Oren J. Sofer teaches mindfulness, meditation and Nonviolent Communication in both secular and Buddhist contexts. Oren has practiced meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 1997, beginning his studies in Bodh Gaya, India with Anagarika Munindra and Godwin Samararatne.
He is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald, and Ajahn Sucitto, and a graduate of the IMS – Spirit Rock Vipassana Teacher Training program. Oren became interested in contemplative practice in high school, when he picked a little book called “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff.
He went on to complete a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, and later spent two and a half years of living as an Anagarika(renunciate) at branch monasteries in the Ajahn Chah Thai Forest lineage. Today, his teaching combines classical Buddhist training with the accessible language of secular mindfulness.
Since the early 2000s, Oren has had a deep interest in the relationship between contemplative practice and communication. A graduate of the BayNVC North American Leadership Training, he has taught classes and workshops in Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC) nationally since 2006. His innovative retreats and online programs in Mindful Communication offer one of the only opportunities in the U.S today to explore the intersection between formal meditation practice, ‘Right Speech’ and NVC.
Oren’s work is also informed by his professional training in Somatic Experiencing (SE) for healing trauma, his personal practice of Qi Gong and Hannah Somatics. His teaching is known for its clarity, warmth, and its emphasis on embodiment.
Oren currently works as Senior Program Developer at Mindful Schools, teaching and developing curricula for one of the international leaders of Mindfulness in Education. He is also the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Next Step Dharma (forthcoming), which offers high quality, interactive online courses on meditation in daily life.
Oren is a Collaborative Trainer with BayNVC; a visiting teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Society; and has created online mindfulness programs for Mindful Schools, 10% Happier, and Next Step Dharma.