Ralph is the founder and guiding teacher of Life Transition Meditation Center where he teaches Somatic Meditation and other intensive meditation practices. He is a Vietnam Veteran who has found peace from meditation practices for over 40 years and supports his own PTSD management.

He has used his trauma based studies and professional degrees in bringing several projects to life focused on alleviating trauma.
Ralph was a key individual in bringing meditation retreats based on living and dying to Washington state in 1980. He founded the first Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Hospice Program. He also works internationally as a consultant in stress management. Ralph practiced as an ordained monk in the monasteries of Myanmar and Thailand. He has taught meditation retreats since 1987.

Contributing to equity and diversity in many ways, Ralph has also been instrumental in establishing people-of-color retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California and the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts.

His life partner, Sabine, and Ralph have been together for over twenty-eight years. Sabine enjoys pairing haiku's with photography, a few of which are showcased on the website. They both enjoy gardening, cooking and being in nature.

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Meet Our Team


Our teachers lead retreats, classes and ongoing practice in many aspects of meditation and practice. They are all volunteers as well and we are deeply grateful for their time and energy.

All Volunteer Team

Life Transition Meditation Center would not be in existence without the time and effort, dedicated by the all-volunteer staff. Each individual plays a vital role in the operation of the organization.

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Volunteer With Us

Please contact [email protected] for inquiries to volunteer with our organization.

Our Board Members

We are grateful to include the wisdom of our board members. Their expertise and experience in many facets contribute to the evolution, growth, and future success of the Life Transition Meditation Center.

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Maya Salganek (she/her) is a Professor of Film and Video arts in the UAF Department of Theatre and Film, and founding director of the UAF Film Reel Alaska Mentoring Experience (FRAME). As a filmmaker and educator living on the unceded lands of the Dena people of the lower Tanana River, her cinematic work often features the people and stories of Alaska, which aim to decolonize the screen. Maya is dedicated to developing positive role models on film that reflect the diversity of our community. Through her courses and projects, she nurtures visually sovereign storytellers capable of expressing themselves within their own communities, as well as to a wider audience. Maya has worked as a producer or director on dozens of films in Alaska and beyond, from feature-length narrative films to NSF-funded documentaries about climate change. www.mayasalganek.com

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John Trotter is a Professor Emeritus in the Medical School of the University of New Mexico. He ran a successful research program and taught many medical students during his tenure at the University of New Mexico. He has been practicing meditation and studying Buddhism for the past 30 years. Ralph Steele has been his main teacher for much of that time. In addition to his Buddhist study and practice, he has pursued a passion for creative photography, especially black and white landscape photography, since he was 15 years old. He joined the Board of Directors of the Life Transition Meditation Center in 2023.

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Millie Carey's journey began with a fervent dedication to empowering others to overcome challenges and embrace personal growth. Mindfulness meditation became an integral part of my daily life, leading to deep insights into my behaviors and the purpose of my thoughts and actions. Equipped with expertise in coaching, psychology, and Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP) training, I hold certifications as a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and an iPEC-certified Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). For the past two years, I've immersed myself in the realm of real estate as a Realtor in Miami, guiding individuals to find their ideal homes with genuine care. I am deeply committed to nurturing the community, facilitating the release of limiting patterns , and enriching life experiences through various avenues of support.

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Melinda A. García, Ph.D. Director, Behavioral Health and Community Services. Supervised professional and paraprofessional staff in programs addressing mental health, substance abuse, adolescent alcohol & drug abuse prevention, community health interventions, and community healing, serving three Native American rural reservations as well as urban Natives in Sandoval County. Developed individualized supervision and training plans for 15 staff. Provided weekly individual and group clinical and administrative supervision. Increased competence, professionalism, quality of services, and productivity in all programs while increasing cooperation between programs. Integrated the CHR program into behavioral health and prevention programs while broadening its Public Health role. Wrote successful State and Federal competitive grants for five major programs, including a Drug-Free Communities grant for Zia Pueblo ($1M of services over 5 years). Instituted electronic medical records with customized software. Made up an initial $30,000 budget shortfall within 6 months. Maintained clear and solvent budgets for nine funding streams over three different fiscal years. Increased funding for all programs in the department. Brought staff salaries up to market value. Successfully defended the funding of programs that incorporated Pueblo Core Values from State funding cuts. Successfully initiated, negotiated, and finalized the transfer of an additional 638 funds from IHS to FSIP Behavioral Health.

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Margo Chávez-Charles was introduced to many forms of meditation practices by Ralph Steele, and participated in retreats offered by Life Transition Institute. She is grateful for the learning she has gained from Ralph that allows her to continue her own practice. She became a Board Member of Life Transition Institute and subsequently of Life Transition Meditation Center.

Margo taught for over twenty years in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico and currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Jody Paine

As the Board Treasurer, Jody has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1970. She has devoted over thirty years of her life to caring for family members and many other individuals in hospice facilities. Starting in 1992, she has cared for patients in the HIV community, directly in a hospice care facility and relatives.

Jody has also been practicing accounting since 2002 and is grateful and proud to be a mother and grandmother.