Teen Journey Leaders
Jonathan is a skilled teacher, trainer and workshop facilitator who has been volunteering for youth camps that promote self-discovery and rites of passage in various forms for over 12 years. He has worked with tremendous mentors such as Sandy Levey-Lunden of On Purpose and Diederik Wolsak of the Choose Again Society, and has made personal growth and the practice of compassion an integral part of his professional life. Familiar with both the practical day-to-day tasks of the corporate world and the necessary personal and spiritual development of the internal world, Jonathan brings a dual awareness of practicality and mindful practice to the Teen Journey Society’s quest to help young people come into their own.
Catherine is a dedicated mother, a media producer, and a spiritual seeker. She was born in Quebec and educated in legal studies at Laval University where she holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B). She has also trained in conflict resolution at the BC Justice Institute. At the age of 23 she had her first experience with meditation, and went on to spend three months in India in the ashram of spiritual teacher Osho. Her spiritual search led her to meet with Eckhart Tolle in 1998 whose teachings were instrumental in the deepening of her inner journey. In 2011 she discovered Teen Journey. She realized the program was providing the youth with what she had been yearning for herself as an adolescent, and could not find. Catherine’s vision is to empower youth with the tools to discover who they are so they can contribute their gifts to the world and become inspiring leaders in their communities.
Dr Devon Christie
Devon is a visionary medical doctor who is passionate about how healing weaves into the journey of self-realization. From her own early health struggles in her teens, she discovered that there was more to wellness that the conventional system offered, so she became a doctor in order to “be the change” within her profession. Devon first became involved with Teen Journey as a doctor and mentor for the international teen journey trip to Gaden Monastery, India, in 2012. She was deeply affected by the death of Daniel Rezmer less than 1 year later, which catalyzed her calling dedicate her volunteer time to Teen Journey. Devon acknowledges a need for healing the culture and society, which must begin with each person and especially with supporting youth, our leaders of tomorrow.
Zamir is an interdisciplinary artist and producer who has been involved with Teen Journey from the beginning. Starting as a mentor, he is now on the Board of Directors and deeply involved with the program development and vision of the organization. His passion is supporting youth in being authentic, in discovering their gifts, and finding meaningful ways to use them in service to themselves, their communities and the planet. To learn more about Zamir, visit his website: www.zamir.co
A true cultural liaison and an enthusiastic ambassador for the African culture, Jacky’s passion for her culture inspired her to become a professional dancer, dance teacher, storyteller, trainer, speaker, and TV- and radio-show host. She uses dance as a medium to express life to its fullest and also as a journey to a higher level of consciousness.
She loves to share the traditions, history and culture of Africa, and the wisdom of her ancestors. She believes that the Western world can benefit from the ancient wisdom of indigenous people. Jacky truly carries the spirit of the village in her heart and shares it wherever she goes; for many years, she has worked with Teen Journey to bring this village vibe into the camp. This year she will be working with the leadership team to co-create the most authentic and integrated Teen Journey village to date.
Joé is a true lover of the natural world. From a young age he began a deep relationship, or what he calls “alliances” with nature that have continued to grow and inform his path over the years. Joé is a living embodiment of natural self-sufficiency, who is comfortable at land or at sea with whatever is available. He has built his own canoes and sailboats, cob homes, wood homes, primitive structures and ice-caves. His plant medicine knowledge and survival skills with fire, knives, ropes and other implements have been honed from many years of wilderness adventures locally and internationally, complimented by a deeply honed intuition that can sense the messages of the land. As a dynamic teacher and phenomenal chef to boot, Joé has been a powerful member of the Teen Journey team for 3 years running.
Sasha is a wizard who specializes in the healing arts. With over 13 years of practice and working with people of all ages, he has honed his ability to communicate with the intelligence of nature. He is passionate about teaching others simple ways they too can communicate intuitively with their own inner guidance and collaborate with the natural intelligence inherent in all of life.
Sasha recognizes that people sense their inner experience in a variety of ways including visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic inputs. By helping individuals to connect with their unique style, he helps them uncover and make conscious their innate gifts and strengths. Sasha’s practice incorporates muscle testing, vibrational medicine, Brain Gym, shamanism, Harmony Integration, meditative inquiry and a variety of other healing modalities. Sasha is the father of 3 boys and he is keenly interested in understanding and assisting boys with the transition from boyhood to man. At Teen Journey Camp he will be teaching kinesiology muscle testing and energy tune-ups. He will also be available as a mentor and guide.
