(Various) GuruViking Steve James talks with Stephen Snyder, meditation teacher and author who is perhaps best known as being the first non-monastic Western man to master the virtuoso-level shamata meditation system of Pa Auk Sayadaw. We learn about Stephen’s early fascination with meditation, teaching himself Zen practice from books for years before attending his first traditional sesshin. We also explore Stephen’s vivid past life memories in detail. At 28 Stephen had a radical spiritual awakening, went on to develop unique processes to integrate that awakening and improve his behaviours. We also discuss how Stephen’s professional role as a lawyer to various Zen masters revealed to him the importance of combining psychological work with spiritual practice. In 2018 Stephen had a serious stroke, during which he was thrust into a profound experience of what he calls the Vajra Body. In the last part of the interview Stephen recounts this incident and details the realisations that followed.