Ralph’s very first introduction to meditation came at the age of seven through his involvement with martial arts, which planted a seed that would lead to a life-long journey of practice. Many years later as a philosophy major Ralph became intrigued by Buddhist teachings particularly around the concept of anatta, or no-self, and was advised by his mentor to explore the experiential side of these teachings through a more sustained, insight -based approach to meditation. In the summer of 2003 Ralph went on his first formal retreat in Kyoto, Japan where his understanding of meditation was pulled out of the clouds of the intellect and into direct experience opening him up to the true transformative power of practice.
Ralph went on many retreats and explored various approaches to practice before coming across an audio copy of Shinzen Young’s Science of Enlightenment, which wove together so much of what he found valuable from the various contemplative traditions he had practiced within including techniques that pointed towards deeper transcendent phases of experience as well as methods to become a more kind, compassionate, and skillful person. He also found in Shinzen’s teachings a clarity, and precision that left no room for doubt or confusion about how to practice effectively both on and off the cushion.
After working closely with one of Shinzen’s co-teachers for many years Ralph had the honor of joining the first Pathways cohort beginning his journey towards becoming a Unified Mindfulness Teach/Trainer. Through the techniques taught in the UM system Ralph has had insights that have led to a sense of fulfillment and ease of being that were once unimaginable, and has since felt a calling to help others reduce their suffering and work towards an unshakable sense of well-being through the application of mindfulness. Ralph is known for his warmth, sense of humor, gentleness, and approachability and is happy to work with meditators at all levels of experience, and having been timid to approach teachers in the past invites those that are curious, but a bit apprehensive to request a free 20-minute consultation with him. Ralph continues to enjoy exploring traditions outside of UM including, but not limited to Dzogchen, Advaita Vedanta, and Zen, and has completed David Trealeven’s course on Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness. Ralph is also a musician, avid surfer, and 20-year veteran in service industry in New York City.