Meet Our Team

Our Team

Meet our team of dedicated and compassionate people who contribute their time, their knowledge and experience, and their administrative and organisational skills to look after our retreatants, our retreat space and who help Samadhi thrive.

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Dorje Gyalpo David Johnson

Co-Founder // Program Coordinator // Meditation Guide

David is a Buddhist contemplative, meditation guide and retreat leader. He is the Co-Founder of Samadhi and a qualified Mindfulness teacher, Mental Health First Aider, and an active member of the Association for Spiritual Integrity. He teaches workshops internationally and leads retreats across the UK. Through his clear and practical teaching style and warm and humorous approach, David inspires everyday people to take back control of their thoughts and feelings and discover genuine wellbeing within. He understands what it is like to be an aspiring meditation practitioner living in the 21st century and believes these practices should be accessible to all.

Manuel Orozco Jimenez

Co-Founder // Retreat Coordinator // Green Lead // Yoga Teacher

He is the Co-Founder of Samadhi, a Mental Health First Aider and accredited yoga teacher. Manu’s laid-back approach and kind heart has a warming and inspiring impact on our retreatants and he is much loved by all. He is also our Green Lead, and will be the guiding force behind making Samadhi Retreat Centre sustainable and eco-friendly. 

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Marie Vautravers

Social Media Manager // Samadhi Volunteer

Marie has developed a real passion for Asian cultures through travels and readings. She enjoys long walks in the forest, practising yoga & meditation and painting. Marie is also a foodie who likes to cook and try new flavours. Born and raised in France, she is now based in the UK.

Olivia Carpenter

Content Creator // Samadhi Volunteer

Olivia is a 21 year old international business student from Kent with a passion for working out, traveling and developing new skills. On top of this working hard to get a job in marketing and working towards keeping her mental health and anxiety under control through the use of mediation and yoga.

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Corby Smelt

Video Editor // Samadhi Volunteer

Hello! My name is Corby, I’m a Marketing student at the University of Kent who would love to work in Merchandising & Digital Marketing after my degree. I was born in Kent, but absolutely love to travel wherever & whenever I get the chance to. I’m a keen runner currently training for marathon to raise money for clean water

Dorje Gyalpo David Johnson

David is a Buddhist contemplative and meditation guide who has studied the mind, meditation, and Buddhism for several years. He is the Co-Founder of Samadhi, and is a qualified Mindfulness teacher, Mental Health First Aider, and an active member of the Association for Spiritual Integrity. 

Background

Before discovering Buddhadharma, David had a series of experiences which awoke him to the unceasing suffering being experienced by himself, his family, friends, and colleagues, and the world around him. With a background in working for mental health services in the UK, he saw an issue in the way psychiatry and healthcare focussed primarily on suppressing symptoms and not getting to the root cause of our mental distress. Seeing this, and with no real wisdom to find an answer or solution, he grew despondent and battled with his own depression. It was at this time, recognising that there must be answers to his own and others sufferings, he was motivated to seek out a solution or an answer, and from this he fortunately discovered Buddha’s teaching on the Four Noble Truths. He retrospectively identifies this experience as a natural realisation of the first of those Four Noble Truths. 

Since that time, David has been fortunate enough to encounter many skilled dharma teachers, and after some time studying and meditating under their guidance in the UK, he was requested to teach and share basic meditation and dharma classes with others. Since 2015, he has received teachings, oral transmission, commentary, and instructions on the Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and Dzogchen traditions, most prominently from his primary teacher, Lama Alan Wallace. He has also explored emotional psychology through the works of Dr Paul Ekman, B. Alan Wallace and the CEB program. 

In his own practice and teachings, David focuses primarily on basic meditation training and Early Buddhism. He regularly teaches about the core theories behind Buddhist psychology such as the nature of mind, genuine happiness, and mental afflictions such as attachment, aversion and ignorance. He also teaches the practices of Shamatha (meditative quiescence), and its union with Vipassana on the Four Applications of Mindfulness and the Four Immeasurables – which presents a direct path leading to the realisation of our deepest nature and the potentials of consciousness, and closely follows how the Buddha himself attained enlightenment. He considers himself to be the fortunate student of many teachers, including his root lama, Lama Alan Wallace. Some of David’s other teachers are Lama Lena, Drub-la Tsampa Karma, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, Chamtrul Rinpoche, Guy Armstrong, Zopa Rinpoche and Bhikkhu Kakmuk.

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Teaching

Since 2015, David has taught classes and workshops internationally in the UK, Spain, and Gibraltar, and across the world online. He spent two years in Spain focusing on his own study and engaging in retreat according to Lama Alan’s direction and instructions before returning to teach at the request of close friends. It was at this time that he and Manu decided to found Samadhi to bring together both of their goals and to help others discover the profound effects meditation and Buddhist psychology could have on their wellbeing.

David’s teaching style is clear and practical, and his warm and humorous approach makes him a popular meditation teacher. He understands what it is like to be an aspiring meditation practitioner living in the 21st century and his down-to-earth style makes these practices accessible to all.  

In an effort to help everyone uncover the pure, luminous, and peaceful nature of their mind, and discover the ancient wisdom of the Buddha, David is dedicating his life to spiritual development and his vision for The Samadhi Eco Retreat Centre, a place where people can come to engage in short and long-term retreat and live in community.