Lama Marut (a.k.a. Brian K. Smith) is extensively trained in the spiritual traditions of India and Tibetan Buddhism.  He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion and taught for over two decades in the academic world, first at Columbia University and later at the University of California, where he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2004.

He has served for the past sixteen years as a spiritual teacher to students around the world, and is currently the Spiritual Director for “Middle Way Centers” located in North America, Australia, and Singapore.

In addition to several scholarly studies and translations based on Sanskrit materials, he is the author of the popular and award-winning book, A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life and of Be Nobody (both published by Beyond Words).  His frequently posted audio and video podcasts reach hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

With his unique mixture of erudition and earthiness, intensity and humor, conviction and openness, Lama Marut’s message is easily accessible and potentially life changing.

Visit Lama Marut’s website.


Cindy Lee has studied and practiced Buddha Dharma for 20 years and has also undergone intensive training in the classical texts of yoga and Hindu philosophy. With a Bachelor of Arts from Swinburne University and a Graduate Diploma in Electronic Design and Interactive Media, Cindy has taught as a university lecturer in film and media programs in Australia. She has produced video installations, short films and designed motion graphics for VJ’ing at electronic music festivals. As an artist Cindy’s teaching and practice is inspired by creativity; utilizing mythical archetype and the power of storytelling, leading kirtan and singing, and recalling training in dance, martial arts and yoga to inspire an energetic, visceral approach that encourages embodied awareness and integration with our true nature. She continues to offer Dharma and Yoga philosophy at retreats and workshops worldwide, and develop multimedia projects that are created with the intention to awaken wild, deep and consciously connected living. Visit Cindy’s website.


Shadi Mogadime has been a student of many modalities in 30+ years of spiritual and personal growth exploration. Her deepest dive is in Buddhist studies, many years of which have been under the tutelage of Lama Marut and Cindy Lee. She feels privileged to have spent her professional career supporting the mission of many great causes through raising money and doing marketing in the charitable sector. Her current focus is building a business that helps grow enterprises that have a double bottom line of profit and social impact within the model a for-profit business.


Kris Karuna is a dharma student and co-founder of Provita – a company that provides on-demand wellness and has organized wellness events at Mysteryland Woodstock, Robot Heart & Soul Burning Man, Wonderfruit Thailand. He has taught his Open Ocean program, which combines ocean based meditation, beach yoga and soul surfing with his wife Danielle Karuna at Wanderlust Hawaii and with Soho House. Kris works as a music talent agent with artists like Moby and is excited about where spiritual practices can elevate consciousness by merging with action sports, technology platforms, martial arts, immersive experiences, festivals and other flow activities.


Holger Wolff has studied with Lamas Cindy Lee and Marut for 10 years and completed the advanced courses in 2016. He teaches open and advanced courses in Munich. During those 10 years he and his business partner grew their IT consulting business from $2.5 million to $30+ million in sales per year. He currently employs 400 consultants and software engineers and enjoys a happy financial life. He has been happily married for 25 years and lives with his wife and two sons in Munich. He enjoys bicycle riding, motorcycles and being lazy.


Molly Dahl is a teacher and enthusiast of many things: Spanish language and literature, English, yoga, meditation, Buddhism, and principles of spiritual living and living a happier life. She is certified to teach Integral Yoga, Tibetan Heart Yoga and Meditation, and Cultivating Emotional Balance. She holds a professional Certificate in Positive Psychology from the Wholebeing Institute. She teaches workshops and presents internationally and around the country on meditation, spirituality, yoga, Cultivating Emotional Balance, Positive Education, and Social Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace.


Dima has been working with his own spiritual confusion since his first introduction to Orthodox Judaism at age 12 during a summer camp in his hometown in Ukraine. Since then, he has graduated from a Jewish seminary, completed ACI Buddhist Study Courses and continues to study and practice paths to love and freedom. In his spare time, Dima designs software and consults on business, marketing and technology.


Lilia Mead has been teaching Yoga since 1996. After receiving her BA in dance and psychology from Bennington College she quickly discovered the power of the Path of Yoga. She has studied with Desikachar, Pattabhi Jois, Sharon Gannon, Rodney Yee, Ana Forrest and Genny Kapular. Since moving to LA with her family from Brooklyn, Lilia can be found studying with Lisa Walford, Chris Stein, Cindy Lee and Lama Marut. Lilia describes her teaching style as Ashtanga inspired, Iyengar informed and sprinkled with the ancient wisdom of both Master Patanjali and the Buddha Dharma.


Mojohito von Tchudi is an holistic health educator and coach, as well a meditation, Buddhist and yoga philosophy instructor. He has been working with medicinal plants for over ten years, and feels that plant-based preventative medicine is an ingredient critical to spiritual cultivation. Visit Mojohito’s website.


Maree Fowler is a wife and mother, a yoga and spiritual teacher, a high school teacher, and a health professional. She been studying Buddhism and yoga, for over ten years and is very grateful to her teachers Lama Marut and Cindy Lee for sharing their wisdom so perfectly. She is currently teaching yoga and a weekly Dharma group as well as co-directing Peace of Mind (POM). POM is a personal project which combines her spiritual studies with her passion for handicrafts, cooking and community service. ​​POM’s profits are used to support community projects and facilitate a sense of connection amongst communities.


Kate Potter and Eddie D’alfonso are not dance teachers but enthusiastic students enjoying music and deep companionship of others who share this with them. They look forward to meeting you all and sharing the fun of rock and roll dancing.




Enlightened Experience 2018 was a wonderful event! For questions or additional information, email retreat@middlewayla.org

Enter your email address below to be kept in the loop about the next event.