and organizational effectiveness consultant in the nonprofit sector, Amanda Navar has raised over 15 million dollars for arts, healthcare, social service, and education organizations throughout the country.  A graduate of Stanford University, Amanda has a talent for helping organizations kick-start new initiatives, develop strengths, and creatively leverage resources to establish a solid foundation for long-term sustainability.  Having worked with numerous organizations throughout her career, she has had the unique opportunity to observe the strengths and pitfalls that are common among nonprofits and incorporates this knowledge into her work.  Amanda is passionate about community building and philanthropy, and loves the challenge of working with many different types of organizations and helping them reach their fullest potential. She currently serves as Director of Fund Development for Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills, and consults with nonprofits in the Los Angeles area on fund development, board development, and strategic planning.

Mariani Shuilan May

Mariani Shuilan MayAdvisor to the Council

Mariani Shuilan May is currently the Chief Controlling Officer for Yo San University, a non-profit educational institution, located in Los Angeles CA.  She has also volunteered at Sacred Fire Community as their Financial Officer.  She has over 25 years of experience with all financial aspects of running a non-profit and will be on hand for any consultation the Board may need.  Shuilan lives in Santa Monica where she has a garden of notorious mert, and shares her wisdom of plants and flowers with the community.  She is currently enrolled in Los Angeles school of Homeopathy, studying Homeopathic Medicine and still finds time to meditate regularly.  She has been very supportive of the Recollective Awareness approach to meditation and has participated in a variety of Recollective Awareness Meditation events.

Janet Keyes

Guest Teacher

Janet Keyes has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1987 and Recollective Awareness since 2011. She completed a two-year teacher-training program with Skillful Meditation Project in 2016. For twenty-one years, she helped organize and put on a camping meditation retreat for 55 women. She participated in the Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program and served as a volunteer chaplain for several years.

Bill Wellhouse

Guest Teacher

Bill Wellhouse is a long-time Buddhist practitioner who started practicing Recollective Awareness in 2012. Since then, as a student of Linda Modaro, he has participated in a number of retreats and study groups. When the teachers’ training program was initiated in 2014 he joined the cohort and has worked with Linda to develop his skills in leading meditation groups. His familiarity with different Buddhist meditation traditions brings a unique perspective to his practice. Currently he leads a small group of meditators in San Diego.