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Tempel Smith began practicing vipassana and metta meditation in 1989 within the Theravada Buddhist tradition at Insight Meditation Society (IMS), and focused early service and activism on nuclear disarmament, environmental protection, and working in crisis shelters for homeless and abused youth. In 1997 he spent a year in Burma as an ordained monk with both Sayadaw U Pandita and Pa Auk Sayadaw, and later practiced in silence for nine months at the IMS. Since 2001 Tempel has begun to teach meditation and Buddhist psychology to a wide variety of people including prisoners, activists, youth, service providers, and those with severe and chronic illnesses. He founded the B.A.S.E. House in San Francisco - a residential community dedicated to living a socially engaged Buddhist life. Tempel spent a year in volunteer service for Zen Hospice, and led the Teen program for Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California. In 2003 he initiated an international meditation retreat and program for teenagers and young adults. Tempel worked for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship in Berkeley coordinating the B.A.S.E. and Young Adults programs. He completed a four year teacher-training program run by Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and IMS. Tempel also leads pilgrimages to Thailand, Burma, and India.