May 2012 Featured Friend: Sarah McLean

About Sarah

Sarah McLean is an inspiring contemporary meditation teacher who makes meditation accessible to everyone. She has spent much of her life exploring the world’s spiritual and mystic traditions, and has worked with some of today’s great teachers, including Deepak Chopra, Byron Katie, Debbie Ford, and Gary Zukav.

She’s lived and studied in a Zen Buddhist monastery, meditated in ashrams and temples throughout India and the Far East, spent time in Afghan refugee camps, bicycled the Silk Route from Pakistan to China, trekked the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia, and taught English to Tibetan Buddhist Nuns in Dharamsala.

She’s the author of the new book released in May 2012 by Hay House, Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation.


Sarah McLean has been teaching meditation and mind/body health programs since the early 90’s. She served as the Education Director for the Chopra Center for Well Being in San Diego. And is the founding director of the Sedona Meditation Training Company (, and The McLean Meditation Institute ( These educational companies offer meditation training, self-discovery retreats, and teacher training certification programs that have transformed thousands of lives, and have earned her the praise of her peers and students.

Sarah’s  interest in mind/body health began with her training as a medic and behavioral specialist in the U.S. Army in the 1980s where she treated post traumatic stress disorder in soldiers who had been affected. She could see how the mind and body are connected and greatly influence each other, and saw firsthand and how stress can impair one’s functioning and enjoyment of life. Though in the 80s, mind/body medicine was still relatively unheard of, it was compelling to Sarah.

Though she learned meditation in college, it wasn’t until 1990 when she began her formal daily meditation practice and her work with mind/body health pioneer, Dr. Deepak Chopra. For over eight years, she was employed by him, first as an educator at the Ayurveda Health Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts, and later when they relocated to Southern California, she was one of the founding directors of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. She was one of his first certified educators, to teach meditation and mind/body health programs. Sarah also has had the good fortune of promoting and studying\with best-selling authors Debbie Ford, author of The Secrets of the Shadow, and Margot Anand, author of Everyday Ecstasy as well as many other notable thought-leaders.

During the eight years Sarah worked with Deepak Chopra, she was immersed in the studies  and practices of Ayurvedaan ancient mind/body healing approach which suggests that health and healing begins with awareness, or consciousness, and that meditation is the first step towards creating balance in the mind and body. Ayurveda includes healing modalities such as aligning daily and seasonal routines with nature’s rhythms, taste and diet therapies, mindful exercise, herbal remedies, identifying mind/body types (doshas) and mind/body imbalances, deep purification therapies, sound therapy, aroma therapy, color therapy, and so much more.

In 1997, after a six month sabbatical travelling in India – meditating in ashrams and teaching English to Tibetan Buddhist nuns, – Sarah returned to the states. For almost two years was a resident and Tenzo (cook) at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center, a Zen Buddhist training center in the San Jacinto mountains of Southern California. . There, she spent days and weeks at a time in silence and meditation. After leaving the monastic life, she went on to serve as the personal assistant to Gary Zukav, author of Seat of the Soul, and practiced the principles of spiritual partnership. In 2000, she went to serve Byron Katie as director of Katie’s School of the Work, and travelled worldwide as Katie shared the self-inquiry process called The Work in the 10-day schools.

In 2001, Sarah moved to Sedona, Arizona and eventually founded the Sedona Meditation Training Company, and McLean Meditation Institute, organizations  providing meditation training and immersion retreats, and cutting edge teacher training programs. She has chosen some fantastic instructors and facilitators to work with her to provide the programs offered year-round.

Personal Journey

Sarah is often called the face of mainstream meditation and is a sought-after presenter in the personal growth arena and in corporate environments. Recognized in 2008 by National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as a trailblazer, Sarah’s organization offers meditation programs that demystify meditation -making it accessible to anyone. She was voted Arizona’s favorite meditation leader by readers of Natural Awakenings in 2010. She is often invited to lead self-discovery retreats and programs at world class spas such as Miraval Resort in Tucson, and to share her work with organizations such as Proctor & Gamble, Young Presidents’ Organizations, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Sarah is also frequent contributor to health and lifestyle publications and is invited as a guest on morning television shows where she shares her passion about mind/body health, creativity, and self awareness. She is dedicated to supporting those who want to find happiness, fulfilling lives, better health, inner peace, and ways to manage stress.

Sarah is an advocate for the environment: she served on the board of a local environmental organization Keep Sedona Beautiful a group dedicated to preserving the wonder of Sedona, and was the recipient of the Sustainable Arizona Service Leadership Award. She is committed to being a green business too. From implementing green programs in her companies including insistence on using recycled paper, packaging CDs in recycled packaging, and shopping locally, Sarah also donates proceeds from her programs and products to organizations committed to saving wildlands and preserving natural resources.


To find out how you can enhance your mind/body health and self-awareness, you can contact Sarah in one of the following ways:

On the site you can sign up for Sarah’s monthly newsletter, Inward Bound, or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

PHONE: (928) 204-0067

MAIL: Sarah McLean, PO Box 1178, Sedona, Arizona  86339.