About Us


The Hearth Foundation is dedicated to the spiritual growth and well-being of parents through study, practice and community building activities. While our core philosophy is Buddhist, we draw on all Wisdom traditions to further positive parenting experience through everyday practice.


The Hearth Foundation, established in 2006, is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting home based spiritual practice through information sharing and community building. We support the creation of a kinder, more mindful world by supporting spiritual practice within the home. Hearth offers online lay Buddhist practice classes and other classes designed to support the spiritual life and well-being of families. We also so offer other resources for families, such as a monthly newsletter, a place to connect with other like-minded families and suggested resources for spiritual parenting. Although the orientation of the classes is Buddhist, we honor all spiritual paths.

Jacqueline Kramer

Jacqueline Kramer, author of Buddha Mom-the Path of Mindful Mothering, is the director of the Hearth Foundation. She has been studying and practicing Theravadin Buddhism for over 30 years, was a Religious Science Practitioner, student of Zen koans and of the world’s Wisdom traditions. Her root teacher was Annagarika Dhamma Dinna who taught in the Sri Lankan tradition. She also studied with the Venerable Ananda Maitreya, Achan Sobin Namto, the Venerable Punnaji Mahathera, Ayya Khema and John Tarrant. In 2007 Jacqueline received the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award for her work teaching Buddhism to mothers around the world. Jacqueline is past VP of Alliance for Bhikkhunis and her work is published in various Buddhist journals such as Turning Wheel and Present. Jacqueline lives in Sonoma with her daughter and granddaughter.


Heather Thornton-registrar

Heather is the class registrar for the Hearth Foundation and loves her job connecting with moms all over the world. She has said that reading Buddha Mom was a life altering experience. Heather was a member of the first class Jacqueline offered and has remained at the Hearth Foundation to help others on their path and to try to give back to the teacher and the sangha that has given her so many blessings. After leaving her career in business a decade ago, she has since spent her days home schooling and trying to keep up with her energetic and creative son. She is currently loving life in beautiful Colorado with her wonderful husband and son, where every day is an adventure.

Barbara Coutoure-compassionate care facilitator

My name is Barbara 'Nimo Lhamo' Couture and I live in western Massachusetts with a bouquet of adolescent and young adults with medical special needs. We also have birds, chickens, dogs and geese all in our yard and garden. I teach the class on the "Buddhist View of Death and Dying", which explores the sorts of the issues that come up when a loved one is dying, issues such as compassionate care, alternative funerals, grieving, talking with children about death and Buddhist perspectives on death and dying. It is really a class about loving relationship, facing fear and living our lives to the fullest. I am presently developing a group for "Compassionate Caregiving" which will aim at supporting the many caregivers out there who are providing service to family and friends who are transitioning into death. My current practice is to provide direct service to those facing end of life issues.

Juliet Pailes - hearth book group

Juliet is the moderator for The Hearth Book Group, which functions over a Facebook Group page of the same name. Juliet has taken several Hearth Foundations classes with Jacqueline and brings to the book group her affinity for increasing peace, consciousness and understanding. She is married and a mother to five children. With a graduate degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development, she is a children’s advocate by vocation and a college instructor by profession. If you are interested in the book group, please find us on Facebook and hop on board to share in the group’s journey of inquiry and discovery.

I just wanted to say thank you for these classes. I can't tell you how much they are helping me already! I feel as if I am turning a corner from curious investigation into real spiritual practice. This means so much to me.

~ Pauline 

The shangha here is important as there is none in my physical world. I know no one else who practices locally and I have certainly looked and looked and looked. I had no other spiritual circle of friends. I so appreciate that you brought to me what I could not find here. You offered your guidance and a group of us came together here in the cyber world to learn. You offered us a means not only to learn, and progress on our own spiritual journeys, but also a spiritual community that I, for one, really needed.

~ Sherri

I have really enjoyed the sangha here, and it has been wonderful to share this experience with an amazing group of people. Thanks for a great introduction to Buddhist practice!

~ Michelle

Whatever is to be, I am at peace... thanks in part to the Hearth Foundation.

~ Helen

Thank you so much Jacqueline for offering this class. I have enjoyed and benefitted from your dharma talks and the community you have created. These class weeks have gone by so quickly, and I truly see how one gets out of it what one gives.

~ Katrina

I feel this class has been a great catalyst in my spiritual life. I am truly grateful for the class, Jacqueline, and everyone that has shared their experiences. I really enjoyed getting to know all of you. I too would like to move on to the next class and would love to be joined by you lovely ladies. Peace be with you all and your families!

~ Stefanie

The class has been a wonderful experience. I am looking forward to the next series. Thank you, Jacqueline and classmates.

~ Sarah

I have loved this class, thank you everyone!

~ Megan

Thanks to Jacqueline for this fantastic class, and thanks to the rest of the Sangha for your company.

~ Tracy

Thank you all. thank you jacqueline. thank you to me... for finding myself - a deeper part of myself - over this past few weeks.

~ Alesha

Many thanks to all of you- I have greatly enjoyed your posts and appreciate the opportunity to share this journey with you!!!!

~ Kim

I have really enjoyed my time in this first session and look forward to moving onto the 3 refuges classes.

~ Grace

It is amazing to me how much difference creating a meditation altar is making in my daily practice of meditation and the dharma. Especially as the shrine is created item by item, with layer by layer of "meaning" and "effect". I already had shrines in my home, but not one where I meditated. I think I had a feeling of "unease" about meditating before an alter, prior to taking this class. my children to join me in meditation too. I also like that our family meditation area is set aside and very "private" from the "public" areas of our home. Giving our shrine and meditation area more "specialness" and "sacredness" than in our previous home. I like that over time, our meditation space will gain ever more specialness as the effects of it's being used for meditation, and meditation only, accrues. Oh, I am very grateful for this class, too! And am looking forward to the next one. Thank you, Jacqueline!

~ Dhasa

I would like to say that this class has been very enjoyable. At first, I felt very reluctant in setting up an alter. I'm not sure why I was feeling like that. I know I registered for the class and I wanted to do it, but for some reason I felt held back in some way. But after I got into it and had my children begin to help it really became quite enjoyable. I love seeing the alter in our living room. I have really enjoyed this class as well, and the time i spent creating my shrine room. Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences in this class. It was great to meet all of you!

~ Melanie

Thanks to all for your comments and things you've taught me. It's been a nice start to my journey.

~ Sally

My wish is to continue with this practice. Thank-you Jacqueline for the classes and thank you to the sangha for sharing.

~ Lucy

Thank you, sangha, for sharing the most beautiful thing about my life with me: being a Mom. Being a Mom deserves to be treated with mindfulness, reverence, and all that we have to give. I am honored to have shared Jacqueline's classroom with all of you (including Jacqueline, of course!).

~ Char

I wanted to say thank you too for this week's lesson in our Everyday class. I'll post about it later, but I can't imagine better timing! It's a beautiful lesson and I couldn't have needed it more right now. Thank you.

~ Heather