Mentoring & Guidance

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Offerings:

Online Monthly Meditation Meetings

Stephen will be offering three sitting groups each month suitable for beginning to advanced meditators:

1) Introduction to Concentration Meditation
Concentration meditation, also called serenity or tranquility meditation, is a foundational meditation that unifies the mind by focusing on a solitary meditation object. In focusing on one object, our mind can deeply relax. This meditation intensifies our connection with the transcendent, mysterious properties of our deeper nature.

2) Innate Goodness Meditation
Our innate goodness is a “being”, not a result of any “doing”. It is the goodness we witness in a young child or an animal simply being themselves. Touching into, and cultivating, our innate goodness counteracts the ongoing pattern of negative self-talk. It softens our allegiance to our created self-image and egoic patterning, inviting us to experience the sweetness of our tender authentic heart instead.

3) Rotating meditation of the Brahmavihāras
Over four months, we will rotate through the four ancient Buddhist heart practices called the brahmaviharās or four divine abodes. These ancient heart practices consist of loving-kindness, empathetic joy, compassion, and equanimity. We will explore equanimity (upekkhā) in the first meditation session. Equanimity invites a foundation of connection and acceptance for whatever is rising in our perception or experience, without preference. We learn to be with the truth of whatever is right here, right now.


DATES: The first three sitting groups will be held:

  • February 22 ~ Introduction to Concentration Meditation
  • February 23 ~ Innate Goodness Meditation
  • February 24 ~ Brahmavihāra practice: Upekkha meditation

TIME: Each meeting will be 90 minutes, with time for meditation practice and practice-based Q&A.

  • 12:00 noon US Pacific Time
  • 3:00pm US Eastern Time
  • 8:00pm Western European Time
  • 9:00 pm Central European Time

FEE: These meetings will be offered on a dāna (donation) basis. You can offer dāna by visiting www.awakeningdharma.org

TO REGISTER, or if you have questions, please write to buddhasheartpress@gmail.com.

Buddha’s Heart Mentoring Program

Our next cohort will being in June 2021.
Please submit your expression of interest here.

Stephen is pleased to offer this one-year mentoring program, based on his book Buddha’s Heart: Meditation Practice for Developing Well-being, Love, and Empathy.

This twelve-month program is a wonderfully rare opportunity for dharma practitioners to deepen heart awareness and work with the common resistances to deepening heart awareness, while opening to the profound awakenings possible in this kind of deep heart exploration with one-on-one support in a safe, holding container. To support this, the group will be limited in participation to maintain cohesion and intimacy.

About the mentoring program:

Based on the contents of the book (more below), this year-long program will include:

  • Monthly Zoom group gatherings
  • Monthly 30-minute one-on-one Zoom interviews with Stephen, to explore the practices and their impact
  • Monthly readings from Buddha’s Heart and supplemental materials
  • Monthly small-group peer connections
  • A year-round interactive platform for group discussion about course content, discussion questions, and readings with direct feedback and interaction from Stephen

Schedule: Our next cohort will commence in June 2021.

Fee: The investment for this program, and access to everything outlined above, is $1,495 USD.

Application: To submit your expression of interest, please use the application form.

Scholarship: Partial scholarships will be available in limited numbers. To apply for scholarship, please include your request with your expression of interest.

About the book:

“A profound integration of clarity, heart, and grounded practice.”
—Rick Hanson, PhD, psychologist and NYT bestselling author of Buddha’s Brain

An inspiring and healing guide to immersive meditation in the ancient Buddhist heart practices—the brahmavihāras

Buddha’s Heart leads us step-by-step through:

  • traditional teachings on wholesomeness and concentration meditations to establish a supportive bedrock for our personal discovery
  • guided, heart-opening meditations on loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity;
  • further guided practices for deepening awareness, including gratitude, forgiveness, and
  • opening to the Oneness of Reality;
  • exploratory exercises for each meditation practice, illuminating the psychological blocks to accessing our deeper nature’s heart qualities; and
  • embracing mindfulness and warm attunement in everyday life—opening our hearts to the profound depths of reality and the Absolute.

Buddha’s Heart teaches what seems counterintuitive but is undeniably true: the more we open our hearts, the more resilient and flexible we are. And the more authentically vulnerable we are, the safer and more protected we become.

“Stephen’s original framing of classical Theravada teachings will inspire practitioners to explore unfathomed depths of their own tender hearts.”
—Karin Meyers, PhD, Academic Director, Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages

“A deep dive into the heart of who we truly are.”
—Loch Kelly, meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and author of The Way of Effortless Mindfulness

Buddha’s Heart speaks to meditators at all levels with a grace, eloquence, and thoroughness seldom found.”
—Susie Harrington, Buddhist teacher, Desert Dharma

General Mentoring and Guidance Inquiries

If you have very simple questions, Stephen may be able to respond to these briefly by email. Visit the Contact page to send an email.

For more extended or ongoing inquiries, Stephen offers individual spiritual guidance / coaching sessions. The focus of these sessions is your spiritual practice and how it informs your worldly life. Because Stephen is also trained as a  professional coach, he can also offer you tools with which you can further understand your personality structure and how it both supports your practice, and also manifests as hindrances.

Spiritual guidance is offered via Zoom, Skype, or phone for either 30 minutes or 1 hour, as needed or on a regularly scheduled basis. Regularly scheduled calls can be every two weeks or monthly. One-on-one sessions are offered on a sliding scale of $150 to $85 per hour. For half an hour, the fee is $70 to $50. Payment is made in advance via PayPal, using the button below. Please enter the amount appropriate for your session.

Stephen also offers one-on-one guidance for solo retreats of up to 2 weeks in length. In order to request solo retreat guidance, please email first to check availability (using the Contact page). Stephen does not offer one-on-one guidance for solo retreats of more than 2 weeks in length, unless you have previously participated in 2 or more 2-week retreats.




Dharma Talks and Retreats by Invitation

Stephen is available to give dharma talks or lead retreats at your location. For a sample of dharma talks, please visit the Talks page. If you or your sangha are interested in organizing a retreat or dharma talk, please contact Stephen directly as found on the Contact page.

Code of Ethics

Stephen adheres to the Teacher Code of Ethics adopted by the Teachers’ Councils of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Society as well as the Spirit Rock Statement of Values.