Kamala and Steve are the founding and principal teachers of the Vipassana Metta Foundation. They have practiced primarily within the Theravada lineages of Burma as taught by Mahasi Sayadaw, Sayadaw U Pandita, Anagarika Munindra, Shwe Oo Min SayadawSayadaw U Tejaniya and Dipa Ma.


kamala masters

Kamala Masters is one of the founders and teachers of the Vipassana Metta Foundation on Maui. She teaches retreats in the Theravada tradition at venues worldwide, including being a Guiding Teacher and member of the Board of Directors at the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts. Practicing since 1975, her teachers have been the late Anagarika Munindra of India and the late Sayadaw U Pandita of Burma, and Sayadaw U Tejaniya of Burma with whom she continues to practice. Kamala has a commitment to carrying and offering the purity of the teachings of the Buddha in a way that touches our common sense and compassion as human beings, and allows the natural inner growth of wisdom. She lives on Maui where she raised four children, and is now blessed with five grandchildren. Kamala practiced both insight and loving kindness meditations intensively under the guidance and preceptorship of Sayadaw U Pandita, in the USA, Australia and in Burma as a nun and a lay woman.


Steven Armstrong

Steven Armstrong has studied the dhamma and practiced insight meditation since 1975. He served for many years at the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts as Executive Director, Board member and senior teacher of the annual three month retreat. As a monk in Burma for 5 years, under the guidance of the late Sayadaw U Pandita, he undertook intensive, silent practice of insight and lovingkindness meditations and in Australia, he studied the Buddhist psychology (abhidhamma) with Sayadaw U Zagara. He continues his practice under the guidance of Sayadaw U Tejaniya at the Shwe Oo Min Meditation Center in Rangoon. Steve is a co-founding teacher of the Vipassana Metta Foundation’s dharma sanctuary on Maui. He has been leading meditation retreats internationally since 1990, presenting the core teachings of the Buddha; and offering a variety of Buddhist mindfulness practices, encouraging cultivation of insightful awareness, and liberating understanding in all life activities. He encourages spiritual development of an unshakeable sense of well-being. On Maui he plants trees for a dhamma sanctuary and directs the Burma Schools Project building schools and clinics in Burma and supporting monastics and nuns.

our lineage

Mahasi Sayadaw
Mahasi Sayadaw (1904-1982) was a renowned Burmese monastic scholar and vipassana practitioner who opened a meditation retreat center in Yangon for laypeople to undertake his method of mindfulness training primarily using the rising and falling of the abdomen as an initial object of attention. He was a prolific writer best known in the West for his Practical Insight Meditation, The Progress of Insight and Manual of Insight. As the teacher of Anagarika Munindra, Sayadaw U Pandita and generations of Western dhamma students, his impact on the practice of mindfulness and insight in the West has been significant.
Sayadaw U Pandita
Sayadaw U Pandita (1921-2016) was one of the foremost living masters of vipassana meditation. As the successor to the late Mahasi Sayadaw he taught many of the Western teachers and students of the Mahāsi style of vipassana meditation. He was the abbot of Panditārāma Meditation Center in Yangon, Myanmar and hosted an annual two month retreat for foreign students at the forest center Hse Main Gon outside of Yangon. Dhamma Talks, books of teachings include: In This Very Life: Liberation Teachings of the Buddha, Timeless Wisdom, On the Path to Freedom, A State of Mind Called Beautiful.
Anagarika Munindra (1915-2003) lived, practiced meditation and studied the Pali texts in Burma from 1957 to 1966 where he was a close disciple of Mahasi Sayadaw who authorized him to teach vipassana meditation. His impact on the practice of mindfulness and insight in the West is significant through his teaching of Dipa Ma and contemporary Western meditation teachers Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Kamala Masters and many other Western dhamma students. Living This Life Fully, Stories and Teachings of Munindra by Mirka Knaster. Readings from this book
Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw (1913-2002) a renowned meditation master was the chief instructor of training at the Mahasi Meditation Center from 1949 to 1961 when he left to open his own center, Shwe Oo Min Tawya Dhamma Center. Later in life, he became known for his teaching and guidance in cittanupassana, mindfulness of mind and established his successor, Sayadaw U Tejaniya at his forest center for foreigners, Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Tawya in Mingaladon, Yangon, Myanmar. Teachings
Sayadaw U Tejaniya
Sayadaw U Tejaniya began his Buddhist training as a young teenager in Burma under the late Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw. After a career in business and life as a householder, he has become a permanent monk since 1996. He teaches meditation at Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Meditation Center in Yangon, Myanmar.  Teachings.  Books of teachings include: When Awareness Becomes Natural, Don’t Look Down on the Defilements, They Will Laugh at You, Awareness Alone is Not Enough, and Dhamma Everywhere.

Dipa Ma (1911–1989) was born in Chittagong, East Bengal. She practiced meditation at the Thathana Yeiktha center, where the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw (the most renowned monk, scholar, and meditation master in Burma at the time) was teacher-in-residence.In 1963, due to her impeccable morality and her powers of concentration, she was chosen to study the siddhis or spiritual powers with her teacher and relative, Anagarika Munindra, a senior student of Mahasi Sayadaw. Dipa Ma has been a great inspiration to women practitioners. She said, “Women can go more quickly and deeper in the practice of Vipassana than men because because your minds are more supple.”Dipa Ma was also not afraid to challenge the traditional Theravada doctrine that claims only men can be Buddhas. Her feminist stance, normally just an undercurrent, could sometimes surprise her students. Dipa Ma-The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master by Amy Schmidt