Meditation Coaching

In 30 minutes, Ollie helped me gain more insight into my meditation practice than I would’ve achieved in months on my own. His caring, inquisitive, open-ended questions have already led to fundamental shifts in my approach to meditation and my understanding of my own emotional landscape. I can’t recommend him highly enough.

– Jeremy, 35, United States


I offer meditation coaching – primarily in the style of The Mind Illuminated.

The Mind Illuminated system is clear, precise, and with well-defined goals, which makes it ideal for effective coaching sessions. It allows you to quickly gain skill in steadying the mind, which – aside from being extremely beneficial itself – will make progress in any other contemplative practice you’re interested in faster, easier, and more fun.

Try my TMI meditations on Insight Timer

Benefits of mentoring:

  • Motivation/accountability for your practice
  • A space to talk through, set, and monitor clear practice goals over time
  • Learn how to overcome plateaus and develop meditative skills more quickly
  • Get clarity and overcome obstacles, limiting habits and beliefs
  • Try alternative practices to find what works best for you
  • I often use meditative dialogue in coaching sessions, which seems to be a very effective method of coaching. Find out more here.

Options

  • One hour intro session – phone or video
    A way for us to see whether we’re a good fit for longer-term mentoring, or if you just have one specific issue in your practice that you’d like to discuss. Gives you an opportunity to see what practice mentoring with me feels like and if it’s what you’re looking for. Just book any time on the link below and let’s chat!
  • Longer-term mentoring
    This usually takes place for one hour once every 1-6 weeks – this gives you enough time to try out suggestions and new practices before the next session.
  • Self-Retreat Check-ins
    If you’re doing a self-led retreat, and you’d like a teacher to check in with throughout the retreat, get in touch.
  • Email mentoring
    Email mentoring can give you more time to think, try stuff out, and reply, and gives me more time to reflect as well. It’s also a good option if you’re anxious about speaking via video chat or just want an easily revisited record of what we’ve covered. Email me at dharmarational@gmail.com
  • Other
    Feel free to contact me about anything else too!

Or contact me directly at dharmarational@gmail.com

Donations

I teach on a donation basis. Suggested donation rates are below, but if you are able to donate only a very small amount (or nothing at all) that’s no problem.

Supporter’s rate: £50/hour ($55/hour)
Standard rate: £40/hour ($45/hour)
Concession rate: £30/hour ($35/hour)

Donation link here

10% of all donations go to Givewell.

What previous students have said

“We did a self-organised meditation retreat with 3 people, with the aim to make progress in our Samatha meditation practice. The daily calls with Ollie were a highlight of the retreat; we all felt that we learned much more and made much faster progress due to his guidance. I can highly recommend Ollie as a meditation coach and retreat facilitator. He is highly knowledgeable, explains well, and is incredibly friendly.”
– Jan

“Via Ollie’s expertise and remarkably detailed questions my practice and motivation around meditation and secular spirituality accelerated. Diligent and deliberate practice + Ollie’s tutoring will lead to significant progress in the tradition of The Mind Illuminated! I experienced an effect after session 1.”
– Sebastian

“Ollie is a very resourceful and kind teacher – for any question or story, he usually has a solid technique or two to suggest, and/or a bunch of insightful questions to ask back, all with genuine warmth.”
– Friederike

Ollie is honestly a fantastic person and teacher. He has a warm, empathetic style, coupled with a much-needed dose of humour and light-heartedness. I can personally say that he has provided some invaluable guidance and support through some very difficult times, and has always shown up with curiosity and willingness to engage. Cannot recommend highly enough!
– Alan

Ollie is a beautiful human. He is sensitive, caring and intelligent. He has supported me immensely, and time and time again when we meet, I’m grateful for his beautiful open and accepting presence. If you wish to work with Ollie, you have my word of his genuineness.”
– Dan

Ollie is amazingly insightful, and answers every question with real in-depth understanding. His manner is humorous and open. He can gently guide understanding when I get the wrong end of the stick or need clarification, and his warm, gentle presence is a real testament to the values and methods he teaches. Anyone would be lucky to have him as their teacher.

Ollie is a phenomenal teacher with a beautiful manner – he radiates enthusiasm, kindness and patience! I especially feel that the way he responds to questions or difficulties is hugely helpful and filled with compassion! He explains things in a way that is simple yet engaging.

A lovely gentle, kind manner. His enthusiasm and expertise really brought the material to life – using concrete examples to help explain quite difficult theory made it all crystal clear. Accepting and encouraging responses without judgement.

