My Mindfulness Story & Background As Teacher

I've been practicing mindfulness for the past 9 years and teaching it for the past year to individuals and businesses in Paris and online. I am a teacher in training with world-renowned teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, and will complete my 2 year certification program in February 2021. In 2019, I've taught Introduction to Mindfulness to 47 students and built a mindfulness community called Mudita.

Mindfulness has been the most helpful wellness practice for me over the years. It has decreased my stress, increased my resilience, deepened my awareness and compassion for myself and others. Through my mindfulness practice, I've learned more about my reactivity. I've learned that there is always a story I tell myself about what is going on and then, there is really what is going on. I've learned that once I accepted the reality of what is here and now, I could respond differently. Mindfulness has made me more present, more anchored in the current moment, and less in the past, the future, or in my never-ending to do list.

Through mindfulness, I've learned and am still learning to love myself with my shortcomings, and to not take anyone out of my heart. I've understood that there are no bad humans, only humans suffering, and we can choose to constantly forgive ourselves and each other.

As a teacher, I now have the privilege of witnessing how others benefit from these basic understandings of mindfulness, how they open their hearts, and find fuller, more present, joyful lives.

Being born and raised in Istanbul, and having lived in St. Louis, US for 4 years and in Paris for 3 years, I consider myself a blend of Turkish, American and French cultures. I speak Turkish, English and (an improving) French. My gender pronouns are she/her/hers. I care deeply about multiculturalism and I make it a big part of all my classes and communities.

My teaching approach is:

  • Focusing on real-world applications of mindfulness
  • Focusing on direct experience of concepts
  • Sharing and learning from others in small groups
  • Moving from scientific evidence
  • Bringing teachings to life with literature and stories
  • Making wellness accessible to all by asking participants to pay what they can afford to pay
  • Creating safe learning environments with mindful & multicultural communication guidelines

Read more about me here, and read my manifesto on everyday wellness.

Student Reviews

So perfect as an introduction course, it opened my mind to new concepts and ways of seeing life. I loved the spontaneity, humbleness, good energy during sessions. I left classes so light, peaceful and grateful. Thank you because I could pay what I could afford to pay and like that I was able to join the course. Love your recordings, your handouts, and all good energy you put into this course. I hope I can continue practicing what you taught even if 5 minutes a day. - Gabriela
I valued most the community, the joint learning, the feeling of intimacy and space while discovering new things about myself, the progress we've made without really feeling the pressure, the lovely and patient teacher, and the location. I salute your courage to help some "lost" souls finding their ways to a happier every day life! I feel blessed having you as my mindfulness teacher, and can't wait to practice with you again. - Julie
During the meditation course with Zeynep, I learned to break free from my own negative perceptions and self-evaluation which had me in state of paralysis and despair. As a result, I found myself opening up communication channels, finding clarity and understanding the power of compassion and feel more capable of forging my own pathways. - Verena
The course was wonderful, I just wished it would have lasted longer! This course succeeded my expectations (the clear and detailed handouts, the recordings, the practice sessions, the 3 hours retreat, and Zeynep's warmth). - Maria
It is very well organized course. The structure of the group and guidelines were so helpful. - Seren
Everything was thought out to the tiniest detail and very well organized! It was a beautiful course. I would consider joining a second course that builds up on this one. - Eda
I really liked this course and especially valued focusing on myself for a moment, and accepting myself and situations around me. - Alex
You explain everything so well and the course feels very balanced. It was a wonderful start of my journey to mindfulness. - Delia
The course is brilliant. I really enjoyed the course and was surprised that everything we’ve learned really works. I’d say this another step forward to a person I’d like to be thanks to you. Thank you Zeynep for your time and energy, I couldn’t wish better teacher or better quality of content. It was really great and inspiring. - Emilie
I really loved how open, kind and caring everyone was. It felt like a safe space from day one! - Gaby
I liked how everyone was very open to this course and welcoming. We all learned how to listen. - Antonio
It is a perfect and simple introduction to mindfulness. I really appreciated the content, the simplicity and the diversity of the people (the multicultural aspect). - Elige
This course is going to introduce you to a life-changing skill which will help you appreciate life + yourself. I'm so happy I got to connect with myself! I valued how kind and wonderful Zeynep was. She introduced it in such a beautiful way.  - Zara
A great introduction to mindfulness - inclusive and a very safe space. This course would have been an extremely useful addition to therapy for me a few years ago. - Sarah
Learning how to be kind to yourself gives you back your space. - Denise
This course gives a lot of useful tools to face life. - Florence
This course teaches a scientific method to practice meditation, creating new pathways in the brain to develop positive thinking by staying in the present, awareness and compassion. The course was well structured, the content was shared at a good pace and there was a nice balance between theory and practice. - Nadia
You made me come in touch with meditation in a friendly way and this is priceless! The course has given me a different perspective of what meditation is and made me want to go into the practice every day at any time without struggling. Getting more in touch with oneself, getting to know and explore the universe that resides within us without hesitating only closing the eyes. The way you teach makes it easy to follow meditation, to really work deep, and choose from different meditations based on what I feel like during any occasion.  - Mariana
The combination of theory and practice, the non-sectarian approach, the fact that it was a safe space. All of the above transformed the course and made it into more. Thank you! - Hamid

Here's Sandra, a student of the course in 2019:

Here's Mariana, a student of the course in 2019: