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Pawan Bareja, Ph.D.

I was born in Delhi, India to a tradition of meditation practice from an early age. I was moved to adopt mindfulness meditation in October 2001 after I had a blissful experience during walking meditation at Jack Kornfield’s introductory insight meditation retreat at Spirit Rock. Though I came to the US to study finance and still continue that work in the business world, my heart and soul are really in the Buddhist insight mediation world.


Since discovering mindfulness meditation in 2001, I have worked in service and healing work as a teacher, mentor, meditator, healer and always a student as there is so much to explore in mind, body, and spirit.

I explored various healing modalities for several years and I nearly quit my day job to go back to school to study them more formally when a friend gave me Peter Levine’s book “Waking the Tiger”: Healing Trauma – a body awareness approach to treating trauma.


As I read the book during a business trip in Brazil, my body began to release its physical stresses with movements and new energetic releases. With this new awareness of my body’s responses about my own traumas and stresses, I came home to the US and immediately enrolled for courses in Somatic Experiencing® training in 2002. A few months into my first year of the training, my teacher, Raja Selvam, invited me to co-ordinate and collaborate on the new Somatic Experiencing® training and exposed me to the same material twice – first as a student and then as an assistant – giving me a felt sense of this work in my own body.

Years later, when I faced an unexpected health challenge, my mindfulness practice helped me get through that difficult time. And Somatic Experiencing® helped me release the trauma before it lodged deeply into my body!

How I work
I empower my clients to use Somatic Experiencing® and mindfulness practices together to stay present and attuned to their non-verbal trauma symptoms and move through daily life grounded and settled in their bodies.

My experience with clients has shown that Somatic Experiencing® is a highly effective tool for working with trauma – releasing the excess energy bound up in the body, and releasing it in a safe, effective and contained way. When used together with mindfulness meditation practices, the combination is extremely helpful to clients in learning, containing and self-regulating their traumatic response outside of the personal session space. This empowers them to develop a relation with their trauma and slowly take over their own healing.

Mindfulness and Trauma Classes
I’ve been delighted and awed by the transformative power of combining Buddhist practices with trauma work. Mindfulness and Somatic Experiencing® are powerful when used together for healing of trauma. After years of practice combining the two, I have developed courses which will guide and teach students in the process of accessing their innate resiliency and inherent capacity to rebound and recover from overwhelming experiences.

These courses are taught at various locations including:
• Emergence Healing Arts Studio, San Francisco
• San Franisco Insight Center, San Francisco, CA
• Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA
• Esalan, Big Sur, CA

For more information on my upcoming offerings, please visit the Events page.

My experience:

Mindfulness trainings
-Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leadership graduate (2013)
-Spirit Rock Buddhist Ritual Minister (2010)
-Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher training (2009)

Mindfulness assisting by offering practice discussions to participants:
– Care Provider’s class taught by Phillip Moffitt at Spirit Rock Meditation Center (2003-2013)
– Introduction to Insight Meditation series taught by Jack Kornfield & Phillip Moffitt at Spirit Rock
– Introduction to Insight Meditation class series taught by Sally Clough at Spirit Rock
– Changes and Transitions workshop taught by Phillip Moffitt at Esalen (2003-2013)

Somatic trainings:
– Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing® training
– Certified Massage Therapist in Chinese Meridian Systems
– Sondra Ray’s Rebirthing training
– Kathy Kain’s Somatic Resilience and Developmental Trauma trainings Somatic assisting by offering personal sessions and case consultations to students:
– Somatic Experiencing® trainings at all 3 levels – Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced (2003-2011)
– Integral Somatic Psychology trainings in India (2010) and Berkeley, CA (2013/14).

Training outside of Mindfulness and Somatic Experience:
– Ph.D. in Economics from Clemson University, SC, USA.


About Pawan



“The way you hold me, consistent, compassionate, never wavering, is imprinting my system in a way I never got as a child. Thank you.”  – Jodi


“Pawan holds a very calming and safe space for everyone. She is so warm and enthusiastic. I also loved all the meditations and exercises she lead.”   Esalen student evaluation

“I think that Pawan’s manner and way of being with people, her honesty and human-ness and compassion and calmness were the most powerful aspects of the class experience. I liked her guided meditations.”  – Esalen student evaluation

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