Our teachers teach in the tradition of Luangpor Teean Jittasubho and are associated with both the Mahasati Insight Meditation Association in Massachusetts and the Redding Center for Meditation in Connecticut.
Weekly classes in Redding, CT are usually led by our Spiritual Director, Achan Da, or Assistant Director, Achan Niphen—both of whom are ordained Thai Forest monks who studied directly with Luangpor Teean. Weekly classes in Wenham are usually led by Michael Bresnan, Ph.D., with monthly retreats led by Achan Da or Achan Niphen.
Achan Da Nilpant
Achan Da Nilpant has been teaching meditation for over 25 years and is the abbot of the Redding Meditation Society. He was one of enlightened monk Luangpor Teean Jittasubho’s closest students.
After three years of working on the farm with his parents, he returned to the monkhood. His parents approved his decision, and he was ordained at Supararam Forest Monastery in 1971. After hearing many recommendations from practitioners, Achan Da pursued Luangpor Teean but didn’t find and meet him for two years. He studied under Luangpor Teean’s guidance for three years and practiced patiently and diligently, step by step, through the stages of the practice until he reached the end of suffering.
On August 16, 1951, he was born at Nonsawang village, Roiet Province, in Northeast Thailand. After finishing elementary school, he became a novice monk for five years. He disrobed at 17 when his parents moved from Roiet to Nakonpanom. He worked on their farm planting rice and other crops, but they struggled to survive. He was always innocent, friendly, generous, patient, and sincere. He didn’t like to fight and was always polite and respectful to other people.
Luangpor Teean encouraged Achan Da to teach throughout Thailand, and they worked together until Teean died in 1988. Achan Da made his first visit to America in 1993 and continues to teach here.
Achan Niphen Nontamart
Achan Niphen Nontamart is the abbot of the Janlan Forest Monastery in Thailand and has been practicing meditation for 21 years. He was born in 1960 in Janlan Village, Kalasin, in Northeast Thailand.
His parents were rice farmers, and when he was young, he helped on the family farm planting rice, corn, peanuts, and tending water buffalo. He completed high school and studied to become an engineer. He supported himself while attending the Open University in Bangkok by doing maintenance in a large office building.
After realizing that life is difficult and full of suffering for himself and others, he discovered Luangpor Teean’s books. He was inspired when he read The Practice of Meditation and One That Feels by Luangpor Teean. He already knew that thought was the cause of suffering but didn’t know the way out. He went to see Luangpor Teean at Wat Sanamnai and listened to his Dhamma talks. He began practicing earnestly, and it didn’t take long for him to realize the first stage of roop/nam (body/mind). Then, at age 26, he decided to become a monk. He continued his practice and gradually understood deeper levels of dhamma. He has committed himself to teaching until the present.
Michael Bresnan, PhD
Michael has been practicing Mahasati Insight Meditation for over 20 years. He is a licensed psychologist and is founder of the Mahasati Insight Meditation Association and the North Shore Center for Mindfulness, both located in Beverly and Gloucester, MA, and the Redding Center for Meditation/Wat Sati-Ma, located in Redding, CT.
Michael was born in 1958. While in his twenties, he began to investigate Buddhist meditation as a means to alleviate existential suffering. He studied Zen for several years, before turning to Mahasati Insight Meditation, which he encountered in 1991 after meeting Tavivat Puntarigvivat, a lay student of the Thai meditation master, Lunagpor Teean Jittasubho. In 1992, Michael began studying more intensively with visiting Thai Forest monks, Achan Thong Abhakaro, Achan Da Nilpant, and Achan Niphen Nontamart. Michael quickly realized the value of Mahasati Insight practice and has had a leading role in the introduction of Luangpor Teean’s teaching and practice to the West.