Mark Koberg, Founder
Mark has created, launched and run national television shows for the last 17 years. Working mainly in daytime TV, he produced an average of 160 hours of television a year. Needless to say, stress was a large part of his work environment. Failure wasn’t an option and moving up the ladder was all that seemed to matter. At the age of 32, Mark became the executive producer on TV’s longest running court show, Divorce Court. Within the same month of landing the executive producer job he was also diagnosed with HIV. As you may imagine, navigating a chronic illness and the new responsibility of running a national television show took a toll on him. While in the control room one day, the vision in Mark’s left eye went blurry. It turned out to be a disorder that happens typically to “Type A” personalities with high pressure jobs. He learned that managing stress levels was the only way to resolve this problem. Mark’s friend had read about mindfulness and Mindful-Based Stress Reduction classes and told him to check it out. In doing so Mark read about a study done at UCLA with HIV+ men. Researchers found the practice of mindfulness meditation stopped the decline of CD4 T cells in HIV-positive patients suffering from stress, slowing the progression of the disease. So Mark took his first MBSR class at InsightLA taught by Dr Christiane Wolf and began meditating daily. Realizing he’d found resources and tools to successfully manage his stress, he signed up to take a second, 8-week MBSR course. The manner in which he approached life was transforming. He saw dramatic changes in how he related to friends, family and with his co-workers. He also began to notice a shift in how he viewed his HIV.
In June 2011, Mark accepted a job in NYC to launch and executive produce the American version of the UK’s number-one talk show, The Jeremy Kyle Show. Then he co-executive produced a show for OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network. The show, Iyanla, Fix My Life was OWN’s highest-rated premiere to date and for Mark it was an energizing convergence of his professional career and the vision he has for helping people live at ease through the clarity that mediation allows. To say mindfulness changed Mark’s life is an understatement. As an HIV+ gay man and an insider in the entertainment industry he knows how valuable and necessary this practice would be to his peers in Hollywood. Mark has shifted career gears, partnered with Dr Christiane Wolf and together they're bringing Rihpl to life in a city that so desperately needs it. Mark has also begun the MBSR teacher training program through the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Center for Mindfulness.
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