Jesse Maceo Vega Frey’s teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination, and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. He is a student of Michele McDonald and his approach is rooted in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. As a teacher of Vipassana (insight) meditation within the broader context of Theravadan Buddhism, his teaching encourages an exploration of the relationship between ethics, insight, and action. Perpetually intrigued by the dynamics between inner and outer change, Jesse is a writer of numerous essays and author of Insurgent Heart: A Vipassana Manual for the Guerrilla Yogi. He is a spoon carver who loves to teach people about how to work with their hands and explore the relationship between labor, ownership, and kamma. He is the resident teacher for Vipassana Hawai’i and teaches around the world.

Jesse was a co-founder of The Stone House, a center for spiritual life and social justice in Mebane, NC, was a long-time board member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and faculty member of the Center for Whole Communities.


to his Dhamma talks and meditation instructions.


The Art of Burmese Resistance

~ Blog post on the Just Seeds website about the early graphics coming out of the Burmese response to the 2021 military coup.

Insurgent Heart: A Vipassana Manual for the Guerrilla Yogi

~ My new book, also available on Medium and in epub format here.

The Mist of Mandalay

~ A Western Buddhist’s Moral Struggle with his Spiritual Home

Let Loose the Line

~ A reflection on ten years of war tax resistance, the beauty and boundaries of mentorship, and the political and spiritual dynamics of life–published in the Boston Review.


~ An essay exploring an experiment in ethically raised meat–published in the Boston Review.

The Buddeoisie Blues: The Price and Peril of Genetically Modified Dharma

~ A polemic exploring the implications of Mindfulness as a commodity.

The Carlos Vega Collection of OSPAAAL Posters

~ Explaining the history of his father’s collection of radical Cuban poster art, published in a collection of essays of the Interference Archive.

The PBG and the False Promise of Mindfulness

~ An essay exploring the dubious premise of the Mindfulness movement–published on Turning Wheel Media by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.


~ A reflection on his complex experience at boarding school–published in Deerfield Magazine.


Hunger is God’s Food

~ Thoughts of a non-believer fasting for Ramadan–published in Killing the Buddha.

Some of his less formal writing can be found on Medium

Follow him on facebook and twitter for teachings and updates on his schedule.

In accordance with Buddhist tradition, Jesse lives by donation alone. If you feel moved to support his work through dana (generosity) your gift will be deeply appreciated. Click on the “ebodhicon” below to make an offering via paypal or visit to make a donation that is tax deductible:


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