Shell Fischer

“I’m so impressed by and grateful for the quality of Shell’s teaching, and for the way she can so skillfully convey the dharma to students. Her intelligence, experienced understanding of mindfulness, and her capacity to articulate deep truths with honesty and humor are what make her an excellent teacher.” ~ Dr. Tara Brach, psychologist, founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, and author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge. 

Two qualities emerge when you start to slow down and pay attention through meditation: wisdom and compassion. Shell embodies both. Her caring presence and sense of humor make time with her a wonderful, engaging experience.” – Jonathan Foust, Guiding Teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, founder of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute of Washington, and former president of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health  

Shell is the founder and guiding teacher of Mindful Shenandoah ( and offers more than 25 years of mindfulness practice and study. She’s a full teacher and senior practitioner with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C. (IMCW), trained in the two-year Meditation Teacher Training Institute of Washington, D.C. by IMCW’s founder and guiding teacher, Dr. Tara Brach – one of the nation’s leading Insight teachers.  She’s also a 1993 graduate of Naropa University, and a graduate of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher-training program led by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR and the Stress Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Prior to teaching, Shell wrote about mindfulness and yoga for national magazines.   As a teacher, Shell’s main focus is on metta (loving-kindness) practice. Her hope is to guide her students in nurturing even more kindness and compassion for themselves, and for all the situations they find themselves in throughout their lives, through the practice of meditation and mindfulness.  

She leads both residential and daylong retreats, and offers a weekly sangha in Stephens City, VA every Tuesday. She is also frequently a guest teacher for Tara Brach and Jonathan Foust's classes in Bethesda and Arlington, VA.  

Upcoming Retreats


NOTE: The retreats listed here have been entered by the retreat organizers. For any questions, use the contact information listed on the retreat page. Please do not contact the Buddhist Insight Network.