About Dean


Dean Sluyter (pronounced "slighter") has taught natural methods of meditation and awakening since 1970. His five highly acclaimed books include Natural Meditation (Amazon #1 stress management bestseller, and Nautilus Gold Medal winner for best mind-body-spirit book) and Fear Less: Living Beyond Fear, Anxiety, Anger, and Addiction. Dean gives talks, workshops, and retreats throughout the United States and beyond, from Ivy League colleges to maximum-security prisons. His media appearances have included National Public Radio, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Coast to Coast AM, The Dr. Oz Show, and O, The Oprah Magazine.


A grateful student of Eastern and Western sages in several traditions, Dean has completed numerous pilgrimages and retreats in India, Tibet, Nepal, and the West. He is known for conveying authentic teachings in forms that are relaxed, accessible, and down-to-earth. When not writing or teaching, he narrates audiobooks, administers the Awakening Prison Art project, makes music, and happily tools around town on his Vespa.

Born into a family of musicians and political activists, Dean grew up in New York and Los Angeles. He dropped out of college to hitchhike around the country and embark on a path of spiritual investigation, eventually returning to earn a B.A. in English and an M.A. in interdisciplinary education.
Dean lived in New Jersey for 33 years, where he was married to the late artist and teacher Maggy Sluyter, with whom he raised two children. There he taught English and developed classroom meditation programs at The Pingry School and worked with inmates at Northern State Prison. He now lives in Santa Monica, California, where he leads meditation sessions regularly and is on the faculty of the West Coast Writers Conferences. He is married to documentary filmmaker Yaffa Lerea.


Dean is dedicated to sharing what he has learned from his teachers and his own years of meditative practice. He is happy to travel anywhere to offer talks, workshops, and retreats that are relaxed and lively, adapted to the specific needs of the sponsoring group. Over the years, he has taught at universities, wellness centers, corporations, professional organizations, yoga studios, houses of worship, and prisons, as well as such venues as Chautauqua Institution and New York Open Center. His teaching style is noted for its clarity, warmth, and humor. To inquire or to book Dean for your next event, contact Jamie Rye at info@deansluyter.com.




"The laid-back, down-to-earth approach made meditation appealing and easy, even for complete novices. Dean’s presentation was of tremendous value in supporting our view of meditation’s benefits for our associates, both personal and professional."
– Haley Akin, Senior Health & Wellness Specialist, Garmin International
"We loved having you at Timber Creek, and we're most grateful for what you offered. The guests soaked it up and loved your natural, genuine style. We're elated you could come and look forward to a future visit."
– Tom Jacobs, Director, Timber Creek Retreat House
"You are a masterful teacher. Thank you for sharing your gift with us."
– Darin McClure, Center for Spiritual Living, Capistrano Valley
"Dean's methodology is simple and easy to grasp. He is practical in his teachings and is a presenter who is easy to warm up to."
– José Falla, Guatemala Education Officer, Young Presidents' Organization
"Asking car salesmen to meditate is like asking football players to do ballet. Although skeptical at first, they sat through Dean’s workshop and have been extremely grateful ever since. Dozens of them have told me they have tried and succeeded in using Dean’s techniques … and have found some real peace."
– Bridget Beyer, Dealer Principal, Beyer Ford-Jeep–Chrysler
"Dean's sessions are relaxed and accessible, with a pop-culture-tinged playfulness that pulls you in and puts you at ease.” 
– Lisa Leeman, past president, International Documentary Association
"What a pleasure to host Dean for his Natural Meditation workshop! Dean speaks with clarity and ease from his own years of experience with meditation, so students are naturally engaged. He made a connection with everyone in the room — from seasoned yogis to my skeptical 70-year-old mother!"
– Jamie Rye, owner, One Tree Yoga, Omaha
"You made killers peaceful."
– Meditation Program Participant, Northern State Prison, Newark, NJ
"Dean's Natural Meditation workshop was a hit in our Latin America Spouse regional event. It was wonderful to experience the benefits of meditation, and we left wanting to continue making it part of our daily lives."
– Maureen Riojas, Guatemala Spouse Coordinator, Young Presidents' Organization


Dean and his work have been featured in publications including The New York Times, USA Today, O: The Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, InStyle, Prevention, LA Yoga, The Huffington Post, and Publishers Weekly. Other media appearances have included The Dr. Oz Show on Oprah Radio, Coast to Coast AM, National Public Radio, and The Lisa Oz Show. 
"Dean is just a wonderful source of real-life, useful, news-you-can-use information. Dean is a buddha … a poet and a teacher.”
– Dr. Mehmet Oz
"Joyously entertaining."
– Publishers Weekly
► See archived TV and radio appearances here.
► See blogs and articles here.
► To arrange a media appearance, contact Jamie Rye.


Dean is deeply grateful to the many teachers who have guided him over the years, representing methods and traditions including Advaita Vedanta, Bhakti Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Umbanda, and Vajrayana Buddhism. Teachers whose personal guidance has been especially important at various points have included Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Charles Genoud, Mooji, and Rupert Spira. 




Copyright © 1998-2018 by Dean Sluyter