About

Michael Sapiro, PsyD is a clinical psychologist, Dharma teacher, meditation researcher, and former Buddhist monk

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Dr. Sapiro teaches nationally on the art and science of transformation,.

He is on faculty at Esalen Institute and is a Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences where he engages in research on meditation, transformation, and consciousness. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in advanced psychology at the Boise VA Medical Center where he specialized in rural health, PTSD, and combat trauma.

Dr. Sapiro teaches nationally on the art and science of transformation, expanded human capabilities, self-care, and meditation for personal and community growth.  He is the founding teacher of Maitri Sangha Boise, an integrated Buddhist community, and director of Maitri House Yoga, LLC, serving the community through integrating meditation practices, psychology, noetic sciences, and social justice.  He can be found at michaelsapiro.com.  He and his wife, Chef Sararak, own and operate Lime and a Coconut: The Art of Thai Cuisine, and together lead international meditation and culinary retreats to Thailand. Michael is under the direct guidance of Richard Miller, PhD of iRest in the Kashmir Shaivism lineage, and James Baraz of Spirit Rock in the Insight Meditation tradition.

 

He began his yoga and meditation training early in 1998, and has received certification as a Traditional Hatha Yoga instructor and Teacher Trainer. He is a certified iRest teacher under Richard Miller and is currently training in an advanced Dharma teacher program with James Baraz of Spirit Rock. Michael has also trained extensively in the disciplines & practices of Zen (under Abbot Jan Chozen Bays, and Gyokuko Carlson) and Theravada Buddhism, Raja and Hatha Yoga philosophy, and spent time as an ordained Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand.  He has received certification as an Ayurvedic Life-Style Counselor with Dr. Frawley of the American Institute of Vedic Studies. Michael has worked in the Social Justice field for over two decades, serving marginalized populations in prisons, hospitals, clinics and rehab centers.  

 

Besides his PsyD in clinical psychology, he holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from JFK University.  He also holds a Master’s of English from Illinois State University where he studied Social Justice and Feminist Pedagogy in the English Studies program.  He has received certification as a facilitator of cultural competency, diversity, youth and community development trainings and still works in the community as a trainer.  Michael believes service is our life's purpose and has dedicated his life to the service of individuals, local and International communities, the Earth, its animals, and the wild.  His motto is personal awakening, collective transformation.

Maitri House Yoga LLC

MHY operates Maitri Sangha, a Buddhist group focusing on the integration of traditional meditation practices and philosophy, social justice, noetic sciences, development of human potential, and community empowerment.  Michael has been given special permission to teach Buddhist Dharma and so Maitri House Yoga is now officially a branch of Wat Manee Banpot Worawihan (Wat Khao Khaeo) under the guidance of Abbot Ganchano. Wat Khao Khaeo is a Theravada Buddhist Temple that teaches Buddhist scripture and Vipassana meditation while serving local community members in Tak Province, Thailand.  MHY is also growing as an International Teaching Collective, offering the teachings of Buddhism, Tantra, Yoga and Ayurveda under the guidance of various teachers.

Maitri House was originally Rachel Stalter’s seed of an idea, planted in Michael’s brain years ago.  She suggested creating a healing space for local communities that included yoga, meditation, art, cooking, and various therapies.  During Michael’s service in the Peacecorps he was able to form a similar health and spiritual based community in Tak Province, Thailand.  He began by teaching three women Yoga once a week and almost two years later there were 5 teachers and over 100 members. The Dharma then spread from that local temple, Wat Khao Khaeo, to schools, community centers, and hospitals.  Yoga Tak today still runs under the guidance of those 5 teachers and has spread to include teaching in the entire province. We are fortunate enough to travel back and forth from the US to Thailand and host retreats for the teachers and the Thai community.

Once back in the States we created Maitri House Yoga to continue the work we began in Thailand.  Now we host Maitri Sangha Boise, dharma events, thai cooking workshops, Thailand yoga retreats, integrated psychology therapy sessions, and more.  Our newest adventure is Lime and a Coconut: The Art of Thai Cuisine, which showcases E’s amazing culinary skills.

Teachers

Michaels lineage of teachers spans the globe and several generations. Follow the links below for more information about each of these beautiful souls.

Community Partners

Michael works closely with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), the DAYA Foundation, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies(MAPS), the Mind & Life Institute and many other organizations around the globe. Click the button below for a full list of community partners.

Education

Fellow

Institute of Noetic Sciences, 2016-Present

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Advanced Psychology

Boise VA Medical Center, 2015-2016

PsyD  Clinical Psychology

John F. Kennedy University- APA Accredited, September, 2015.

