Upasaka Upali is a Dharma teacher who aims to demystify meditation, provide tangible instruction, and create a rewarding experience for practitioners. Upali received transmission in a lineage that can be traced back to the Buddha through Namgyal Rinpoche (Ananda Bodhi), and he took his Upasaka vows in 2015. He has a degree from St. Olaf College and has studied Dharma and meditation with Tucker Peck, Ph.D., and Upasaka Culadasa. He was a founding member of the Open Dharma Foundation and also served as its founding Executive Director. He currently co-hosts the podcast Teaching Meditation.
Upali is formally trained in the Shamatha Vipassana path expounded upon in The Mind Illuminated. He teaches with a student-centric approach, meaning the student guides the practice based on personal benefits rather than adhering to a single tradition or technique. He is also trained in Neurosystemics, a nervous system regulation modality, which he uses to help students integrate meditative experience and embody its benefits.
Upali has taught a wide audience, including Amazon employees, elementary students, and prison inmates, but he primarily teaches online to practitioners interested in creating depth and consistency in their practice amidst daily life. Beyond his online teaching, he teaches 5 to 6 residential silent retreats internationally each year.
Upali loves meditating in the wilderness and has completed countless retreats outdoors, but he’s also fascinated by cultivating deep and consistent practice at home amidst modern lay life. When he’s not meditating or teaching meditation, he can usually be found rock climbing, gardening in his backyard, or cooking up local ingredients in the kitchen of his (painstakingly) restored 1940s house. Upali lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Daniela, and his dog, Willow.