Douglas Phillips has practiced Zen and Vipassana for over 30 years. His primary teachers have been Maureen Stuart, Roshi, Zen Master George Bowman (from whom he received Jukai), James Ford, Roshi, Vimala Thakar and Larry Rosenberg. Doug began his work in Vipassana with Larry in 1990, received permission to teach in 1995 and Dharma Transmission in 2003. After several years of practice with Maureen and George, Doug began his koan study in earnest in 2004 with James and received Denkai in 2013, the first of a two part Transmission process in Soto Zen. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist and maintains a small private psychotherapy practice in Newton, MA and lives in Waltham, MA.

Doug’s teaching focuses on the basic ancient teachings of the Buddha as a Path of Freedom and Liberation from the conditioned constrictions of the mind. In addition to his training in zen and vipassana he has been deeply influenced by the teachings of J. Krishnamurti and especially Vimala Thakar, with whom he spent several weeks in India and maintained a correspondence until her death in 2009. All of this is woven into a teaching that is simple, direct, makes extensive use of both formal practice as well as practice in relationship and values a non-authoritarian approach with an emphasis on individual independence. All who work with him are encouraged to learn to find transformative opportunities in each moment and each relationship throughout the day and to explore effortless awareness in the present moment as the first and last step on the Path. 

Mary Gates

Mary Gates is a long time student of Doug’s in the Vipassana tradition. Prior to that she studied with Fr. Thomas Keating and has taught Centering Prayer as well as other Christian contemplative practices for over 30 years. She has also co-led retreats at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY. Mary is a psychotherapist in private practice in West Cornwall, CT, and an Episcopal priest in charge of two small congregations in CT. She is currently engaged in studying the Harada-Yasutani koan curriculum with Doug and assists at retreats as well as the Thursday night group.

On March 14, 2013, in a simple ceremony of Dharma Transmission, Doug gave Mary his full approval and authorization as a teacher of Vipassana as passed along to him by Larry Rosenberg. Mary has Doug's complete confidence and trust to independently lead retreats and guide personal students. This was a moving and joyous occasion for Mary, Doug and the dharma friends in witness.