Team

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Jan Birchfield

Jan weaves together psychology, spirituality, shamanic and contemplative practice and is a long-time practitioner of meditation. She enjoys incorporating practices that explore the unlimited nature of consciousness into her work.   

Jan has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the College of Wooster and a Ph.D. in psychology from Fordham University. From 2004 until 2009, she had the honor of working under the tutelage of the late David LaChapelle, drawing on his broad and deep knowledge of spiritual traditions and practices from around the world. In 2007, David initiated Jan into a shamanic practice. She then attended the Four Winds Residential Energy Training Program to augment her practice.

In 1995 Jan co-founded the Center for Advanced Emotional Intelligence, a leadership development company. In 2011, she founded Contemplative Leadership Development and opened a retreat center in Taos, New Mexico.

Jan blogs for the Huffington Post, Huffington Post/Brazil, Medium, and Thrive Global. She has written several articles for Forbes and recently published a book titled Silent Leaders. A second book ~ Wing of Effort, Wing of Grace ~ will be published in 2019.

Also visit Contemplative Leadership Development


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Dillon Tisdel

Dillon is a plant-based chef, spiritual practitioner and mama of three. She is the woman behind the food at Antara and sees retreat meals as potential vehicles for healing. She discovered her passion for cooking while living on the Big Island of Hawaii, studying with spiritual teacher, David LaChapelle. She began to cook for David’s retreats and in that process discovered a deep place of resonance. After a year on the island, immersing herself in spirituality, healing, food and the connection between them, she headed to New York City to study food and healing at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, graduating in 2008. After culinary school, Dillon worked at Mas (farmhouse), a Michelin starred restaurant in Greenwich Village. 

Having lived with chronic digestive issues, Dillon became fascinated with using food as medicine and took a deep dive into ayurveda, the sister science of yoga. Using the ancient wisdom of ayurveda as her guide, she devoted herself to her own healing, eventually resolving her long-standing health issues. Ayurveda remains a guiding force behind the food philosophy at Antara. In 2014, Dillon graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and in 2015, she started Oh, Holy Basil, a plant-based food blog. In 2017 she established PLANTFEAST, a plant-based community dinner series. You can find Dillon making mantra-infused meals in the Antara kitchen, chasing children around the land and immersing herself in the study of ayurveda,  biodynamic agriculture, and medicinal plants.

Also visit  Oh Holy Basil (food blog)  •  Instagram


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Finn Runyon

Antara thrives because of the behind-the-scene care of Finn Runyon. Finn was also a student of David LaChapelle. He was instrumental in bringing in the vision for the retreat space and participated in its renovation. He gardens, tends the bees, arranges flowers, mops, greets guests, fixes the roof, the plumbing, the irrigation system, and the one thousand things that malfunction throughout the year. He tends to the casita, takes guests on tours of Taos, tiles, paints, works with cloth, keeps the acequia running, helps with the grandchildren, and holds sacred space in ceremony. When time allows, he turns his gifted hands to woodworking and other acts of creation and beauty. And when we are really lucky, he sits in circle, holding a deep and compassionate silence.