About Us

The Mindful Center was created by a father-daughter team
– Jim DuVal and Michelle DuVal – with their programs and guided meditations refined over 25 years of meticulous practice, heartfelt effort, and the ever-giving lessons of meditation-in-action from the tens of thousands of Mindful Center students.  Jim DuVal interned with Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), at the UMASS Medical Center in 1991 after his own personal mindfulness meditation practice helped cure his ongoing, stress-related stomach issues.

Watch this short video to see some of the research on MBSR:

Two decades of published research indicates the majority of people who complete MBSR courses report:

  • Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
  • An increased ability to relax
  • Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  • Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • Improved self-esteem
  • An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations

Who We Are

Jim DuVal The Mindful Center was created by Jim DuVal in 1991 after the stress of his job landed him in the emergency room with debilitating stomach pain. When modern medicine couldn’t help…he began to meditate.  As his symptoms slowly disappeared, he devoted his life to meditation and became an intern at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center with Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn in his 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs.  On returning to New Mexico, Jim founded The Mindful Center (formerly The Mariah Institute) and began teaching meditation full time.  He retired from teaching in 2007, but continues to act as consultant.

home-welcome-imgMichelle DuVal, MA, is the current director of The Mindful Center, as well as the leading provider of Mindfulness Training in the Southwest United States, with her ongoing programs appearing in such top institutions as Presbyterian Hospitals, the University of New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratories, the New Mexico Heart Institute, the Albuquerque Public School system, Evolutions Family Counseling, and more.  Her skill in teaching comes not only from her training with some of the top meditation masters in the world, but also from years of learning and teaching with her father.  All of her programs are evidence based, steeped in research, and skillfully interweave the profundity of the practice and the humor of insight every step of the way.  She has been a featured speaker at numerous conventions, including the Presbyterian Medical/ Surgical symposium, the SIMPLE conference, the National Association of Social Workers convention, the OSLER symposium, the Leadership Development Institute and she is the leader of the meditation workshops for the Cancer Services of New Mexico bi-annual retreats as well as for the cardiac rehab programs at Presbyterian Healthplex.  In addition to Michelle’s current programs of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindful Eating, and Hearts and Minds, she also brings mindfulness trainings into work environments through her Mindfulness Based Workplace Workshops, programs and retreats. Past clients include the Department of Energy, UNM Child Services, Flying Star, Bohannan Huston, Yearout Mechanical, the Albuquerque Journal, the American Lung Assoc., the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc., and many others.  See training below.

You can reach Michelle at michelle@themindfulcenter.com

claudio_homepage_pixIn Knoxville:  Mindfulness Instructor Claudio Barrientos, BA, received five-years of immersive training in mindfulness meditation for health, healing and stress reduction at The Mindful Center in Albuquerque, NM before relocating to Knoxville, TN where he established The Mindful Center Knoxville in 2013.  Currently, Claudio teaches mindfulness meditation at Provision Health and Performance, part of Provision Health Alliance and the Provision Center for Proton Therapy. He also teaches mindfulness at Middle Path Counseling, a mental health clinic offering Dialectical Behavioral Training (DBT) in an intensive outpatient program.  His range of programs include the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, the six-week Mindful Eating and Cooking program, Day Course in Mindfulness Meditation, ongoing Weekly Guided Meditations, as well as Mindfulness-Based Workplace Workshops (MBWW) across Tennessee.  He has participated in the 10-day Vipassana meditation course, and professional retreats with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the Stress Reduction Clinic in the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.  Claudio received a BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of San Francisco and has a devoted personal meditation practice.

You can reach Claudio at: (865) 219-3210 or claudio@themindfulcenter.com  


Michelle DuVal received her training from the following doctors, neuroscientists, teachers and meditation masters, but received the bulk of her training from her father.

Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn: world renowned leader in mindfulness training and research through the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, whose programs set the stage for meditation training in clinical and hospital environments. His have been showcased on NBC’s Dateline as well as Bill Moyer’s Healing and the Mind.

Dr. Richard Davidson: the world renowned leader in neuroscientific research on the effects of meditation and the brain at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism.