The strength of the program lies in the people responsible for it: the mix of experienced and knowledgeable faculty members, who have been teaching in this program for many years, as well as the alumna, who return as staff members, offering up their own experience and enthusiasm.

Legacy Leaders

JudyLeif-2014-smlJudith Lief is a respected Buddhist teacher who has taught for many years on the power of awareness, kindness, and openness to change the way we relate to sickness and death, both personally and as caregivers. Judy helped found and shape the CWFL retreat and has been on the faculty since the beginning. She is the author of Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality.


Victoria Maizes, MD, executive director Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, founded by the well known integrative physician Dr. Andrew Weil. She is an internationally recognized leader in integrative medicine and co-author of Integrative Women’s Health. Victoria offers the women the knowledge they need to ask questions, partner with their doctors, and understand integrative/complementary options in cancer treatment, including nutrition.

Linda SparroweLinda Sparrowe, former editor-in-chief of Yoga International, has helped bring the ancient teachings of yoga to women facing modern day challenges. On the board of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, Linda leads workshops, writes about, and speaks nationally on the topic of yoga and women’s health. Her books include A Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health, Yoga At Home, and YogaMama.


Alumnae Faculty Teachers


Jemi Steele began her meditation practice as a teenager in the 70’s; spent years doing solitary retreats and living in Nepal in the 80’s; and completed a traditional 3-year Buddhist retreat in the 90’s. Her overseas experience led her to get an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language, which she taught in elementary schools for almost 20 years. She runs a small non-profit, Norbulingka Dog Hospice, to rescue and care for elderly/special needs dogs facing euthanasia in animal shelters.  She is also a cancer survivor.

Bailey-Dorton_Chasse_LC (1)Chasse Bailey-Dorton, MD, MSPH completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She has also completed training at the Benson-Henry Mind-Body Institute and the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. She is currently Chief of Integrative Oncology at the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, NC. She is the mother of 3 nearly grown children, married to the best guy in the world and is herself a 16-year cancer survivor.


AnnBraden (1)Ann Braden, CYT, E-RYT500, holds certifications in yoga therapy from Loyola Marymount University, Yoga of the Heart and the yoga4cancer program. Her light-hearted teaching style combines breath, movement and an invitation to root down, rise up and grow love as you learn to relax deeply, move well and connect with your inner healing resources. A 5-year cancer survivor herself, Ann created Lovetree Essentials, an apothecary line of organic skincare that supports inner & outer self care.