Eli is an adventurer who has carved a unique path in life and shares how others can do the same. From a very young age, Eli has been exploring methods to obtain a deep understanding of the body/mind, human behaviour and consciousness. Eli has traveled to over 500 cities in 50 countries and lived in a Buddhist Monastery, a Yogic Ashram and studied with Indigenous Medicine People. A modern day polymath Eli has worked as a fitness trainer, an actor, a circus artist, a businessman, a home builder, a outdoor leader, an auctioneer and a facilitator for youth and adults. Eli is excited to bring all his skills to teen journey from work on indigenous dreaming, to rites of passage for boys and may even teach you how to spin fire if you ask him.
Kristen is an adventurer, dreamer, world-traveller, health-seeker, and nature-lover. She has travelled the globe solo with a backpack, worked abroad, attended school in Switzerland, and tested her physical and mental endurance in multi-sport adventure races and the Penticton Ironman Triathlon. Kristen’s life in athletics inspired her to study extensively both mind and body in her 2 degrees at UBC: Bachelor of Psychology & Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. Since completing her Physical Therapy Degree, Kristen has been drawn to study various alternative healing modalities, including Craniosacral Therapy, Breathwork (Rebirthing), Bioenergy Therapy – the Domancic Method, Transcendental Meditation and Indigenous Dreaming and the Medicine Wheel.
Buckman is a dedicated musician and activist, with roots in wilderness therapy, counselling, and the study of geopolitics. He sees his music as a responsibility to serve the human spirit, and his music is a reflection of his belief that people need to claim their power and that a harmonious world is possible.
He is excited to get involved with Teen Journey and rekindle his love of working with young people. Buckman studied wilderness therapy at Naropa University because he realized that we need to rediscover our connection with nature and each other to find peace and the strength to create the change within and without. At Teen Journey’s summer program, he will share practices of mindful connection to nature and encourage the creative impulse through music and art. To learn more about Buckman, visit www.buckmancoe.com.
Michele Labelle has been described by Dr G Lazare at BC Children’s hospital at the soul-healer for the ward. She has been meditating for over 18 years and Paramahansa Yogananda has been one of her principle teachers. Her career in Respiratory Therapy for over 16 years gave her a unique view on the breath. She has enjoyed teaching Yoga since 2003.
Her passion for teaching to teens started when she volunteered for Yoga Outreach at Burnaby Youth Secure for over 7 years. This led her to initiate a program in adolescent mental health and eating disorders at BC Children’s Hospital. Her styles of yoga include Hatha, Restorative, Yin, Flow and Kundalini. She loves to teach in a safe and fun way that honours all abilities.
What she will bring to the teens at Teen Journey is a sense of being honoured, grounded, and self-assured in their body through breathing practices and an awareness of the physical practices of yoga. The teens will have access to tools that will empower them in life when needed.
Parent Journey Leaders
Ela Rezmer, Co-Leader
The vision of Teen Journey came to Ela Rezmer in a remarkable and unexpected call from her heart to create a community where teens could fully explore and discover themselves, their talents and their value.
The necessity of continuing Teen Journey was reinforced by the shocking loss of one of her son’s closest friends, a brilliant student and talented young man who committed suicide at age 17. No one realized the depth of his confusion and isolation. More than ever, Ela was determined to continue creating a program to support young people from all walks of life.
Ela began gathering people who are passionately committed to themselves and their inner journey; people who also have the desire to share their gifts and wisdom with teens. These mentors help and guide young people through their own personal journey of self discovery. Without hesitation these leaders came to Teen Journey giving their time, their stories, and their inspiration, consisting of elders from First Nations around Vancouver as well as elders from Africa and Peru – people committed to bridging tribal wisdom with modern culture.
Ela brings to Teen Journey leadership that is led from the heart with clarity and trust. Her passions stem from a multitude of projects always coming from a place of love. Her greatest desire is to invite everyone to create communities that expand consciousness through self inquiry. As a lifelong explorer of self-inquiry, Ela has studied with and been initiated by some of the world’s most renowned, international spiritual leaders including: the Dalai Lama, Dr. Carlos de León, Dr. Vernon Woolf, Juan Ruiz Naupari, and Mantak Chia amongst others.
Mahara Brenna, Co-Leader
Mahara is a Holistic Health Educator, Couples Conflict Mediator and Registered Multi-Faith Minister. For the past 30 years Mahara has specialized in emotional and spiritual healing with a process she has evolved called Holistic Rebirthing, the healing of the emotional pain body and fragmented mind, in order to deepen the inner relationship and connection with Self and others. Mahara was one of the Teen Journey mentors at the original Teen Journey in 2009, and is very excited to be co-facilitating the Parent Journey with Ela Rezmer this summer.