Rodney Smith spent eight years in Buddhist monastic settings, both at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Massachusetts and several years as a Buddhist monk in Asia. He ordained with Mahasi Sayadaw in Burma then practiced for three years with Ajahn Buddhadassa in Thailand. He disrobed as a monk in 1983 and, after returning to the West, started working in hospice care and teaching vipassana meditation throughout the U.S.
At the end of 2016, Rodney retired from a full-time teaching role after more than 30 years of teaching. He served as a Senior Teacher for IMS and the founding and guiding teacher of Seattle Insight Meditation. He is author of the books Lessons From the Dying, Stepping Out of Self-Deception: The Buddha's Liberating Teaching of No-Self, and Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart and Touching the Infinite: A New Perspective on the Buddha's Four Foundations of Mindfulness