Yanai encountered the teachings of the Buddha and the practice of Insight Meditation while in Asia in 1989, and sat his first Insight Meditation retreat in 1990. It was clear to him that these practices offered something truly beneficial and powerfully transformative, and so he has been engaged in the study, practice and service of the Buddha’s teachings on a full time basis, ever since. At the request of his teachers, Yanai began teaching at Gaia House, in Devon, in 1992, and moved to the USA to be the Resident Teacher at Insight Meditation Society, in Barre Massachusetts in 1995-1996. He then returned to England and has been based in Devon since then. He lives in Ashburton, with his wife and teaching partner, Catherine McGee.
Over the years Yanai has taught in Australia, Ireland, France, India, and currently leads retreats in New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Israel, the USA, and in the UK at Gaia House and around the country. He is much inspired by the immediacy of the human body, heart and mind as open doorways into discovery and awakening, and by the Forest Tradition of Thailand. He draws upon wisdom from the breadth of the Buddha’s teaching and other traditions likewise. He loves to spend time in the wilderness when he can, and includes the transformative power of nature as one of his most important teachers, regularly leading retreats outdoors, in the natural world. Yanai is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council, and a Core Faculty member of Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts.