Why INSIGHT Idyllwild?

Insight is defined as the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding, the power or act of apprehending the inner nature of things. INSIGHT Idyllwild is an organizing umbrella for experiences in meditation and mindfulness practices that promote and support appreciation of our lives with vision, inspiration, creativity and loving awareness.

INSIGHT Idyllwild offers both (1) distinctively Buddhist forms and teachings and (2) secular-based mindfulness practices with the intention of making the benefits of settling the mind and deepening one’s appreciation of life available to as broad a range of people as is possible.


Valerie Kyoshin Velez is a graduate of the Training in Mindfulness Facilitation Program through the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at UCLA, and an affiliate teacher for UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Practices course.

Ms. Velez is also a Dharma Holder in the White Plum lineage of Japanese Zen Buddhism, and has practiced and trained in Zen as a lay practitioner. She has lived at Zen Centers in Salt Lake City and in the San Jacinto Mountains, and has practiced extensively in residential retreats since 1983.

Ms. Velez holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Education from U.C. Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences from U.C. Davis. She has overseen programs related to tobacco, drug, alcohol and violence prevention for the Hemet Unified School District since 1992, and helped pioneer the implementation of a mindfulness initiative for student and staff wellness in 2017. She lives in Idyllwild, California, where she organizes both Buddhist and secular-based programs, classes and events under the umbrella of Insight Idyllwild. She has led the Idyllwild Community Zen group there since 2009. Her intention is to offer meditation, mindfulness practices and movement (hiking, wilderness, yoga) in an effort to support individuals and cultivate community in making the benefits of mindful practices available and relevant to as broad an audience as is possible.

Ms. Velez is also a thirty plus year resident of the Idyllwild community, who knows the trails and wilderness in the area well. She is an avid hiker, backpacker and lover of nature and wilderness.


Kate Sirkin is a yoga teacher and a personal trainer and is a collaborator in the work of Insight Idyllwild.








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