Claire Villarreal, a native of Fort Worth, TX, has been practicing and studying Buddhism since 1997. She graduated from Rice University with a degree in Religious Studies in 1999, including two years of Tibetan language study with Dawn Mountain co-founder Anne C. Klein. Next she traveled to Thailand where she trained with Buddhist monastics, focusing especially on cultivating mindfulness. Returning to Texas, Claire has taught mindfulness in a variety of settings in Fort Worth and Houston since 2004 and has been a doctoral student in Rice’s Religious Studies program since 2007. She defended her dissertation, on the interface between contemplative practice and philosophical developments in Tibet, in spring of 2015.