Stephen began practicing Buddhist meditation in 1976 at the age of 19, and has had a daily meditation practice from that time on. He practiced for 20 years with several Western Zen masters. He participated in more than 50 retreats, receiving several ordinations. His primary practices over the years have been Zen, the Tibetan Dzogchen Rigpa practice, and the Theravadan Jhanas. He has been a practicing lawyer for more than 20 years, also serving as an advisor to a number of Buddhist and spiritual teachers.
Stephen attended the two-month retreat with Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw in 2005. He completed the entire Samatha path as presented by Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, becoming first American male to complete this attainment. Stephen is the co-author of the book, Practicing the Jhanas, published by Shambhala Publications. Stephen has been authorized to teach by Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, and works as a spiritual mentor, professional coach, mediator, and lawyer.
Tina Rasmussen and Stephen are a married couple. They met in June of 2004 and married a few months later.