Ollie was such a kind, compassionate, witty and clever teacher. I have done a lot of guided meditations and visualisations, but Ollie is honestly the best one I have found.

Some Nice Things People Have Said About Me on Reddit:

About Ollie

I have a decade and a half of meditation experience and have logged over a year of retreat time in the UK and Asia. I was lucky enough to discover meditation when I was 14 years old, and I quickly fell in love with it, in particular when I was 17 and had my mind blown on my first retreat.

I have been certified to teach The Mind Illuminated style Samatha-Vipassana by Culadasa (John Yates Ph.D), with whom I trained from January 2018 to just before his death in September 2021. The book The Mind Illuminated precipitated an immediate and profound effect on my own meditation practice, and the clarity and precision of the approach make it the most powerful tool I know of for deepening one’s practice.

I am a Level 1 Internal Family Systems Therapy Practitioner. Get in touch for IFS Therapy here.

I am also ‘IFS-Informed’, having completed the Internal Family Systems Online Circle 6-month Foundations of the IFS model training.

I completed the Zenways Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher Training Course with Barbara Jikai Gabrys Rōshi in 2015.

I am an accredited Mindfulness-Based Pain Management Teacher – training with Breathworks, one of the founding members of BAMBA (The British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches), and I follow the BAMBA good practice guidelines for mindfulness teachers.

I have completed Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness Foundations Teacher Training Course.

Very chilly solitary retreat location – 2016

Meditative Dialogue

Meditative dialogue is meditation coaching in real-time. This can be a radically faster and more effective method of meditation teaching than traditional models.

The process looks something like this:

  1. We identify something that you’d like to work with in meditation – for instance maybe you’d like to ‘settle’ faster after you sit down, or there’s some persistent hindrance that won’t shift. (This doesn’t need to be perfectly clear – you might just be confused, or something doesn’t ‘feel right’.)
  2. On a call with me, you meditate. I can lead the practice to whatever degree you feel would be helpful, and you describe what’s happening for you; whatever you’d like to share or would like guidance with, at whatever pace your experience unfolds.
  3. I ask questions, lead practices, and provide suggestions for how to work with obstacles as they arise, and how to deepen and strengthen positive states of mind that develop, with feedback from you. Together we can identify what’s holding you back, where your strengths are, and what works for you to develop your practice most effectively.
    This is a very spacious and slow process that gives you lots of time to try out suggestions, ask questions or clarifications, and explore your experience.

Why Meditative Dialogue?

There are three strong advantages to meditative dialogue: 1. Holding Space, 2. Motivation, and 3. Clear and Immediate Feedback.

  1. Holding Space

I was astonished to discover, after trying a particular introspective technique for a while by myself, that doing the exact same thing with somebody else present to listen and hold space, was literally about 50 times more effective. Sometimes it can be indescribably helpful to have somebody to hold a compassionate space for the difficulties, internal conflicts, doubts, and sticky emotions that inevitably arise during internal work.

2. Motivation

When you’re meditating with somebody present, it’s much harder to get distracted or decide to end early! Something about being present with another human and practising together tends to bring out the best of your potential, and makes it easier to tap into in the future.

3. Clear and Immediate Feedback

Let’s say you’re learning how to play the piano. You have no formal training, and you begin trying to play a challenging piece of music by ear; trying to figure out which notes are which. You often make mistakes, and you’re not quite sure if you’re getting the technique right. Your only option is to just keep trying.

This is not a very effective way of learning.

Much better is when you have instructions and sheet music to follow, but this is still a difficult job. If you think you’re making a mistake, you have to reread the manual all over again to identify it.

Better still is having a coach – but imagine if you met with a piano coach once every few weeks without actually having a piano present. You try to summarise exactly what you’ve been doing verbally, the coach tries to give you feedback verbally, and you have to try to remember the whole conversation the next time you’re at the piano. The standard model of meditation teaching is a little like this; the feedback loops take place over weeks and months rather than seconds and minutes.

Now imagine that you have a piano teacher sitting beside you at the piano. You can get detailed guidance, and specific feedback whenever you make a mistake, helping you to recognise the issue and correct it immediately.

You’re putting in the same amount of time and effort to learn piano, but the real-time feedback accelerates your progress rapidly and helps you avoid ingraining bad habits; your learning is faster, easier, and less uncertain. My experience with meditative dialogue is very analogous to this, and I’ve been using it more and more in coaching sessions. Try it out!