Meet the Teacher

Meet the Teacher: Erik Lutz


On Wednesday, May 29th - 7:30 - 8:30 pm, we are welcoming Erik Lutz to The Zeal Center where he will share a Sound Bowl Meditation. Get to know Erik a little more below.

Tell us a little about you: 

I really enjoy being in nature.  I’ve been playing drums for about 20 years now and I’ve been learning didgeridoo for about 7 years.  I enjoy that those instruments along with my experience with sound healing, conscious dance, and appreciation of nature all have a thread of being with the rhythms of life.  

I’ve been exploring how I can bring my many interests together - doing more with less and creating some delightful combinations…  I like animals a lot; I have a sweet dog (Magellan) and cat (Jon Snow) in my life!  I also like woodworking, long boarding, snowboarding, photography, playing frisbee, and more


Tell us about what you are offering at the Zeal Center:

The offering is a Sound Bath Meditation using primarily Tibetan metal singing bowls. The bowls are a mix of ancient and modern bowls ranging from 30-200 years old or more.  These sacred instruments promote a variety of healing benefits through their vibration and I do my best to be with what the attendees need and play intuitively to support that.  It’s like a bath for your soul!

Simply show up, get comfortable and let the waves of the bowls wash over you!  

These instruments support meditative and harmonizing states of being which can include: relaxation, serenity, detox, inflammation reduction, vitalization, enhanced focus, personal insight and development and much more!  Science is confirming a lot of what the wise ones have know for centuries.

As a recipient, it’s one of my favorite ways to relax, meditate, unwind, and restore.  As a facilitator, I get those benefits too, and, I get to be of service in helping others connect to their best self, while I am connected to mine.

How did you get started?

I first started experiencing Sound Healing through Kundalini Yoga classes and experiencing gong baths during shavasana. Through some mutual friends I found out about The Crystal Ashram, a consciousness/meditation group in my area who were starting to do Sound Healing among many other things.  After really enjoying my first event with them and getting a sense of what they were up to, I kept coming to their events and started volunteering with them.  Now I am well on my way as an apprentice with them to be a Certified Sound Bath Facilitator and to be able to facilitate some of their other empowerment experiences and tools.  It’s become more clear over the years, that this is a modality that resonates with my core and I am very grateful for the growth and illumination it has facilitated in myself. 

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What do you love about what you do?

 I really appreciate and love how this work has empowered me and even more, I appreciate seeing how it transforms other people through the meditations.  It’s such a simple practice, yet it has so much depth.  Each meditation is different, even if it’s the same people, in the same place, with the same bowls… I truly appreciate and love the sense of empowered peace and serenity that I’ve been able to reinforce in my life through practicing with the bowls, a practice which is amplified by being of service and facilitating meditations.  Working with the Crystal Ashram/Human Activation tribe is truly a blessing.  The culture we cultivate and stand for in the core team has a sense of family and empowerment and I am deeply grateful for.  I also appreciate seeing values we’re co-creating ripple to benefit others outside of our core group.  I also have the privilege of working with a very dear friend with the Conscious Dance work that I do and that brings a lot of joy to my life.  

What’s your funniest story from your job? 

There have been some especially sweet and funny moments with our yoga dog, Magellan as he settles into shavasana.  At one of the recent meditations I did, he came around and made sure everyone was tucked in and then settled down.  He sighed along with the rest of us as we began the meditation :)

I don’t necessarily have a funny story (there’s lots of inside jokes with our team), but I can say that there is plenty of humor and sweetness in this work that we do.

When I was a part of the team that was facilitating a meditation for 800 elementary school kids in Virginia, one of the kids came up to one of my teammates and said “man I can feel that activating my chakras!“ We enjoyed the way he said it -and- it was delightful that he knew what chakras were.


What do you offer beyond this amazing event at The Zeal Center?

Other modalities that I incorporate into my work include Reiki, Health Coaching, other forms of Energy Work/Harmonization, Chakra Balancing, Crystal Healing, and Conscious Dance events!  I facilitate or co-facilitate monthly Conscious Dance events with Sound Healing that sometimes include Yoga, Chi Gong, and Live Drumming.

Where can we find you online or in person?

Please check out or to see more of what the fantastic sound healing and empowerment team I’m a part of is up to! to see what my partner and I are up to with Conscious Dance - we also post some fun music and other media every week or so

I also have a Facebook page and a website I’m developing which you can get in touch with me and get more information.  Please check back as things progress!

Join us Wednesday, May 29th - 7:30-8:30 pm for a Sound Bath Meditation with Erik!



Meet the Teacher: Alyssa Budinock


Tell us a little about you:

Other than tying knots, I like to read and write and listen to podcasts that make me think...or laugh!

I think podcasts & macrame are a match made in heaven. Some podcasts I love to listen to while doing macrame are Harry Potter & the Sacred Text, Heart House Radio, and the WeCroak podcast.

