Stephen’s mission for his life and
teaching is to foster awakening and its
embodiment in worldly life, though the
modern application of authentic,
rigorous Buddhist practices. Described
as warm-hearted with a resonant
presence, he finds fulfillment in
supporting students as they re-discover
deeper inherent authenticity in the
unfolding of their true nature. This
deepening authenticity leads to a more
profound, experiential knowing with
greater refinement in everyday life.
Stephen has been a Buddhist
practitioner for more than 35 years.
After traveling through Asia as a youth,
Stephen began practicing Buddhist
meditation in 1976 at the age of 19.
Following his awakening experience at
28, he continued the opening process of
deepening and integrating the
“unconditioned” in his everyday life.
In 2005, Stephen attended a two-month
retreat with the Burmese meditation
master, Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw. He
completed the entire Samatha path as
presented by the Sayadaw, becoming the
first American male to complete this
attainment. The Sayadaw authorized
Stephen to teach in 2007. With his wife
and teaching partner Tina Rasmussen,
Stephen wrote the book,
the Jhanas, published by Shambhala
Publications in 2009. Stephen and Tina
now offer retreats and spiritual
mentoring to students worldwide.
Tina and Stephen are a married
couple. They met in June of 2004 and
married a few months later.