A bit about my practice

 (part 1)

I come from a spiritually eclectic background revolving around a love of nature and science. I was lucky to have the opportunity to practice in many Buddhist contexts early on, including local Zen temples and a lengthy Buddhist pilgrimage in Asia.

I’m a bit of an amateur cultural anthropologist, and fell in love with the diverse expressions and practices of Buddhism in Japan, and across India and Southeast Asia. At a Thai monastery on that pilgrimage, Wat Tham Yai Prik, I first discovered and resonated with the practical, naturalistically leaning, teachings of Ajahn Buddhadāsa through intensively practicing with instructions in his books. It was experiences in that monastery, New Year’s Day 2007, that first drew me to making my home in the Theravāda tradition.

After returning to the United States, I landed more fully in the Insight Meditation tradition, a Western-friendly lay form of Theravāda. I sat an extended, six-week, retreat at IMS under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein and Guy Armstrong. After I expressed interest in practicing with living Asian Masters,  Guy encouraged me to go to Burma.

Through practice at the Insight Meditation Society, my practice was already informed by modern vipassana as pioneered by Mahasi Sayadaw. I learned more precision and simplicity in vipassana from Sayadaw U Janaka (below left), and Sayadaw U Jagara (right) in Burma.











I also had the good fortune to meet privately with Sayadaw U Tejaniya (pictured below) and a translator; his style of light awareness and simply noticing whether the heart mind is tensed by the unwholesome – or relaxed and wholesome – is a way I aspire to live & teach — especially practice in daily life.

Sayadaw U Tejaniya








Two months of monastic, intensive, lovingkindness practice with Sayadaw U Indaka (below) was particularly transformative.

Later, when I returned to Burma and visited him , he urged me to teach.

Sayadaw U Indaka


2 responses to “A bit about my practice”

  1. Sir, I am a man of 67, in Kolkata, India. I Vipassana from the late S. N. Goenka tried to learn but could not practice because I did not feel in and out breath sensations below my nostrils. Also, S. N. Goenka’s Metta meditation appeared very dry. In contrast your recordings of “Grandmother’s Metta” and “Acceptance is Love” resonated with me. Can I do that meditation instead of Gorenka’s meditation to progress on the Path.

    • Dear Ambar,

      Thank you for your question. Yes, absolutely, metta meditation in its various forms can be used to progress along the path. You may find as your mind and heart resonate more with metta, vipassana meditation becomes more fruitful for you.

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