I also teach yoga classes a couple nights a week and I love taking yoga classes, but I think I love cooking even more. I'm in love with experimenting with food and trying new things.

I am also hooked on ABC's the Bachelor/Bachelorette. If you know me, you might think this is out of character, but I just can't help myself!

Tell us about your business:

I wouldn’t call it a macrame “business”. I work from home teaching English online and I set my own hours, so it’s up to me to find the time to create if/when I feel the urge or get inspired. There was a time I dreamt of making my art into a business, and now those dreams have been replaced with other callings!


How did you get started?

It was a pretty humble beginning and an organic transition into bigger scale pieces. I used to make friendship bracelets out of embroidery thread when I was in high school. I taught myself using a book from one of the craft stores. The knots used in macrame are actually the same in friendship bracelets, fun fact! Making friendship bracelets turned into making hemp jewelry, then other knotted crafts like coasters, plant hangers and bags, and from there I was inspired by people putting their macrame pieces on walls!

What’s your favorite part of your work?

The presence and focus I find when I settle in to work on a project is meditative in quality. I don’t use patterns or sketches most of the time, so it’s exciting to have an idea and then see where it leads. Most of my finished work looks nothing like the original idea. There are infinite ways to use 2-3 knots to make a magical textured beautiful weaving! The creativity is boundless.


What’s your funniest story from your job?

I take macrame very seriously, thank you very much.

Just kidding - I have a hard time taking anything seriously. In my first workshop ever the language I was using to teach a square knot actually sounded very…..sexual. It was totally unintentional but there was wine involved in that workshop, so the students DEFINITELY noticed!


What do you offer beyond this amazing class at The Zeal Center?

I enjoy podcasts so much that I decided to create one! I’ve created GraveDancers: Life and Leadership After Loss as a way to bring love and light into conversations about grief, loss & impermanence. You can listen to it on iTunes or at my website.

I also teach yoga twice a week: 7:00pm on Mondays at Roc & Soul Fitness in Webster, and 6:45pm on Thursdays at NuMvmnt on University Ave in Rochester!

Where can we find you online or in person?

I have a website dedicated to my podcast as well as my yoga teaching schedule:

On Facebook there’s a page you can like & follow that is dedicated to my podcast. I share episode announcements as well as events for live discussions: GraveDancers: Life and Leadership After Loss

I am also on Instagram sharing all of my macrame work, quotes from podcast guests, and other little musings: @alyssabudinock

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Join Alyssa this Saturday, March 30th from 11 am - 1 pm at The Zeal Center!

She’ll be teaching us how to create beautiful macrame wall hangings, we’ll have snacks and so much fun. Hope to see you there!

Meet the Teacher: Kim Taylor, Owner of Holistic in a Heartbeat

This Spring, we’re welcoming a new teacher to the Zeal Center. Please help me welcome Kim Taylor of Holistic in a Heartbeat!

Kim is the founder of Holistic in a Heartbeat in Rochester, NY. She encompasses the holistic approach of the mind, body and spirit through coaching and integrating plant-based nutrition. Her purpose is to guide women to be the healthiest they can be and live a life full of energy.


Tell us a little about you: In my free time I love to be outdoors and explore. When the weather is nice you'll find me hiking every weekend. I also enjoy photography, yoga, and reading.

Tell us about your business: Holistic in a Heartbeat encompasses the holistic approach of the mind, body, and spirit through coaching and integrating plant based nutrition. My purpose is to guide women to be the healthiest they can be and live a life full of energy. 

How did you get started?

As I transitioned to a plant based diet, I found myself being asked questions that I didn't know how to answer. This inspired me to learn everything I could about my new lifestyle. The more I learned, the more passionate I grew about sharing this information with others. Plant based nutrition gave me the energy and mental awareness to encompass the holistic approach to my life to bring my mind, body, and spirit into alignment. I have lost over 40 lbs, healed from health issues, and overcome depression and anxiety. I hope to guide others through their journey to a happier,  healthier life.

What’s your favorite part of your work?

My favorite part of my work is making a difference in someone's life. I have the opportunity to meet many different people and hear each person's individual story. As much as I love helping others, I am also able to be inspired and learn from what others have gone through.

What do you offer beyond this amazing class at The Zeal Center?

I offer one on one life coaching to a happier, healthier you! Rooted in plant based nutrition, I encompass the holistic approach of the mind, body, and spirit. I offer several package options with varying time frames to guide you on your journey. In addition, I offer a variety of workshops to encourage, uplift, help you manage stress, and give you tools to live a healthier life.

Where can we find you online or in person?

You can find me on Facebook and Instagram at Holistic in a Heartbeat. 

How can you experience some of Kim’s amazingness?

She’ll be at the Zeal Center for two new events!

Mindfulness through Goal Setting ~ March 7th ~ 6:30 - 7:30 pm

Empower Your Mind through Happy Thoughts ~ April 10th ~ 6:30 - 7:30 pm