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. Upali was the founding director of Open Dharma Foundation and currently serves as the Board Chair for Center Space, a non-profit community meditation studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He also co-hosts the podcast Teaching Meditation and serves as a somatic facilitator for Neurosystemics Dharma.
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. Upali has taught a wide audience, including Amazon employees, elementary students, and prison inmates, but he primarily teaches residential retreats across North America and Europe and online to practitioners interested in creating depth and consistency in their practice amidst daily life.