Jason Siff began meditating as a teenager, however it wasn't until after attending a Goenka Vipassana Meditation
retreat in Kathmandu in 1986 that he developed a serious daily meditation practice. He attended several 10-day retreats
in India and Nepal during that year, and left for Sri Lanka in 1987 to learn the Mahasi Method and become a Buddhist
monk. He practiced meditation and studied Pali at Kanduboda Meditation Center and then later at the Island
Hermitage. It was at the Island Hermitage that this new practice of Recollective Awareness Meditation started to take
shape, and he first introduced this approach to groups of foreign students at the Nilambe Retreat Center for a period of
six months in 1989. He left the Buddhist Order in 1990 due to ill health and moved to Los Angeles, where he finished a
Master's Degree program in Counseling Psychology and worked as an intern. He taught meditation and gave talks at the
Community Meditation Center in Los Angeles from 1990 to 1995. He co-founded the Skillful Meditation Project with
Gordon Smith in 1996, and has been teaching meditation full-time since then. He lives in Idyllwild, California.
Jason has taught meditation at various centers, such as Esalen, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and Cloud Mountain
Meditation Center. In 2014 he will be teaching at Indralaya and the Shambhala Mountain Center for the first time. He
has been invited to give talks and workshops by various lay Buddhist (Vipassana) Sanghas in the US, Canada, and
Australia. He has been directly involved in the Spokane Meditation Community and the Pine Street Sangha, which are
both led by Skillful Meditation Project teachers. His current teaching interest lies in the area of working with small
groups of meditators over the course of several years.
Noteworthy in the development of Recollective Awareness Meditation is the "journal project" that was initiated in 1999,
in which several students sent their meditation journals to Jason and he reviewed them before interviewing the students
on their meditation sittings. In 2000, Jason wrote the first draft of the book that would later become "Unlearning
Meditation." He was dissatisfied with that book and didn't go back to it until 2004, after coming up with his theory of
six meditative processes, which was first presented in an article for "Insight Journal." The book "Unlearning Meditation:
What to do when the instructions get in the way" was published in 2010 by Shambhala Publications. It is a complete
re-write of the original and is the most comprehensive book written on Recollective Awareness Meditation.
Jason Siff's next book, "Thoughts Are Not the Enemy: An Innovative Approach to Meditation," will be published by
Shambhala Publications in October 2014.