About Us

The Center

The Cleveland Mindfulness Center offers classes, workshops, trainings and retreats, scheduled throughout the year. We can also co-create programs based on your needs. Whether you are new to mindfulness practices, or want to deepen your practice, we have programming available to suit your needs. Cleveland Mindfulness Center events take place at several convenient locations in, and around, Cleveland, OH.

Our teachers have delivered talks, workshops, and courses to teachers, counselors, social workers, police officers, medical clinicians, business leaders and the general public at:

  • MetroHealth Medical Center
  • University Hospitals
  • City of Cleveland, Division of Police
  • Euclid Police Department
  • Fairview Park City Schools
  • St. Joseph Academy HS
  • Cleveland Hts Schools
  • Chagrin Schools
  • Cuyahoga County Schools Crisis Counseling Team
  • Behavioral Health Services of Greater Cleveland
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation
  • General Electric
  • WVIZ
  • Lubrizol
  • American Heart Association
  • Telos Institute

Chris Checkett, LISW-S

Chris Checkett, a mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist, founded the Cleveland Mindfulness Center in 2015. His first experience with mindfulness practices was in 1998 while attending a 21-day silent retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh, a well-known Vietnamese Buddhist teacher. Since that time, he has continued his study and training with highly respected meditation teachers, including Sharon Salzberg and Christopher Germer. Chris leads mindfulness practice trainings, retreats and workshops. For the past two years he has led mindfulness and yoga trainings for the City of Cleveland, Division of Police. He is a trained teacher for the Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) course, an empirically supported course that combines the skills of mindfulness and self compassion to enhance one’s capacity for wellbeing. Chris is a certified to teach Yoga Nidra, a guided deep relaxation practice. He is a founding member Stillwater Sangha, a Cleveland-based meditation group. Chris utilizes a mindfulness-based approach in his psychotherapy practice.

Learn more about current programs and Chris’ psychotherapy practice.

Suzanne Cushwa Rusnak,
M.Ed., M.S.S.A

Suzanne is currently the  Coordinator of Mindfulness Programming for University Hospitals  Connor Integrative Health Network, Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a Master’s degree in education from John Carroll University, and a Master’s degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University.

Suzanne has been teaching mindfulness since 2011, and practicing/learning meditation since 2004. She has created two mindfulness curriculums that are informed by her various trainings and experience as a meditator, and which she teaches for University Hospitals. In that role she has taught, hospital employees, the public, and the staffs of various organizations, institutions, and corporations. Suzanne has also worked on several research projects studying the impacts of mindfulness on physical and mental health.  Three of which were funded through the National Institutes of Health.

She is qualified to teach Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction (MBSR), receiving training at the  Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School .  Suzanne has taught the MBSR curriculum frequently since 2014.  She also trained in teaching mindfulness to children K-12 in a year-long teacher training called the Mindful Education Institute where the faculty included Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Susan Kaiser Greenland, Linda Lantieri, as well as teachers from Mindful Schools.