M.A  Clinical Psychology

John F. Kennedy University, June 2012

M.A  English Studies

Emphasis: Cultural Theory and Feminist/Social Justice Pedagogy

Illinois State University, May 2002

B.A. English

Illinois State University, December 1999

Honors

2015             Celebration of Scholarship Recipient, JFK University

2013             Celebration of Scholarship Recipient, JFK University

2013             Student Award, Society for Military Psychology, Division 19

2001-2002              Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honors Society, Illinois State University

Clinical Experience

10/16-Present   Private Practice  Maitri House Yoga, LLC Boise, ID

8/15-8/16   Psychology Fellow, Boise VA Medical Center, Boise, ID

Rural Health; PTSD and Combat Trauma; Research/Quality Improvement

7/14-7/15      Psychology Doctoral Intern

                    Hope Counseling Center, Fairbanks, AK

                    Alaska Psychology Internship Consortium (APA accredited)                     

7/13-5/14      Psychology Extern

VA Northern California Health Care System

                    Neurocognitive Rehabilitation Program

                    Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care (CREC), and

                    Center for Integrated Brain Health and Wellness, Martinez, CA

7/12-6/13      Doctoral Practicum Student

VA Northern California Health Care System

Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) and the Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, Martinez, CA  

8/11-6/12      Doctoral Practicum Student

Walden House, Inc

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program, San Francisco, CA         

8/11-6/12      Yoga, Relaxation, and Mindfulness Instructor

VA Northern California Health Care System       

                    Center for Integrated Brain Health and Wellness

                    Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care (CREC), Martinez, CA          

8/10-7/11              Doctoral Ethnographic Practicum Trainee

Anka Behavioral Health, Inc, Oakland, CA.

Research Experience

1/17-Present Research Fellow

                    Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, CA

                    Principle Investigator:  Helane Wahbeh, ND, MCR

                    Study title:  iRest Meditation for Older Adults with Depression Symptoms

1/16-1/18      Principle Investigator

                    Boise VA Medical Center

        Study Title: Including the Veteran’s Voice: An exploration of the essential elements in the therapeutic relationship needed to engage combat veterans in treatment.

1/13-11/18    Future of Meditation Research Group

Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)

Primary Investigator:  Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., President of IONS

8/13-6/14      Research Associate III

                    Northern California Institute for Research and Education (NCIRE)

                    San Francisco VA and VA Northern Health Care System Martinez, CA

Program in Rehabilitation Neuroscience

                    Primary Investigator: Anthony Chen, MD

Study Title: Neural bases of plasticity with cognitive rehabilitation after brain injury

7/12-10/13    Principle Investigator

                    Dissertation (successfully defended 10/13)

                    John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, CA.

Study Titel: To Care for a Killer:  A Phenomenological Exploration of Empathic Failures in the Work with Sexually Violent Offenders

 

 

CONSULTATION AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

7/12-Present Delivering Accessible Yoga Alternatives Foundation (DAYA), Portland, OR

1/11-Present Institute of Noetic Science (IONS), Petaluma, CA

9/15-1/16      Zag Group International, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Teaching Experience

7/16-Present Teaching Faculty

                    Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA

12/17-Present   Maitri Sangha Boise

                    Founding teacher

                    Integrated Buddhist Community, Boise, ID.

7/00-Present Yoga and Meditation

                    National and International retreats, workshops, classes and trainings

10/12-6/13    Teaching Assistant, Integrated Professional Seminar I

                    John F. Kennedy University, College of Graduate and Professional Studies

       

1/12-3/12      Teaching Assistant, Lifespan Development

                    John F. Kennedy University, College of Graduate and Professional Studies

                    Pleasant Hill, CA

1/05-3/07      ESL Teacher, PeaceCorps Thailand

Tessaban Municipality Schools 1 and 4, Tak Province, Thailand

8/00-5/01          Graduate Assistant, English Dept

Illinois State University, Bloomington, IL.

Course:  English 101, Writing Composition

Community Service Experience

6/07-Present     Maitri House Yoga

                Co-founder, Director, Lead Teacher

                    International cultural retreats to Thailand     

1/05-3/07      Peace Corps Thailand

Teacher Collaboration and Community Development Specialist, Tak, Thailand

8/02-7/04      AmeriCorps, Oregon State Service Corps

Higher Stages Arts Academy

Volunteer Coordinator and Program Supervisor, Portland, OR

Professional Activities

2/13-Present DAYA Foundation: Delivering Accessible Yoga Alternatives

                    Board of Directors, Portland, OR.

                    Sub-committee:  Training and Curriculum Development

12/10-Present            Institute for Spirituality and Psychology

               Board of Directors, San Rafael, CA

1/09-7/11         MATI (Media, Arts and Technology Institute)

                   Board of Directors, Portland, OR.

Professional Affiliations

American Psychological Association

Divisions: Military Psychology; Health Psychology

LANGUAGES

Thai- (Conversational Proficiency)

Relevant Trainings/Certifications

2014            Prolonged Exposure Training

                    Center for Deployment Psychology

2014             FASD 4-digit Diagnostic Code for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

                    University of Washington FAS Diagnostic and Prevention Network

2014             Integrative Restoration (iRest) Training, Level I/II

                    Integrative Restoration Institute, with Richard Miller, PhD.

2008            Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer

  Yoga Alliance. (ERYT 200hrs; RYT 500hrs)

                      

2002-2004     Multicultural Competency, Diversity and Youth Development Facilitator

Northwest Facilitator Academy, Portland, Oregon

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