Meditation room

About Us

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 the entire 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 regularly host dharma events, thai cooking workshops, Thailand yoga retreats, private awareness based therapy sessions and more.  Our newest adventure is Lime and a Coconut: The Art of Thai Cuisine, which showcases E’s amazing culinary skills.

About Michael

sapiro headshotmichael sapiro, psyd,  began his yoga and meditation training early in 1998, and has received certification as a Traditional Hatha Yoga instructor and Teacher Trainer.  He is the founding director of Maitri House Yoga and has recently been given permission to teach Buddhist Dharma in the United States from Abbot Ganchano of Wat Khao Khaeo, a Theravada Buddhist temple in Tak Province, Thailand.  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.  During his PeaceCorps service he founded Maitri Tak, a local Yoga community and school.   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.  He is on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Spirituality and Psychology.  He teaches classes, workshops and retreats in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southeast Alaska, Boise, and in Northern Thailand. He loves his wife and is a dedicated athlete as well.  He is a life long musician and with others or by himself has recorded over 5 albums of original music.

Michael holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.  He completed an advanced fellowship in clinical psychology at the Boise VA Medical center and specialized in rural health care for veterans, with an emphasis on combat trauma and PTSD.  His other clinical/research interests include applications of neuroplasticity and meditation in treatment of cognitive disorders, chronic pain, substance abuse, and complex trauma.  Michael also consults regularly with the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California, where he works on the Future of Meditation Research project with a pioneering group of scientists, Buddhist teachers, and clinicians.  His dream job is to work alongside Cassandra Vieten and Dean Radin from IONS and with Shamini Jain of the Consciousness and Healing Inititiave advancing the field of consciousness studies from the scientific to the healing realm.

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.

Here is Michael talking about presence, awareness and vulnerability as the interpersonal aspects of meditation based interventions at the Institute of Noetic Sciences:

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Michael Sapiro, PsyD

 

 

About Sararak

Sararak was raised in a small village in Northeastern Thailand, learning about the traditional and therapeutic uses of Thai herbs from her father, the community’s local herbal doctor.  Her passion for cooking is tasted and recognized by anyone who is fortunate enough to eat her art!  She is also a certified Traditional Hatha Yoga instructor.  She creates art for fun and spends most of her time in the garden.  Her life goal is to “be simple, live in the woods, and drink tea every day.”  She is the chef and owner of Lime and a Coconut: The Art of Thai Cuisine.

She has earned a degree in Agricultural and Environmental Education from Kasaetsart University in Bangkok and has found teaching boring.  So now she is the chef and owner of an authentic Thai eatery. Every one who knows her says she’s also very, very funny.

About Wat Manee Banpot Worawihan:

Known locally as Wat Khao Khaeo, “It is a provincial royal monastery and an example temple of development. It has an angular Mon-styled Chedi (pagoda) with 16 indented corners at the back. Inside the Ubosot (ordination hall), there is a portrait of King Rama V royally given to this temple, and a Buddha image ‘Phra Phuttharup Saengthong.'”  This is where Michael studied and ordained as a Monk and has since taught Yoga and Dharma with the local community members of Tak.  A traditional Thai city temple where young boys and men come to study scriptures and learn the ways of monk-hood. Unlike in the forest temples or monasteries where there is practice of meditation, here the monks spend most of the day relaxing and listening to birds, which is just what the Buddha taught us to do too!