Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept individual students?

I have a small number of students who I work with individually. Each of these is someone I initially worked with on residential retreat, and whose meditation practice I got to know well. From this process, they got to check me out and I came to understand their depth of commitment to developing further. So a match was made.

How much do you charge?

As much as is practical, I teach on the basis of “dana.” This term indicates that the student supports the teacher as part of the student’s own practice of generosity. Thus I do not charge a fixed amount. I am reliant on the student’s understanding of the value of generosity in opening the heart and mind, and their commitment to support the promulgation of the teachings of liberation.

What is the role of the teacher in your tradition?

The role of the teacher is “kalyana mitta,” translated as “spiritual friend.”  This is a way of saying the teacher is someone who has walked a good way down the path of understanding and is able to explain and guide those who seek to do the same. It does not mean the teacher knows everything or is perfectly liberated. All teachers that I have met (and I have studied with many fine ones) are still human works in progress. While some may find this disappointing, personally I find it reassuring because it indicates there is always more development possible. There is no ceiling.

Do I need a teacher?

This question is often asked. There is much Dhamma material available to anyone interested in self directed inquiry. A veritable avalanche of Dhamma is in the form of books, videos, and talks to download. The question is: does all this possible “ingestion without assimilation” do the job? Does the heart/mind actually develop, or is it all about stress reduction? It’s quite possible to read many books without anything much changing except for the development of additional untested views and opinions.

You may not need “a” teacher, but at some point you will probably benefit from being taught, specifically, by some compatible specific teacher. It’s hard to be your own mirror … the mind is very tricky like that.

What is Sati Associates?

Sati Associates is the legal structure I’ve developed to handle the business end of teaching. It keeps the IRS happy when they get the forms on time.