Matthew Brensilver began practice in 2000 with a Thich Nhat Hanh young adult sangha. He was substantially influenced by two years in a satellite sangha of Dzigar Kongrtul Rinpoche. His first primary teacher was Shinzen Young, with whom Matthew practiced steadily for almost a decade. He benefitted from the precision of traditional Mahasi noting practice and by Shinzen’s innovative approach to awakening. He subsequently practiced with Noah Levine at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and sat longer retreats at the Insight Meditation Society.
He completed a two-year Teacher Training with Noah and graduated from the IMS-Spirit Rock Teacher Training program. He sits on the Teachers Council of Spirit Rock and Against the Stream. Matthew was the Buddhist chaplain at USC for four years and teaches about the intersection of mindfulness and mental health at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center. He previously worked as Program Director at Mindful Schools. His teaching style combines precision regarding the meditative experience and open-heartedness.
Matthew served as a social worker, supporting severely and persistently mentally ill adults and adolescents. He subsequently earned a PhD from the Dweck School of Social Work at USC, completing a dissertation on the mechanisms of risk and resilience in maltreated adolescents. He spent years doing research on addiction treatment at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine and continues to be interested in the unfolding dialogue between dharma and science.