Steven Davenport

San Francisco, California, USA
Certified UM Trainer/Teacher
Ph.D., Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
M.S. Public Policy & Management, Carnegie Mellon University B.A. UCLA, International Development

I began practicing meditation earnestly in 2019, at a time when I was searching for a way out of depression and anxiety. I was halfway through writing my PhD dissertation and generally feeling burnt out, resentful, and limited in my ability to experience the world and express myself naturally. The urgency of the situation compelled me to practice on two intensive retreats – a ten-day vipassana retreat and a seven-day Shinzen-led retreat – after which it became abundantly clear to me that meditation practice was the most important I do.


My professional activities reflect my natural disposition to be analytical, reflective, and curious. I’ve earned a B.A. in International Development from UCLA, an M.S. in public policy from Carnegie Mellon, and a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Professionally I’ve worked primarily at think-tanks, consulting firms, and nonprofits, including as an analyst, co-founder, and head of product. I am also a board member at the Center for Contemplative Enrichment, a non-profit that supports earnest mindfulness practitioners and the communities they serve through one-on-one coaching, group events, and consulting to organizations.

Coaches have been tremendously helpful to me in my personal, professional, and spiritual endeavors. I’ve trained in Motivational Interviewing under Tucker Peck, as well as finishing UM’s year-long Compass training, earning my certification as a Level 3 UM Teacher-Trainer. I offer targeted executive and mindfulness coaching to clients, and I most like to work with individuals who are committed to their meditation practice while also playing active roles in secular life.


My current primary practice is in Rinzai Zen, and I regularly attend sesshins at Daishu-In West in Garberville, CA. I also enjoy an eclectic range of supplementary embodiment-oriented practices, such as ashtanga yoga, tai chi, breathwork, cold exposure, martial arts (boxing and muay thai). Influential coaches and teachers of mine include Ursula Jarand, Jason Bartlett, and Michael Holt.

I understand that it can be intimidating to reach out to a new coach! If you’d like to explore working together I encourage you to reach out to schedule a time to talk about what you’re looking for, free of charge.