The mission of the Secular Dharma Foundation is to foster the advancement of emotional and psychological well-being through the education and integration of mindfulness, psychology, and various therapeutic modalities.
Founded by Dave and Shannon Smith in 2016 the Secular Dharma Foundation provides educational tools and resources, mindfulness and emotional skills training through online resources, lectures, workshops, trainings and retreats.
Dave Smith is an internationally recognized Buddhist meditation teacher, addiction treatment specialist, and published author. His background is rooted in the Insight Meditation tradition and he was empowered to teach through the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. He has extensive experience bringing meditative interventions into jails, prisons, youth detention centers and addiction treatment facilities.
Dave teaches residential meditation retreats and classes, provides trainings and consulting in both secular and Buddhist contexts, and works with students through his meditation mentoring program. He recently founded the Secular Dharma Foundation and lives in Paonia, Colorado.
Shannon Smith began practicing the Dharma in 2004. Over the last decade she has been sitting and studying in the Theravada tradition integrating Dharma Practice and 12-step Recovery resulting in more than 25 years of sobriety.
In 2014, she stepped out of a long and successful career to have her son and to become a Co-Founder to Refuge Recovery Treatment Centers working with recovering addicts and their families. During this time, she also graduated from a four-year teacher training program with Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society.
Currently, she has relocated to Paonia, Colorado to focus on cultivating a more sustainable lifestyle with her husband and two sons. Shannon has taught meditation, led Recovery groups and co-facilitated Year-to-Live groups since 2008. She recently founded the Secular Dharma Foundation and is currently the Development Director for Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB).
Overview of the Mission
Mindfulness: We acknowledge the efficacy of first-person direct experience allowing for an open and honest exploration of the possibilities of our own embodied and shared humanity.
Psychology: We recognize the advancements and wisdom that has arisen as a result of historical and current understandings the mind and body through the various fields of psychology.
Therapeutic Modalities: We recognize the ongoing advancements in clinical psychology. We value the beneficial outcomes that transpire in ongoing therapeutic relations.
• To educate and provide evidence-based theory and instruction in the practice of mindfulness for the development of emotional and psychological health and well-being.
• To implement and develop educational material for the pubic concerning the necessity for psychological and emotional health. We focus on mindfulness practice, emotional intelligence, trauma resolution and addiction recovery.
• To develop and publish web-based resources, articles, podcasts, videos, interactive models and online classes and trainings.
• To develop, organize and create conferences, retreats, and workshops to educate, train, and instruct individuals through mindfulness practices for the sole purpose of emotional and psychological well-being.