Apr 11, 2023

A live online conversation with psychologist Ann Friedman, Ph.D.; researcher and thought leader Jud Brewer, M.D., Ph.D.; Tibetan meditation master Geshe Tenzin Wangyal; and host Alejandro Chaoul-Reich, Ph.D. Learn more about the presenters below.

View live on Facebook to join the chat.

We welcome you to join us online as experts from the realms of science and spirituality share their best practices for living with and healing from anxiety. Nearly everyone is familiar with the sense of tension, worry, and insecurity that anxiety brings. When severe, anxiety can limit our daily activities. What is its ultimate source? Can we prevent or limit the symptoms? Are we better off ignoring them, or going closer to them? What role can meditation play?

“As a psychologist, having panic attacks brought me to my knees,” says panelist Ann Friedman. “Today, I consider it one of the blessings of my life, allowing me to find mindfulness, which helped me eliminate the panic attacks and minimize my anxiety.”

This CyberSangha broadcast is part of Month 2 in a free yearlong program of live online teachings, practices, and science & spirituality dialogs. Related events during the month include:

  • Tuesday, April 4, 12 noon New York time: “Embracing Anxiety, Cultivating Calmness,” a live online teaching and guided meditation with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.
    View recording
  • Wednesday, April 5, 10 a.m. New York time: 24-Hour Full Moon Practice, “Embracing Anxiety, Cultivating Calmness.” Opens with a meditation guided by Alejandro Chaoul-Reich.
    Registration closed

About the Presenters


Jud Brewer, M.D., Ph.D. (“Dr. Jud”) is a New York Times best-selling author and thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery,” having more than 25 years’ combined experience in mindfulness training and related scientific research. He is the director of research and innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in behavioral and social sciences and psychiatry at the Schools of Public Health & Medicine at Brown University. He is also the executive medical director of behavioral health at Sharecare Inc. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. His work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Forbes, BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera (documentary about his research), Businessweek and others. Dr. Brewer founded MindSciences (which merged with Sharecare Inc. in 2020) to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for anxiety, eating, smoking and other behavior change into the hands of consumers. He is the author of The Craving Mind (Yale University Press, 2017) and the New York Times best-seller Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind (Avery/Penguin Random House, 2022).
More about Dr. Jud and his work | Follow him on Twitter


Ann Friedman, Ph.D., is the director of curriculum for the Mind Body Spirit Institute of The Jung Center of Houston. Ann received her certification in mindfulness facilitation from the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA in 2015, and her certification in cognitively based compassion training from the Center for Contemplative Studies and Compassion Based Ethics at Emory University. She teaches mindfulness to children, teens and adults, both one-on-one and through classes at the Jung Center, the Houston Health Museum, and Rothko Chapel. Ann also provides trainings internationally for businesses, nonprofits, schools, and accounting and law firms. She taught across southeast Texas following Hurricane Harvey and was sent by UNICEF and Mental Health America of Greater Houston to Florida and Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricanes. For 10 years Ann served as adjunct professor in the University of Houston (UH) Counseling Psychology Graduate Program. She holds both a doctorate in counseling psychology and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from UH. She completed her internship in clinical psychology at University of Texas Medical School and her post-doctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at Baylor College of Medicine. An active community volunteer, Ann is married to attorney J. Kent Friedman. They have five children and eight grandchildren. Ann loves to spend her time in nature and to read.
More about Ann Friedman

Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is an acclaimed author and a respected teacher of students worldwide. He completed an 11-year course of traditional studies at the Bön Dialectic School at Menri Monastery near Dolanji, India, and was awarded his geshe degree in 1986. He now lives as a householder, and has been living and teaching in the West for more than 30 years. As the founder and spiritual director of Ligmincha International, he has established numerous centers and institutes of learning in the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe and India. He regularly offers online teachings in the form of live webcasts, online workshops and YouTube videos, and is renowned for his clear, engaging teaching style and his dedication to making the ancient Tibetan teachings highly accessible and relevant to the lives of Westerners. His many books include Awakening the Luminous Mind: Tibetan Meditation for Inner Peace and Joy and The True Source of Healing: How the Ancient Tibetan Practice of Soul Retrieval Can Transform and Enrich Your Life (Hay House, 2015).
More about Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche


Alejandro Chaoul-Reich, Ph.D. (host) serves as director of research for Ligmincha International. He has studied in the Tibetan traditions since 1989, and for nearly 30 years in the Bön Tradition with Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche, and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. He holds a Ph.D. in Tibetan religions from Rice University and is the director of the Mind Body Spirit Institute at the Jung Center of Houston. For the last 20 years he has been teaching and researching the benefits of Tibetan mind-body practices for people touched by cancer. He is a Contemplative Fellow at the Mind & Life Institute, and is the author of Chöd Practice in the Bön Tradition (Snow Lion, 2009), Tibetan Yoga for Health & Well-Being (Hay House, 2018), and Tibetan Yoga: Magical Movements of Body, Breath, and Mind (Wisdom Publications, 2021).