Matthew Brensilver, PhD

Residential Retreat Teacher

Matthew Brensilver teaches at the Insight Retreat Center, Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society. He was previously program director for Mindful Schools and for more than a decade, was a core teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. Matthew worked as a clinical social worker, serving severely and persistently mentally ill adults. He subsequently earned a PhD from the Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at USC. His dissertation examined the mechanisms of risk and resilience in maltreated adolescents in a large, longitudinal study in South Los Angeles. Before committing to teach meditation full-time, he spent years doing research on addiction pharmacotherapy at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine. Each summer, he lectures at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center on the intersections between mindfulness, science and psychotherapy. He serves on the Board of Directors at Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Center.

Matthew Brensilver, PhD
To be mindful of goodness brings love, and to be mindful of pain brings love. That is something like a miracle. This weird asymmetry, that to attend to goodness brings love, and to attend to suffering also brings love. The steadier and more unified the mind gets, the deeper the love can be. Sometimes the mind gathers so singularly around an object—the breath, a mettā phrase, the body, sound, sight, looking into the eyes of another person—the mind just becomes unified. And all the static, fragmentation, and division collapses. And in that mind state, it’s like a drop of love reaches everywhere.
 
Matthew Brensilver

Matthew Brensilver's Upcoming Programs

Retreat Online Hybrid

Sunday, August 4 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Faith in Yourself: Compassion Practices for Cultivating Freedom from Self-Doubt

5 CE Credits. Many of us find it hard to believe that we have what it takes to do this practice. Seeing into this doubt with compassion and wisdom can not only help us be free from the pain it causes, but it can open us to the possibility of trusting ourselves and all aspects of our experience. This day of practice is an invitation to understand and find freedom from self-doubt and tap into the fullness of our potential in this life.

Matthew Brensilver

Matthew Brensilver

Cara Lai

Cara Lai

Retreat On-Land Hybrid

Sunday, August 4 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Faith in Yourself: Compassion Practices for Cultivating Freedom from Self-Doubt

5 CE Credits. Many of us find it hard to believe that we have what it takes to do this practice. Seeing into this doubt with compassion and wisdom can not only help us be free from the pain it causes, but it can open us to the possibility of trusting ourselves and all aspects of our experience. This day of practice is an invitation to understand and find freedom from self-doubt and tap into the fullness of our potential in this life.

Matthew Brensilver

Matthew Brensilver

Cara Lai

Cara Lai

Retreat On-Land

August 5 - August 10, 2024 Monday - Saturday | 5 nights

Young Adult Insight Meditation Retreat

Open to ages 18-32. Come practice silent mindfulness and Insight Meditation in community with your peers. Give yourself a break from constant overstimulation and external demands as we create a supportive space for cultivating greater calm, spaciousness, and presence. Together we will explore the ancient practices of guided and silent sitting, walking, and heart meditations, along with movement, teacher meetings, and Dharma talks. Over the course of the  week, we will extend these practices until the entire day is one of steady, continuous awareness.

Matthew Brensilver

Matthew Brensilver

Cara Lai

Cara Lai

Vinny Ferraro

Vinny Ferraro

Hakim Tafari

Hakim Tafari

Retreat On-Land

October 10 - October 19, 2024 Thursday - Saturday | 9 nights

Fall Insight Meditation Retreat

This is a Vipassanā retreat in the Thai Forest Tradition, which will emphasize quieting the mind, opening the heart, and developing clarity and depth of practice. Traditional meditation instruction will be combined with a spirit of lovingkindness, and the retreat will include silent stillness and moving meditation, Dharma talks, and practice meetings with the teachers.

Tuere Sala

Tuere Sala

Matthew Brensilver

Matthew Brensilver

Eugene Cash

Eugene Cash

devon hase

devon hase

Hakim Tafari

Hakim Tafari

Dharma Library

Can't join us live online or on the land? Study and practice at your convenience with Matthew Brensilver through our new library of recordings, articles, and self-paced online courses.