Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Free

9 Meditation Teachers You Should Know

As you progress in meditation practice, you’ll want some expert guidance. The following teachers are a good place to start.

415
Author Image
Meditation Advisor
SHARE:

At this point you’ve read at least one Pema Chodron book and have a favorite quote that resonates from the Dalai Lama. You follow Thich Nhat Hanh on Facebook and think he’s incredible. If you want to study regularly with someone, though, it might behoove you to consider a few more accessible teachers.

In the vein of full disclosure, some of these wonderful teachers we host at my meditation studio, MNDFL in New York City. If schedules allowed, though, I’d host them all. Here are 9 meditation teachers that may not be as well known but are deeply inspirational.


Related: Join Sonima’s Free 10-Day Meditation Challenge


 

angel Kyodo Williams


First impression: Before I ever met angel I was prompted by everyone I know to cold call her and ask her advice on starting my non-profit, the Institute for Compassionate Leadership. The subtext was, “If you want to know about the intersection of social action and meditation, this is the leading expert.” Called “the most intriguing African-American Buddhist” by Library Journal, I was delighted to also find her incredibly warm and generous when we finally hopped on the phone and became friends.
Lineage: angel is a Sensei in the Zen Buddhist tradition
A book of hers I recommend: Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace
You would love her if: You read the morning paper and are sick to your stomach at the injustice in the world and want to know how compassion is actually an effective tool in combatting that.
Website: http://angelkyodowilliams.com

 

Elena Brower

First impression: When I first met Elena she immediately embraced me and then told me that she was angry with a family member and talked to me about how she was working with her anger, then introduced me to all her friends, and then about 20 minutes later we got into whatever business we had to meet about. Short form: She’s incredibly warm and loving.
Lineage: Elena studies with the incredible Thom Knoles, and teaches from the Vedic tradition.
A book of hers I recommend: The Art of Attention
You would love her if: You’ve ever done yoga and/or wanted a wise sister.
Website: http://elenabrower.com


Related: A Guided Meditation on Personal Renewal by Elena Brower


 

Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche


First impression: I first met Khandro Rinpoche when we hosted her for a sold-out talk at the Boston Shambhala Center a decade ago. I was incredibly nervous meeting her behind the scenes and she held the space for my wide range of emotions like the queen of dharma that she is. We hosted many teachers while I was the Executive Director of the Shambhala Center. She was the only one who asked me about my personal meditation practice every single time.
Lineage: Khandro Rinpoche is lineage holder in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism
A book of hers I recommend: This Precious Life: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on the Path to Enlightenment
You would love her if: You want to study with someone who will hold you in her heart with compassion and simultaneously cut your neurotic trip.
Website: http://www.khandrorinpoche.org

 

The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Drodul Trinley Dorje


First impression: Before he ever came to the United States I had read and studied the work of this young teacher, who is roughly my own age. The amount of wisdom I experienced coming from those pages, offered by an 18 year old (at the time), makes a good case for reincarnation.
Lineage: His Holiness the Karmapa is the head of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism
A book of his I recommend: The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out
You would love him if: You want to study with someone who is 30 years old but enlightened, who can talk to you about love on a vast level, and understand that you might still have a one-night stand.
Website: http://kagyuoffice.org/

 

Venerable Robina Courtin

First impression: I recently discovered Venerable Robina, as I was invited to attend a talk she gave in New York City. While her presentations are insightful, she’s widely known for her cutting and slightly terrifying Q&A sessions where people ask her basic questions and she asks a series of questions right back at them in order for them to come to an understanding based in their own wisdom.
Lineage: Robina is a nun in the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
A book of hers I recommend: How to Meditate: A Practical Guide
You would love her if: You’re really into studying Buddhism in a systematic way, love long talks, and are interested in analyzing concepts like emptiness
Website: http://www.robinacourtin.com

 

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche


First impression: Having grown up in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, I met the Sakyong when I was 13 years old. I was on the beach with some friends and challenged him to a pull-up contest. You might think that a deeply compassionate being such as himself would take it easy on me. He did not. Years later I took him on as my guru, or root teacher. He has continued to challenge me and I love him for it.
Lineage: The Sakyong is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage
A book of his I recommend: Turning the Mind into an Ally
You would love him if: You want to study with a complete master who is still incredibly humble, caring, and kind, and/or you want to see how meditation directly applies to your daily life
Website: http://www.sakyong.com

 

Sara Auster

First impression: As a lifelong Buddhist I was skeptical of sound meditation. I mean, I generally teach shamatha, which can be translated as calm-abiding meditation. How calm could a sound bath be? Yet when I first sat in on a class with Sara Auster I was blown away. In addition to being a master at the singing bowls, she knows the ins-and-outs of traditional meditation techniques and blends the two into a wonderful experience that is relaxing and helpful for a practitioner of any level.
Lineage: In addition to being a yoga and meditation teacher, Sara is a certified Sound Therapy Practitioner
A book of hers I recommend: No books, but she does offer recordings of her work. They’re good, trust me. She’s the Rebecca Solnit of sound.
You would love her if: You walk around carrying a lot of tension in your body and love a good bath.
Website: http://saraauster.com

 

Sharon Salzberg


First impression: When I was still at college I reached out blindly to Sharon to see if she would ever consider giving a talk at my school. And she got back to me! I was shocked. Only now, over a decade later, as a friend of hers, do I realize that she goes everywhere and offers meditation to everyone. A lazy person like me comes up with all sorts of ways that I can teach and not have to leave New York City. Sharon is constantly on the road, looking people directly in the eyes and offering her full heart.
Lineage: Sharon has studied in a wide variety of traditions ranging from Theravadin to Tibetan Buddhism and is one of the co-founders of the Insight Meditation Society and The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
A book of hers I recommend: Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness
You would love her if: You love Pema Chodron and/or need to experience a being who simply lives with her heart wide open
Website: http://www.sharonsalzberg.com

 

Susan Piver


First impression: Susan and I met at a Shambhala retreat ages ago, when I was still figuring out what it meant to be a young Buddhist. We reconnected in recent years over our shared love of making meditation practice really accessible to as many people as possible. That connection sprouted a deep friendship plus a number of projects, most notably the Daily Dharma Gathering, a half-hour live online Buddhist talk offered every single day by a variety of teachers, as part of her awesome Open Heart Project.
Lineage: Shambhala Buddhism
A book of hers I recommend: Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation
You would love her if: You appreciate when people stop being polite and start getting real. Susan is uncanny in her ability to be vulnerable and strong at the same time.
Website: http://susanpiver.com

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Have you ever noticed that spas tend to smell of flowers such as lavender and ylang ylang? Studies show that these scents increase calmness, which is right for that setting. If you were to look for an essential oil that had the opposite effect—one that made you more energized and alert—choose peppermint. This distinct odor has the opposite effect of soothing essential oils, although it’s still a pleasant scent. Peppermint can even enhance your memory. #energyboost #boostenergy #essentialoils #memorybooster #naturalhealth #naturalremedies
  • If you find it hard to concentrate, try this practice from @alive.awake.empowered at least once a day: Count breathing cycles. Inhale, exhale, one. Inhale, exhale, two. Inhale, exhale, three. And so on.

You may be able to get only as far as two or three at first. But with practice, you will improve, and so will your ability to concentrate. Do what you can, and when a thought interrupts, go back to one.

#meditation #concentration #focus #mondays
  • Yoga is a therapeutic practice at all levels—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When used appropriately, it has the power to heal, balancing each of the above aspects and bringing them into harmony with each other. Even for healthy practitioners, yoga is therapeutic, working to strengthen and refine all aspects of their system.

Although we can treat the symptoms of disease or injury in many different ways, healing is a process that comes from within. It happens as a result of the system’s innate intelligence, but this process can be adversely affected when we are out of balance. The aim of yoga and yoga therapy is to support the natural process of healing by bringing us back into balance on all levels.

Click the link in our bio to learn more about yoga as therapy from @andrew.hillam. 
#yoga #yogatherapy #ashtanga #yogaheals
  • Use the power of your breath to warm up naturally! Take a deep breath, but rather than consciously exhaling and pushing the air out, just sort of “let it go." Take 10 breaths like this in a row, trying to go a little bit deeper with each successive inhale, but putting no force behind your exhalation. After your tenth breath, take in one more deep breath, and this time hold it in. Engage the muscles in your chest, back, and shoulders, as if you were using them to give the air inside your lungs a firm hug. You may notice a warm, tingling sensation inside your chest.
.
#pranayama
#breathwork #winter #powerofbreath
  • #mlk #mlkday #quotes #happiness #behappy
  • Who doesn't love a quiz? Take our personality test to better understand the desires, fears, and tendencies that affect your relationships and personal growth. See link in bio. #personalitytypes #enneagram #quiz #knowyourself #liveauthentically
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!