In this interview I talk to non-dual teacher and psychotherapist Stephan Bodian on awakening and the simple direct path to realising our true nature.

Stephan-Bodian-avatarStephan Bodian is the bestselling author of Meditation for Dummies (now in an updated third edition) and Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening. He’s also the author and narrator of the critically acclaimed mobile programs Mindfulness Meditation and Freedom from Stress (produced by Mental Workout). Stephan has been teaching meditation and spiritual awakening for more than 40 years. His latest book, Beyond Mindfulness, is now available on

Trained for a decade as a Zen Buddhist monk and licensed as a psychotherapist, Stephan has been a pioneer in the integration of Eastern wisdom and Western psychology and in the embodiment of awakened awareness in everyday life. He spent 10 years studying Advaita Vedanta with Jean Klein and in 2001 received Dharma transmission (authorization to teach) from Adyashanti, in a lineage dating back to the historical Buddha.

As a teacher, counselor, consultant, and mentor, Stephan’s approach blends compassionate, present-moment awareness with transformational techniques from Western psychotherapy and the nondual wisdom traditions of Zen, Dzogchen, and Advaita. Drawing on his decades of experience as a therapist and teacher, he specializes in offering guidance that’s customized to the needs of the individual seeker.

Stephan is the founder and director of the School for Awakening, which offers retreats, intensives, webinars, and other programs devoted to using meditation and self-inquiry to foster direct spiritual realization, free of doctrine or dogma. He’s led weekend workshops and longer retreats at some of the premier growth centers in North American, including Kripalu, Hollyhock, Garrison Institute, Omega Institute, and The Crossings Austin.

Stephan graduated with honors from Columbia University and did graduate work at Stanford before leaving to become a monk at Tassajara Zen Monastery in California. After studying with Zen masters Kobun Chino Otogawa and Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, founder of Tassajara and author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, he went on to direct the training program at the Zen Center of Los Angeles. He also studied and practiced Dzogchen-Mahamudra with several Tibetan teachers.

Stephan was editor-in-chief of the magazine Yoga Journal for 10 years and is currently a contributing editor for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and Undivided: The Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology. He’s written articles on meditation, spirituality, and related themes for a number of national magazines, including Fitness, Cooking Light, Natural Solutions, Tricycle, and of course Yoga Journal. His other books include Timeless Visions, Healing Voices; Living Yoga (with Georg Feuerstein); and Buddhism for Dummies (with Jon Landaw).

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