- Dedicated to bringing mindfulness and compassion to organizations and individuals in order to help people grow and thrive in work, school, society, and life.
- Committed to developing innovative, meaningful, and effective programs and delivering them in a caring, safe, and supportive learning environment.
- Aspiring to foster a more compassionate culture, resilient population, and peaceful world.
*Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher
*Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher
UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute
*Certified Mindfulness Teacher Professional Level,
International Mindfulness Teachers Association
*Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist,
National Wellness Institute
Christy Cassisa, JD
Founder and Executive Director
Christy founded The Institute for Mindful Works with the intent to provide empirically- supported trainings to help people lead happier, healthier, and more productive lives. After almost a decade in corporate America, she started a family, was knocked flat by post-partum depression, and realized she desperately needed a change. Fortunately, she discovered mindfulness meditation in 2010 during a weekend retreat at a Zen Buddhist Training Center and experienced the transformational effects of the practice for herself. This experience offered her the unique opportunity to live her passion and reboot her life and career. Sharing mindfulness with others has since become her passion and lifework.
Christy has developed and taught mindfulness-based programs and workshops for leaders, employees, and teams, both for the Institute and for the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. She founded and directed the Work-Life Integration Programs as part of the leadership team for the CFM, and was a senior teacher there for 8 years. Her past client engagements include a wide variety of organizations, including non-profits, schools, law firms, and multi-national corporations. She also offers retreats, custom programs, and workshops, blending principles of mindfulness, self-compassion, emotional intelligence, and wellness.
Christy’s previous professional life also includes Account Management with Thomson Reuters, work in Higher Ed administration at the University of San Diego School of Law, and the longest two years of her life actually practicing law. Christy graduated with a JD from the University of Missouri, Columbia School of Law and a BS in Life Sciences from the Missouri University of Science & Technology. Christy is a Certified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute and the International Mindfulness Teachers Association and has been trained to teach the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program. She is also a Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist through the National Wellness Institute.
Christy currently serves as a Regional Director with Inner Explorer, a non-profit dedicated to sharing their cutting-edge Mindfulness-Based Social Emotional Learning (MBSEL) platform with K-12 schools. She feels that the future of our planet depends on cultivating a more mindful and compassionate human population, and feels privileged to support such meaningful work through all ages.
Christy lives with her husband and two daughters in San Diego, CA. Her family helped lead her to mindfulness, and continue to remind her every day of the challenge and joy of being present.
Retreat Partner- Paul Sugar
Paul is the founder and Director of the Scottsdale Institute for Health and Medicine. Paul completed the advanced MBSR teacher training in 1994 at the Center for Mindfulness pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is a Certified MBSR instructor through the Center for Mindfulness at the UCSD School of Medicine. In addition, he is a Mentor for the MBSR certification candidates there. He has taught over 80- 8 week MBSR and MBCT programs and has delivered hundreds of mindfulness based workshops for over 20 years .He has taught mindfulness in the health care, corporate, academic, sports and private sectors. Paul has been practicing and teaching meditation, yoga and tai chi for over 40 years. Paul’s MBSR classes offer nursing, acupuncture and bodyworker CEU. Continuing education credits are also accepted by a number of other professional organizations.
In 1998 Paul created the Attention Academy school program which became a seminal study for the development of mindfulness in the schools. He has also spearheaded a number of mindfulness based research studies in the healthcare field. In his role as a business entrepreneur he is a health care management professional, has founded and operated a number of highly successful service related businesses in the healthcare field and serves on the Board of Directors of three mindfulness based non profit organizations. Beyond combining management, financial, and marketing skills to maximize the growth of these organizations, Paul has applied the principles of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Peak Performance to create a uniquely effective business model.
The Institute partners with Paul for retreats.