My Teacher Training, Experience and Approach

Teacher Training  

  • Practitioner of mindfulness meditation for the past 12 years and teacher for the past 4 years to individuals and organizations in person and online.
  • Certified by the 2 year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program taught by world-renowned senior teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, in partnership with Greater Good Science Center at University of California Berkeley and the Awareness Training Institute, completed in February 2021.
  • Continuous teacher training with Tara and Jack, as well as new teachers such as Oren Jay Sofer and Alison Cohen.

Teaching Experience

Public and communities

Businesses and organizations

  • Teaching morning meditation sessions every day at the European Court of Auditors (an EU organization) since April 2021.
  • Teaching weekly meditation sessions to a tech start-up, Visage since August 2021.
  • Experienced at bringing small mindfulness practices into the workplace. As a business leader at tech startups for 11 years, closely familiar with the fast pace of the business world and the big difference these practices can make in happiness as well as performance of teams.

Teaching Approach

  • Trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive as traumatic stress is estimated to impact close to 90% of the population
  • Establishing mindful & multicultural communication guidelines to create safe learning environments
  • Making wellness accessible to all by allowing to pay what you can afford to pay
  • Multi-lingual as needed; English - Turkish - French
  • Focusing on real-world applications of mindfulness; bringing the practice alive by integrating it into daily life
  • Focusing on direct experience of concepts
  • Sharing and learning from others in small groups
  • Moving from scientific evidence and using science to trust in the practice
  • Bringing teachings to life with literature and stories from many walks of life

You can read more about my approach in my manifesto on everyday wellness.

About Me

I'm born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, and after receiving an American education here, I have spent my university years in St. Louis, US (Washington University in St. Louis).

I moved to France 5 years ago. My French partner and I live near Valence at the moment - we plan to move to Nice later this year and I'm looking forward to being by the sea again! 😊

I consider myself a blend of Turkish, American, and French cultures. My gender pronouns are she/her/hers. I care deeply about multiculturalism and I make it a big part of all my work and communities.

Read more about me here.

My Mindfulness Story

Mindfulness meditation came into my life 12 years ago, at a moment of deep grief and depression due to the sudden death of my father. I was 21 years old at the time. Over the past 12 years, my mindfulness practice has  

  • helped me go from a depressed, highly anxious person, to a happier and calmer person who finds a lot of enjoyment in life.
  • helped me heal from traumatic experiences such as violence at home when I was growing up.
  • taught me that I live in a wise human body, my mind tells a lot of funny stories, and my heart is richer than I ever imagined!
  • helped me become more resilient - I now feel more equipped and held when I go through the difficult moments in life.
  • taught me to respond instead of react - I've seen that if I take a moment to accept the reality of what is here and now, I could show up to take action in the world or within myself with more kindness, fierceness and effectiveness.
  • anchored me  in the present moment rather than in the past, the future, or in my never-ending to do list.
  • shown me that I could love myself the way I am, and I could make the choice 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.
  • helped me find my center, protect my boundaries and meet my own needs. I've seen that everyone is happier when I don't cancel myself out for the sake of others.
  • made me so much more effective in other areas of my life, such as when I show up as a manager and leader in the business world, or when I interact with my life partner. Interestingly, I made a big leap in these "other" areas of my life when I practiced more mindfulness.
  • taught me that all of human interaction and communication at work, home, friendships, society... is about the clear seeing and kind expression of observations, feelings, needs and requests.

Thanks to my practice, I have so much more presence, awareness, kindness, compassion, equanimity, and joy.

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 live fuller, more joyful lives.

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: