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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. Stephen has been a practicing lawyer for more than 25 years, also serving as an advisor to a number of Buddhist and spiritual teachers.